ARGYLE teenager Nelson admitted he was surprised to be handed a striker’s role during the Pilgrims’ 3-2 victory over Northampton at Home Park on Saturday.Nelse had never played up front before manager Carl Fletcher introduced him as 67th-minute substitute for fellow scorer Rhys Griffiths.
However, Curtis showed a scorer’s instinct to head an important third goal and give Argyle a two-goal cushion after they had gone in at half-time 1-0 down.
It turned out to be a three point-winning goal as Northampton reduced their arrears late in injury-time.
Fletch told the 19-year-old that he wanted him to play as a striker just moments before Rhys limped off with a recurrence of the calf strain that kept him out of Argyle’s first three league matches of the season.
He said: “I thought: ‘Yeah – I’ll do it, I’ll do it. Just get me on the pitch’. I did have a little giggle. I was a bit surprised. I didn’t know Griff was struggling.
“If you are on the bench, you have got to be ready to go on the pitch. That’s why you are there. Everyone in the squad is there to be ready.”
Seven minutes after coming on for his 65th Argyle appearance, Nelse was celebrating his first senior goal.
He said: “I’m really happy, but it doesn’t really matter that I scored – it’s a contribution to the team and the three points we wanted.
“I don’t care if I’d missed a goal and someone else scored it, as long as we got the three points. Three points is always top of the list on a Saturday, come 3pm.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who scores or how the ball goes over the line, as long as it’s a goal and we win the game. That’s the main thing.”
Robbie Williams provided the cross for the headed goal, sending a hanging cross over from the Pilgrims’ left flank.
“It was a great ball,” said Nelse. “He’s got a sweet left peg and always got quality there.
“I thought ‘Just challenge, get up with [the defender]’. I saw the ’keeper come off his line out of the corner of my eye, and, as soon as [the ball] hit my head and I saw it flying over, I thought ‘I think that’s in’.”
The goal was Argyle’s third in 27 minutes after Warren Feeney and half-time substitute Griffiths had also netted.
“Griff’s a great player,” said Curtis. “Scoring would have given him a confidence-boost. I don’t know the ins and outs of his injury, but it’s a shame he had to come off so soon.
“I’m very impressed with him. He’s got that look about him. He’s a goalscorer.
“You have got to give credit to Warren Feeney, as well. He scored a great header.”