Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Tue 16 Feb 10 at 22:10 PM


Argyle 1
D Johnson 87

Swansea 1
Pratley 46

IT'S official. Lady Luck has finally bought a season-ticket at Home Park.

In a scrappy match in front of less than 10,000, Argyle again came from behind to gain a result against one of the division's form teams.

After a totally uninspiring first-half, Swansea caught the Pilgrims cold after the break and allowed the lively Darren Pratley to fire the visitors ahead.

With an equaliser looking unlikely, Argyle were finally given some of the luck they have so lacked this season with an odd series of events five minutes from time.

When referee Keith Hill pointed to the spot for handball, Jamie Mackie stood up and had his kick saved by Dorus de Vries. But, with Mackie's head buried deep in his hands, the linesman signalled for a re-take, the duties of which Mackie handed to Damien Johnson.

He too saw his shot saved by de Vries but was there to smash home the rebound for his first Argyle goal that could be one of the most important of the season.

Argyle had made just one change from the side that beat Barnsley just three days earlier - Luke Summerfield coming in for Craig Noone, away on leave after a family bereavement.

Rather strangely, it was Summers who started wide right, with Clark on the left and Damien Johnson and Carl Fletcher in the middle.

Chris Barker kept his place at left-back at the expense of Gary Sawyer who took his place on the bench alongside the recalled Bradley Wright-Phillips and contender for breakthrough player of the year, Yala Bolasie.

Swansea, meanwhile, had come to Home Park in a confident mood following their 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Saturday and decided to shake it up a bit by changing to 4-4-2 for the first time since their victory against Argyle in December

In came Angel Rangel for the injured Fede Bessone, Tom Butler and Ashley Williams replaced Joe Allen and Nathan Dyer and whilst up top, Gorka Pintado was in for David Cotterill and Swans legend Lee Trundle replaced Shefki Kuqi.

After losing the ball straight from kick-off and then struggling to gain it back, Argyle's first chance came after five minutes when Rory Fallon made contact with a decent Summerfield cross to head into the hands of visiting 'keeper de Vries.

Swansea were showing why they were competing for a play-off place, knocking the ball around quickly and with ease without actually creating anything until Stockdale was forced to dive low to keep out a Gorka Pintado shot from just inside the area.

The Fulham 'keeper was on form just minutes later, making another instinctive, point-blank save from Pintado.

Despite the early danger from Pintado, it was Pratley causing the Pilgrims the most trouble with great pace and strength down the right-hand side.

The Spaniard's contribution was to be the last meaningful chance of the first-half as punt after punt ended up with in the arms of the respective 'keepers.

Referee Hill wasn't helping either, blowing up for the most minute of fouls and was given his comeuppance by Chris Clark, who booted the ball into his face from close range, much to the amusement of both sets of supporters, who laughed and jeered in unison as the official was treated.

Duguid had a long-range effort just before the whistle but it to be a half to forget for both sides.

Just 40 seconds into the second-half, almost before Argyle had even had a touch, Pratley put the Swans ahead, latching onto a Angel Rangel through-ball to fire past Stockdale one-on-one from just outside the area.

After the goal, the game threatened to decend into its previous state before the arrival of Bolaise with 35 minutes left on the clock.

The substitution may not have instantly lifted the players but the Home Park crowd roared with anticipation, eager for a repeat of the young winger's heroics at Barnsley.

But, if Argyle were going to attack, they had to keep one eye on defending and were reminded when Stockdale was forced into another great save, this time from right-back Rangel.

Kenny Cooper was introduced on the hour-mark in a bid to spice up the attack but the Pilgrims just seemed to be hitting a brick wall as the ball bobbled off course or out of play.

The substitution eventually seemed to work and with 15 minutes to go, Argyle got their best chance of the second-half, when Bolasie's free-kick was headed back in by Damien Johnson. The ball was allowed to bounce before Árnason go off a shot that was blocked and then eventually scrambled away.

With the Home Park crowd now baying for blood, Mariner made his final throw of the dice replacing left-back Barker with forward Joe Mason. It was an 'all or nothing' gamble for Argyle who were now playing three at the back after pushing Duguid up the field.

A string of promising corners followed as the Pilgrims looked to turn the screw and they were duly rewarded with a penalty was awarded after Andrea Orlandi inexplicably handled in the area.

Swansea tried some mind games with a substitute before the kick and with usual spot-kicker Alan Judge on the bench, it was Jamie Mackie who stepped up.

After a long delay, he finally took his run up and pushed a soft penalty into the hands of de Vries. But it was finally time for Argyle to be granted some luck and Hill pointed for a re-take with the linesman signalling for encroachment.

Another long delay followed, Kuqi was booked for descent, before this time Damien Johnson stepped up to the kick. Mr de Vries made another great save but his palm away fell straight at the feet of Johnson who smashed home the rebound in front of the Swansea fans to send Home Park wild.

When the fourth official signalled for six minutes of stoppage time, the noise levels cranked up again as the Pilgrims, now in a regular 4-4-2, looked for the winner.

Argyle still had some defending to do and Stockdale again kept the Pilgrims in the game by intercepting a low Joe Allen cross bound for Kuqi.

A point gained

Argyle (4-4-2): 21 David Stockdale; 2 Karl Duguid, 11 Kári Árnason, 22 Réda Johnson, 15 Chris Barker (32 Joe Mason 78) ; 20 Luke Summerfield (36 Yala Bolasie 55), 4 Carl Fletcher (capt), 7 Damien Johnson, 6 Chris Clark; 14 Rory Fallon (33 Kenny Cooper 61), 8 Jamie Mackie. Substitutes (not used): 1 Romain Larrieu (gk), 10 Bradley Wright-Phillips, 18 Gary Sawyer, 25 Alan Judge,.

Swansea (4-4-2): 1 Dorus de Vries; 22 Angel Rangel, 5 Alan Tate, 16 Garry Monk (capt), 29 Ashley Richards; 10 Andrea Orlandi (24 Joe Allen 84), 2 Ashley Williams 8 Darren Pratley, 28 Tom Butler (27 Mark Gower 71); 19 Lee Trundle (42 Shefki Kuqi54), 18 Gorka Pintado. Substitutes (not used): 12 Nathan Dyer, 17 David Cornell (gk), 40 Besian Idrizaj, , 49 David Cotterill

Booked: Gower 81, Kuqi 86

Referee: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)

Attendence: 9,185 (742 away)

Chris Parsons

    Latest Match Reports