THERE are good Christmas presents – a iPad; an all-expenses paid trip to the Seychelles; even a nice boxset of Homeland.There are bad Christmas presents – socks, £1 book tokens, and do not even mention the sweater Auntie Beryl knitted you. Horrific stuff.
And then there are Christmas presents you could only dream of. Something along the lines of making your full debut for your local side and scoring a last-minute equaliser against your local rivals, perhaps. That would beat some M&S underpants any day of the week.
For Tyler Harvey, 17 years of age, green in more ways than one and not even allowed a glass of buck’s fizz of a Christmas morning, the dream became a reality for Argyle against Torquay United.
Given his first football league start by manager Carl Fletcher, looking to inject some potency into his forward line, Tyler played the full game and continued the rich goalscoring form he has showed at all levels prior to hitting the first XI.
His late goal rescued a point for the Pilgrims in a game in which they had largely dominated, but fell behind to Aaron Downes’ sucker punch on 78 minutes.
He was not just a one-second wonder. A competent and confident all-round performance, not just emotion and pride, saw Harvey given the man-of-the-match accolade – and the acclaim of his manager.
“I’m pleased for him,” said manager Carl Fletcher, “He’s a local lad. He’s come in and showed all the exuberance and energy that you’d expect from a young lad playing, but he showed a bit of quality too, which was pleasing.
“We weren’t playing just hoping he’d do well – we see it in training every day. He’s technically good and he looks after the football. You can see, the way he plays, he’s older than his years.
“He encapsulated the team’s performance. We were solid, made mistakes at times and lacked a little bit of quality in certain areas, mainly down to conditions. But they worked hard for one another and we were organised. At times we played some good stuff.”
Fletch also had some words of praise for his wide men, Onismor Bhasera and a returning Paris Cowan-Hall.
He said: “With Paris, you know he has lots of energy and drive. He’s got good pace, so we were pleased to have him on the pitch. Both sides, Baz as well, worked their socks off. When we got the ball wide we looked dangerous, like we could create something.
“It’s important that we get a bit more quality in those final third areas, whether it be shots at goal or crosses or finishes. But generally the all round play was really good today.”
On-loan midfielder Mark Molesley, though, was not in the squad, still suffering from the hamstring injury that saw him miss the trip to Accrington on Saturday.
“It was just probably too soon today,” said Carl. “We tested him on Monday with a bit of work, but we’ll have to wait and see for Saturday.”