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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 29 Sep 09 at 22:58 PM

PETERBOROUGH 1 ARGYLE 2

Peterborough 1
Mackail-Smith 86

Argyle 2
Mackie 63
Fallon 69

WHAT a difference 48 hours can make.

After a sorry televised defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Argyle produced a gutsy and rugged display at London Road to down Peterborough United 2-1, and record a first win of the season.

Second-half goals from Jamie Mackie and man-of- the-match Rory Fallon brought an end to a horrible run of seven defeats, although a late consolation from Craig Mackail-Smith provoked a nervy final few minutes.

As promised, Argyle manager Paul Sturrock made several changes from the side that slumped at home on Sunday.

With Kári Árnason out for up to six weeks with hamstring problems, James Chester lined-up for his full Argyle debut. Darcy Blake started at right-midfield, with Chris Clark not included in the squad.

Jim Paterson came in at left-midfield to complete protective midfield curtain for the back four. Alan Gow and Cillian Sheridan dropped to the bench, allowing Fallon to partner Mackie in attack.

The Posh also made a few changes after defeat to Ian Holloway's Blackpool at the weekend, Tom Williams, Paul Coutts and Gabriel Zakuani making way for Danny Rose, Jamie Day and Charlie Lee.

After a few fancy attacking moves from Argyle, it was the long ball that gave the Pilgrims their first meaningful effort - Gary Sawyer's peach meeting Fallon in the middle of the box, but the big Kiwi could only nod into the 'keeper's hands.

But, just two minutes, later a flurry of chances came at the other end, forced Romain Larrieu into making a pair of fantastic saves to deny Mackail-Smith.

Peterborough then spurned a fantastic chance to go ahead when, with the ball bouncing loose, Lee Frecklington smashed what looked like an easy half-volley over the bar from about three-yards out.

Peterborough were on top and on the half-hour, Argyle had Larrieu to thank again when he saved a 25-yard bullet from youngster Danny Rose.

Just five minutes later, Posh thought they'd scored, another Rose shot, this time parried by Larrieu fell to Mackail-Smith again but his effort past the Le Keeper was rightly ruled out for offside.

Argyle gradually started to see more of the ball in their opponents half, largely due to Fallon whose aerial prowess was causing huge concern to the home defence.

Then, just before the fourth official's board went up, Welshman Blake had Argyle's best chance. Having received the ball in his own area, he ran, he ran and then he ran some more, beating no less than three players on his way to goal.

As he approached the goal, he got in front of Diagouraga but saw his toe-poke deflect wide off the out-stretched boot of Joe Lewis.

If you're top of the league, that kind of chance deflects in, but when you're bottom it goes wide.

The second period started slowly for both sides, although Karl Duguid's flicked header across goal following a David Gray delivery had Posh skipper Russell Martin briefly panicking.

Mackie's pace was beginning to emerge as a genuine threat, especially with the home side gradually committing more men forward in their search for the home victory their fans expected.

Fallon's dominance in the air eventually combined with Mackie's pace to break the deadlock on 63 minutes.

A flick-on from the Kiwi found Mackie's run, and Mr Enthusiasm squeezed past two home defenders, composed himself with Lewis advancing and slotted a fine finish beyond the England under-21 keeper.

It was fine reward for the wonderful support shown all night by the Green Army and six minutes later, delight turned into hysteria.

Gary Sawyer found space on the left-flank to deliver a perfect cross for Fallon, who rose majestically to steer a perfect header beyond the despairing dive of Lewis.

It took time for the shell-shocked Peterborough to recover their composure. When they did, the young defensive combination of Chester and Shane Lowry stood up to the challenge with courage and composure.

Mackail-Smith sent a few Greens hearts fluttering with a consolation four minutes from time but Argyle would not be denied that elusive first win.

Congratulations to the team.

Congratulations to Paul Sturrock.

Congratulations to the Green Army.

Next up, we have to break that Home Park hoodoo, starting with Scunthorpe on Saturday.

Peterborough: (4-4-2): 1 Joe Lewis; 2 Russell Martin (capt), 4 Craig Moran, 6 Charlie Lee (16 Krystian Pearce 69), 17 Jamie Day (3 Tom Williams 60); 15 Toumani Diagouraga; 8 Lee Frecklington (19 Shaun Batt 67), 28 Danny Rose; 10 George Boyd; 9 Aaron McLean, 12 Craig Mackail-Smith. Substitutes (not used): 11 Dean Keates, 13 James McKeown, 14 Tommy Rowe, 18 Chris Whelpdale.

Booked: Mackail-Smith 87.

Argyle: (4-4-2): 1 Romain Larrieu; 39 David Gray, 38 James Chester, 37 Shane Lowry, 18 Gary Sawyer; 13 Darcy Blake, 4 Carl Fletcher (capt), 2 Karl Duguid, 3 Jim Paterson; 8 Jamie Mackie (21 Cillian Sheridan 90), 14 Rory Fallon. Substitutes (not used): 5 Krisztián Timár, 10 Bradley Wright-Phillips, 23 Kyle Letheren (gk), 24 Ashley Barnes, 25 Alan Judge, 26 Alan Gow.

Booked: Mackie 85, Fletcher 88.

Referee: Andrew Hall (West Midlands).

Attendance: 7,114 (422 away).

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