JOHN Sheridan is not given to public displays of hyperbole so, when the Argyle manager uses the word “outstanding” – twice – to describe the Pilgrims’ display in their 2-1 victory at Chesterfield......you know it was a special performance.
Two goals in five minutes midway through the first half at the Proact Stadium – from Joe Bryan and Curtis Nelson – secured three points that have gone a long way to ensuring Argyle will remain a Football League team 94 unbroken seasons after joining that august body.
An own goal from Pilgrims’ stopper Guy Branston just before the hour kept things interesting, but Argyle – who had been defeated in the last minute three days before at Burton – were not to be denied.
“We played really well, and well deserved the victory,” said John. “Our first-half performance was outstanding.
“We should have beaten Burton but it was disappointing to lose with the last kick of the game, so it was a great response to come back here.
“We wanted three points and it’s a big lift for everyone involved.”
With a lot of pre-match focus on the premature departure of Jason Banton back to parent club Crystal Palace, the spotlight shifted to another loan player in the shape of left-winger Joe.
John said: “He’s been top-draw for us – a very good player. He’s a little tiger – he doesn’t half put a shift in – and he well deserved his goal.
“We had some good chances. I don’t think Chesterfield caused us too many problems. It took an own goal from us....it would have been a shame if that had had a big output on the game.
“It was sloppy goal for us to concede but I thought we defended well and it was a really great team effort.
“I tell the lads that I want them getting consistency in the game and I think we’re starting to show that.”
There was pleasing evidence that the Pilgrims had learned their hard lesson from the previous Saturday, as they ran down the clock towards the end well away from their own goal.
“That’s what good teams do,” said John. “We were quite clever and cute at times, when we put ball in the corners; a little bit of time-wasting; slowed the game down. That’s what good teams do.
“But, in the first half, I thought we were outstanding. That’s what’s got us the result. You get that advantage – 2-0 up – and it’s something to hang on to. We well deserved it.”