Fletch: 'We Paid The Penalty'

AFTER Argyle lost their second penalty shoot-out of the season, this time at home to Oxford United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy...

...manager Carl Fletcher was more preoccupied with the fact that his side failed to keep a lead rather than convert from 12 yards.

“At 1-0, we should have won it,” said Carl, “It should have been done. It was a poor goal from our point of view.

“We probably didn’t play as well as we have done over the last few weeks, but, in the second half, we had some good periods and some good chances, and should have seen the game out. But we didn’t.

“All our penalties were struck well, but their goalkeeper guessed the right way and Reg [Rene Gilmartin] didn’t. And that’s that.

“It’s a lottery, isn’t it? I can’t believe Andres [Gurrieri] missed, because Argentineans never miss!”

Oxford substitute James Constable equalised for the visitors after a second-half United reshuffle, but Carl felt the problems were home grown, rather than as a result of the opponent’s machinations.

He said: “[Oxford] changed they formation a little bit to try to get a bit more joy, but we kept them at bay and restricted them to minimal chances. They had a bit of possession but we kept our shape and worked hard. Once the rain started coming down, it was very difficult.

“It’s just about doing your jobs all the way through the game as well you can. If you don’t, you let goals in.
“Our lads really put a good shift in against a tough Oxford side that have got some real good players and are expected to be around the play-offs this season.

“There were a lot of positives from the game but I’m disappointed we weren’t professional enough to see the game out.”

Late in the game,Argyle full-back Durrell Berry was sent off for a second caution, both yellow cards being as a result of supposedly cynical clips from behind on opposing players.

The gaffer had some sympathy for the defender, who will now miss Saturday’s game at home to York City.

“We gave the ball away, which cost him getting sent off,” said Fletch.

“We didn’t keep the ball well enough tonight as we have in the previous games. He got booked in the first half, which I thought was a bit unfortunate as the geezer just fell into him, but, once you are on a yellow card, you are always on a tightrope, especially with the conditions.

“It’s a bit of a headache really as Durrell has been doing really well.”