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Accrington match report
07 February 2015 17:59 Post ID: #71107
Argyle recorded their first win in eight games courtesy of Lewis Alessandra's first half strike against Accrington Stanley.

So that's what a win feels like!

The return of Peter Hartley and loanee Anthony O'Connor made a big difference to the team and resulted in a clean sheet.
Alessandra's persistence and a shot from a tight angle gave us the winning goal.
Reuben Reid could have had a hat-trick, Alessandra and Bobby Reid could have had a couple of goals each but were all thwarted by some good saves and blocks on the goal-line.

It was a strange game, the first half was very flat with not much action and yet we scored but for the second half we carved out enough chances to win three games, however towards the end we were hanging on and defending very deep waiting and hoping for the final whistle.

Manager John Sheridan started with a 3-1-4-2 formation with O'Connor protecting the defence, I did think Lee Cox was very unlucky to be benched.
O'Connor's loss to the team in recent weeks quickly became very obvious - he closed down, tackled, headed and tracked the runners.

Nothing much happened during the first 45 minutes, we never looked in danger but equally never looked like scoring, a wild shot from Lee was our best effort.
Just before half time Alessandra closed down an Accrington defender close to the goal-line who was attempting to shield the ball, he got a foot in and from an impossible angle his shot finished in the far top corner of the net. Well done Lewi!

For the second half our confidence grew and grew and Reuben was very unlucky with shots well saved or cleared off the line.
New signing Drew Talbot looked apprehensive during the first half, reluctant to get forward and always switching to his favoured right foot, even Hartley kept telling him to push forward, however for the second half he sprang to life and dominated the left side of the pitch and even put in some good crosses with his left foot. He will be a fans favourite.

With Olly Lee struggling for fitness Cox replaced him and Sheridan switched to two covering midfielders which allowed Bobby Reid to push even further forward in a 3-4-1-2 formation and his link-up play with Reuben was fantastic and should have resulted in at least another two goals.

Towards the end Accrington loaded some high balls into our area but marshalled by Hartley we weathered the late storm and won the game.
It could have been 4-0, it could have been 1-1, thankfully it's three points.

Talbot had a very good game after a shaky start, despite not being left footed he looked a very good left wing back.

Lee was hit and miss, for every good pass there was a bad pass and loss of possession.
O'Connor was his usual efficient self, you don't know he's there until you actually watch him for five minutes (which I did) and see what he actually brings to the team, you cannot fault his defensive cover. He looks a bit rusty as shown by giving away a few passes.

Hartley gave us leadership and organisation, despite Accrington's late pressure we never looked in danger of conceding, I don't think Luke McCormick had a save to make.

Bobby Reid's first half corner's were poor again, not beating the first defender but for the second half his corners were whipped in with pace and caused all sorts of problems.

Kelvin Mellor looks short on confidence, even his trademark stepovers didn't work.

A special mention to Alessandra who carried our only goal threat during the first half, his trickery and running and obviously the goal made a big difference between the teams.

I thought the pitch looked a bit bobbly, although it is midwinter.

It wasn't perfect and we are not firing on all cylinders as we did during October but a win is a win and credit to Sheridan and his players for winning the three points.

McCormick 7, Nelson 7, McHugh 7, Hartley 8, Mellor 5, Talbot 7, O'Connor 7, Lee 5, B Reid 7, Alessandra 8, R Reid 7, Cox 6, Brunt 6.
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