Back At The Races

AFTER four consecutive defeats in league and cup, Carl Fletcher’s Plymouth Argyle needed a lift against Gillingham – and they got it. In performance, if not in result.

Argyle twice led in the game against npower League Two’s top side, and it took an 89th-minute equaliser by Adam Barrett, who left Home Park a little over ten years ago.


“It’s really gutting,” said Fletcher, speaking of the Gills’ captain’s late leveller. “I’m still feeling it now. I think it will take me until tomorrow or Monday for the disappointment to go away. We deserved to win today.


“We take a lot of confidence from the way we performed.


 “We switched off a couple of times, once in the first half and once in the second half, and it’s cost us.


“It’s disappointing, but my lads were brilliant today. Absolutely brilliant. They worked hard for one another and showed a good bit of quality. Gillingham are top of the table and steamrollering anyone they come up against – and we showed a lot of heart and desire. And a lot of quality as well.


“We should have won the game. Simple as.”


Gillingham’s visit, in many ways, could not have come at a worse time. It had only been six days since an embarrassing defeat at Dorchester in the FA Cup, followed by a midweek mugging by Burton Albion in a game of admittedly ordinary quality, but one the Pilgrims had largely dominated.


To have the league leaders then arrive on your doorstep, boasting a five point gap to the chasing pack and just two defeats all season, wouldn’t seem to be the ideal way of escaping a slump.


Perhaps it was the perfect remedy. Few expected an Argyle victory, and the focus was clear.


“It was a daunting game,” said Carl, “We’d just lost four on the spin and then the league leaders are coming. They’ve got some good players, they are well organised and know what they are doing, and we really stuck to our task well. It’s a credit to the lads who work hard for one another.


“It’s wasn’t a case of nicking a goal here and there – we played well. We played with the ball, and looked fairly solid without it for the majority of the game.


“They all knew what their jobs were today. We had a game plan of what we needed to do and I thought we stuck at really well.


“Even when we went 2-1 towards the end of the game, we kept the ball in their half and kept possession, we were just unfortunate with the goal that came.”