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19 August 2017 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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The Route to Roots Hall

Argyle Head to Southend Not Knowing What Will Face Them

19 August 2017

TWO side meet in Sky Bet League One this weekend that have the same number of points from two games – yet markedly different form guides.

Argyle and Southend United may both be on three points, courtesy of a home win and an away defeat, but the manner in which each side has accumulated those points are at odds. 

The Pilgrims have played well twice, against two good sides. A solid performance at Peterborough was let down by the conceding of two preventable goals, and foiled by an outstanding goalkeeping performance. A week later, at Home Park, the Greens played very well against a good Charlton side to emerge with a 2-0 win. 

The Shrimpers began in fine style, defeating divisional favourites Blackburn Rovers 2-1 on the opening day, with manager Phil Brown calling it the best first-half performance in his time at the club. That is a tenure, by the way, that has lasted nearly four-and-a-half years, making Brown the 10th longest serving manager in the country. 

Seven days later, Brown’s tune had changed. Southend lost 5-0 at Rotherham, shipping four goals int he first half. Brown labelled the performance as ‘embarrassing’. 

For Derek Adams, knowing which Southend side are likely to turn up at Roots Hall on Saturday is hardly an easy thing to foresee. 

“It’s very difficult to know,” said Derek. “They got an excellent result against Blackburn, beating a team that have just come down from the Championship shows you that they are a good side at home. To do that in the first game of the season shows you the strength they have. Away from home, at Rotherham, that could be a freak result.

“They are a very good side, with talented players throughout their team.” 

Indeed, familiar names abound. Former England Under-21 man Michael Kightly has Premier League experience with Wolverhampton, Stoke and Burnley; Defenders Anton Ferdinand and Michael Turner may have 65 years between them, but they too have hundreds of games in the top flight under their belt; club stalwarts Michael Timlin and former Pilgrim Ryan Leonard may well line up in midfield together, behind Ireland international Simon Cox. If Southend are on what the horse racing world refers to as ‘a going day’, they have plenty of potential to hurt Argyle. 

“They are a team that have done well in League One, and have strengthened year on year,” said Adams.

“They look like a club that is happy in League One, and ready to push on and try to get in the play-off positions.

“They have a lot of good, experienced players in their side such as Simon Cox, who plays up front. They’ve signed (Rob) Kiernan from Rangers; they’ve got (Anton) Ferdinand at the back; Nile Ranger who has just come back in and signed for them. They’ve got very good experience throughout the team.

“We want to continue the very good performance we had against Peterborough – on that day we had more shots on goal than any other team in the division – and that’s good for an opening game of the season.” 

The Pilgrims will line up in Essex without the versatile Oscar Threlkeld. What was thought to be a dead leg has turned out to be a slightly more seirous leg injury, meaning Oscar will miss a further month’s action. 

“Oscar Threlkeld, we have just found out, has got a hairline fracture of the fibula,” said Derek. “He will be out for between three and four weeks, which is a huge disappointment to me. He’ll miss five or six games. With Ryan Taylor being out of three months, it is difficult to take at the start of the season. There is not much we can do about it. 

“We’re hopeful that it is straightforward; he has to go for another x-ray to see what the situation is.”

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Match Reports

Southend United 1 Argyle 1 - Report

Ryan Edwards' Header Saves Pilgrims a Point

19 August 2017

Southend United 1
Bradley og 6 

Argyle 1
Edwards 62 

ARGYLE completed a full set of Sky Bet League One results, adding a draw at Roots Hall to their 2017-18 three-game haul thanks to a fine second-half display after they had again found themselves chasing an away match. 

For the second successive game on the road, the Pilgrims went behind to an early goal scored by one of their own, Sonny Bradley knocking the ball past Luke McCormick. 

It meant, bizarrely, that Argyle players have contributed twice as many of the opposition’s league goals which they have conceded than their opponents’ own men. 

After regrouping, re-organizing and refreshing their line-up at half-time, rejuvenated Argyle quickly leveled when Ryan Edwards scored his first goal for the club, heading home a corner. 

Argyle manager Derek Adams had, unsurprisingly, reverted to the starting 11 that had collected the Pilgrims’ first three points back in Sky Bet League One seven days earlier with a 2-0 home win over Charlton Athletic. 

Although he had played the numbers game for the midweek Checkatrade Trophy tie against Chelsea, making nine changes, it always seemed likely that Adams would return to a side which formed the bulk of their opening two EFL matches.

Indeed, the only changes from the team which had begun the opening day encounter at Peterborough two weeks earlier were the inclusion of Gary Miller and Nathan Blissett at the expense of injured pair Ryan Taylor and Oscar Threlkeld.

There was a switch on the bench, with young forward Alex Fletcher being rewarded for his two goals against Chelsea with a place on the bench, and Jamie Ness being rewarded for an encouraging hour in the same match by being assigned 90 minutes in the Pilgrims’ Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Premier Division match against Helston. 

Southend, too, fielded an unchanged starting 11, which was a tad more surprising, given that they had lost 5-0 at Rotherham United the previous week. Notable names wearing the Blue included much admired Home Park Academy graduate Ryan Leonard, Irish international striker Simon Cox and former West Ham and QPR centre-back Anton Ferdinand. 

If Argyle had a similar look to them as they had in their previous away league match, the game itself had an uncannily parallel start, with the Pilgrims going behind to a comparable early own goal from their left side. 

Whereas Gary Sawyer had been the unwitting contributor at Peterborough, this time, Bradley was the man in the wrong place at the wrong time, inadvertently deflecting Jermaine McGlashan’s cross into his own net after the Southend midfielder had charged down Sawyer’s clearance.

Leonard was at forefront of most of what Southend did well, shooting just wide with a low shot full of technique and then teasing in a low pass with which Cox, at full stretch, just failed to connect. 

At times, Argyle did not seem quite at it, but kept discipline, shape and nerve – especially at the back – and kept Southend out.

Given that base, they were always half a chance away from leveling matters and Nathan Blissett came close to equalizing when he battled well to win the ball off McGlashan and fired off a low shot that United goalkeeper Mark Oxley palmed wide for a corner.

Largely, though, the Pilgrims’ involvement at set-pieces was at the other end of the pitch, although they did not have too much trouble in dealing with them, with Bradley’s head proving a magnet for the ball. 

When Southend did vary things, pinging one to Leonard at the far post, Blissett was on hand to clear the ball from the predatory Cox. 

Adams clearly felt he needed to change things at the interval, and he brought on Lionel Ainsworth and Yann Songo’o for David Fox and Joel Grant, switching shape to match the home side’s 4-4-2, Jake Jervis joining Blissett up front. 

The two big men immediately linked up well, with Jervis using his height to nod the ball into the path of Blissett, whose sharp and well-aimed shot just about stuck under Oxley’s body. 

Ainsworth’s busyness on the right also gave Blissett a sniff of a chance, but he chose to lay the ball off, rather than have another dig, and Southend snuffed things out. 

Argyle, though, were looking an altogether more potent proposition and it was only a matter of time before their pressing broke through. No surprise, either, that the equalizer came from a set-piece, Edwards matter-of-factly heading in a routine Graham Carey inswinger. 

Southend bounced back up off the canvas and the game benefited as a result. League One is certainly proving an entertaining affair so far. 

On the subject of entertainers, Carey was seeing more of the play from his wide-left second-half role, and he helped pile the pressure of the home defence, with Ferdinand doing especially well to head one of his crosses away from the lurking Blissett. 

Southend’s desire was faultless, too, even if they were not creating as much, and Kightly might have done better than plant a shot into McCormick’s ribcage when well placed in the centre of goal. 

Both sides strained for the breakthrough and Argyle needed all hands to the pump when substitute Theo Robinson half-beat McCormick to a ball outside the area. The Argyle skipper turned sweeper and spoiled the Southend man’s momentum as team-mates gathered around to crowd him out. 

Southend were playing on the counter and nearly broke through when Kightly controlled the ball well and looked to have found space for a shot, only to be thwarted by, of all people, Carey. 

The Pilgrims had to see off a couple of corners in injury-time, which they did so with a maximum familiar bodies-on-the-line defending, before claiming their share of an enthralling match. 

Southend United (4-4-2): 1 Mark Oxley; 24 Jason Demetriou, 48 John White, 5 Anton Ferdinand (capt ), 2 Stephen Hendrie; 17 Jermaine McGlashan (11 Stephen McLaughlin 83), 18 Ryan Leonard, 8 Michael Timlin, 7 Michael Kightly; 9 Marc-Antoine Fortune, 10 Simon Cox (31 Theo Robinson 66). Substitutes (not used): 12 Amadou Ba, 16 Dru Yearwood, 20 Michael Klass, 22 Ted Smith (gk), 42 Elvis Bwomono.

Booked: Timlin 89. 

Argyle (4-2-3-1): 23 Luke McCormick (capt); 2 Gary Miller, 5 Ryan Edwards, 15 Sonny Bradley, 3 Gary Sawyer; 7 Antoni Sarcevic, 24 David Fox (4 Yann Songo’o half-time); 14 Jake Jervis, 10 Graham Carey, 16 Joel Grant (8 Lionel Ainsworth half-time); 13 Nathan Blissett. Substitutes (not used): 1 Robbert te Loeke (gk), 11 Ruben Lameiras, 17 Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, 21 Gregg Wylde, 27 Alex Fletcher.  

Booked: Fox 23, Sawyer 64. 

Referee: Dean Whitestone.


Attendance: 7,861 (754).

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Ticket News

Southend Ticket Information

Tickets for our trip to Roots Hall...

6 August 2017

TICKETS go on sale on Monday, to Members, for our trip to Southend United.

Argyle are at Roots Hall on Saturday, August 19, for a Sky Bet League One fixture that kicks off at 3pm. 

Members can buy their tickets from 9.30am on Monday, August 7. White members will have their turn from Wednesday, August 9, at 9.30am, before a general sale, should tickets remain, from 9.30am opn Saturday, August 12, before our game against Charlton Athletic at Home Park. 

Adults - £22
Over 60 - £15
Student (with Valid ID) - £14
Young Person (17-22) - £14
Adult Disabled - £14
Junior (9-16) - £1
Under 8 (8 & Under) - £1
Disabled Carer - Free

Seats are unreserved covered seating in the North Stand, behind the goal. 

Wheelchair tickets & ambulant disabled are purchased at the relevant concession, with a free carer. We have six wheelchair spaces available.

Coach departs at 6.30am from outside of the Devonport end
Travel Club Members - £30
Non-Members - £33
Payment for travel by cash or cheque only with cheques made payable to PASC

Sale Dates:
Members from 9.30am on Monday, August 7. One per member to relevant age concession to membership card.
White Members from 9.30am on Wednesday, August 9. One per member to relevant age concession to membership card.
General Sale from 9.30am on Saturday, August 12.

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