A NIGHTMARE start and a horrible end made Argyle’s first visit to Fleetwood one to forget.The Pilgrims conceded a soft strike to David Ball after 90 seconds on their way to a 3-0 defeat, with the second two goals – a Curtis Nelson own goal and Junior Brown’s last-gasp conversion – coming in the final ten minutes of the match after skipper Darren Purse had been sent off.
Ball netted after the Argyle defence failed to deal with a long throw into the penalty area and manager Carl Fletcher said: “It was not good enough. We just didn’t mark our man.
“The game changes straight away, in the first two minutes. It kills everything you have been working on all week and the game-plan you set up for.
“Once we got over the initial disappointment of the goal, we found a foothold in the game and were doing alright.
“When we finally got on the ball, we had some good chances and were looking forward to the second half, to progress that, but it just didn’t happen.
“The way it went in the second half was disappointing because you don’t give yourself a good opportunity to get back in the game.
“It was always going to be difficult here but, once we went down to ten men, it was even more difficult.
“Maybe, if we’d kept 11 men on the pitch and did a few little things a little bit better, we might have had that chance.
“We would have liked to keep it to 1-0 going into the last few minutes, so we could have a right good go, but we didn’t.
“Once the second goal went in – it was unfortunate that it came off Nelse – the game’s over.”
“It was a case of put Max [Blanchard] on to try to shore it up, recognise we weren’t going to get anything out of the game and save ourselves for Tuesday.”
On Tuesday, Argyle visit Bradford having not won any of their last six games.
Fletch does not shirk from the load that statistic brings.
“There is pressure in everything, whatever you do,” he said, “especially if you want to do it well; if you have high standards of yourself and expect high standards of other people.
“In this division, you can just as easily have six wins as six losses, so we’ll make sure we’re ready to go again at Bradford.”