AFTER a terrific performance – for an hour at least – on Saturday ended with no points, some solace can be taken from a battling draw for Argyle in a home game with Bristol Rovers.Once again, the Pilgrims were ahead at half-time, this time thanks to a stunning Conor Hourihane effort, but again failed to convert this lead into three points.
Tom Parkes’ equaliser for Rovers with 20 minutes remaining brought the visitors level, and Argyle again could not cling on to their slenderest of advantages.
“If you go a goal up (and don’t win), you’re disappointed,” said Argyle boss Carl Fletcher.
“It’s disappointing, to do so well Saturday and take a lead at half-time; same again tonight, obviously looking to push from there, but we haven’t. You learn from it and move on.
“Our general performance just didn’t have that spark tonight. We were trying to get it, working hard to try and get that something to get us going, but it wasn’t there. The lads worked their socks off to try and get it.
“It just wasn’t there; little glimpses, but, as a performance, it wasn’t what we wanted.
“When they were in the ascendancy in the second half, I was disappointed that we didn’t do the right things in terms of passing the ball. We got a little bit panicky and things got a big fragmented. It’s something we will look to improve on.
“The lads put in a real hard shift tonight. We’re disappointed not to get there, but we’ll take what we got.”
The gaffer made some changes to the side that lost 3-1 against Port Vale three days previously. An injury to Paul Wotton caused him to miss out, while Warren Feeney was rested and started from the bench. Into the side came Matt Lecointe and Guy Madjo, the latter making his first start for Argyle.
The pair played together up front in formation resembling 4-4-2, with Madjo having an eye-catching first full game at Home Park.
“He worked hard,” said Carl, “He’s always going to get defenders under pressure with his size and physicality. He’s always going to cause problems.
“I was pleased for him to get a run out and he’s been itching to get on and get involved. It was good to see him out there.
“We tried to get Matty in little pockets, and, in the first half the two teams were, formation-wise, kind of matched up. They nullified each other.
“It was a case of ‘you have a bit possession, see what you can do with it’ and then we’ll have a bit and see what we can do.
“We had to recognise what kind of game it was. It’s not always going to be great football and it’s about getting through those periods. At the start of the game, we had a bit of an iffy spell, but we got through it.
“We saw it through and kept trying to do the right things, and then second half it changed a little bit, as will do, because Bristol Rovers were a goal down and wanted to come out. In that time, we probably didn’t play as well as we could have done.”