Coming into their trip to Home Park, the Pilgrims’ adversaries up the A38 were the form side of Sky Bet League Two. On a twelve-game unbeaten run and gunning for the automatic promotion spots, the Grecians were expected by many to at least give Argyle a run for their money, but they struggled all afternoon to deal with one of the Greens’ finest performances of the season.
Settling after an early flurry from the visitors, Argyle showed precision and class to open the scoring in the 14th minute. Cutting through the heart of Exeter, Jakub Sokolik’s pass and Graham Carey’s delightful through ball put Matty Kennedy in on goal, and the home debutant placed his shot past Christy Pym.
A similarly precise move allowed another home debutant, Ryan Taylor, to open his account and double Argyle’s lead on the stroke of half-time, before substitute Jake Jervis put the icing on the cake in second half stoppage time – the perfect ending to a game that Derek’s side controlled almost throughout.
“It was an accomplished performance from us today, from start to finish,” said Adams. “We looked a very good team today. We passed the ball well. We scored two very good goals and obviously the penalty kick as well, but over the 90 minutes, it was an excellent performance.
“I thought at times today, we did look superior, and that’s important when you’re in a derby match.”
Any murmurs of fatigue or jetlag after a trip Spain during the week for some warm weather training were quickly dispelled at the Theatre of Greens. In fact, the trip abroad appeared to do its job of perfectly preparing the Pilgrims physically for a second consecutive win – and clean sheet – against promotion contenders.
“I’m delighted,” said Derek. “We had a very good week in Spain. The players came back and look refreshed, they looked fit; it was something we’d hoped for, and they’ve repaid us by having a really good performance on derby day.
“It was a top-class day for us, coming back on Thursday and getting ourselves prepared. With the supporters just having a derby match and winning that, it’s important.
“We’re scoring goals, we’ve kept two clean sheets and played against teams that were so-called in-form, and come away with six points.”