AFTER the early dismissal of Conor Hourihane at Dorchester Town, Carl Fletcher’s Argyle were always going to be in for a tricky afternoon in Dorset.And so it proved.
The eleven men of the Blue Square South proved ultimately stronger than the ten men of the npower League 2.
Despite feeling obvious frustration about the controversial decision, Fletcher opted to be phlegmatic about decisions, instead focusing on the shift his side put in under very trying conditions.
“I could have a go at the ref, but that’s too easy,” said Fletcher.
“I understand the decision that by the letter of law, for whatever reason, once the referee says you have to wait for the whistle, then it’s a booking. Conor said he heard a whistle.
“To lose a man like that so early in the game, in a tough game, is very disappointing.
“We knew Dorchester were a good side and keep the ball, so we had to make sure we were right defensively.
“And we were, we just switched off at the start of the second half and I don’t think we really had the quality or the decision making later on in the half to really get where we wanted to be.
“I think they worked their socks off. They really worked hard.
“We knew it was going to be an uphill struggle (after the red). I always want better, but we can’t get too down. We’ve worked hard and dug deep in tough conditions. We put a shift in.
“But if your decision making isn’t right on the ball then it doesn’t matter who the players are.”
After Conor’s exclusion, Andres Gurrieri, who started the game playing just off of frontman Rhys Griffiths, had to settle for a deeper role alongside Jamie Lowry.
The gaffer was pleased at the contribution his Argentine midfielder made.
Carl said: “I thought Andres was immense today.
“I thought the ground he covered, and when he got the ball he actually kept it well for us. We all tried to do the right things, but our decision making and our quality wasn’t right.”