Collective Praise

WITH five goals between them in the two matches they have started together up front... looks like the strike partnership between Reuben Reid and Caolan Lavery is the one that Argyle have been yearning for.

On-loan Sheffield Wednesday striker Caolan opened the scoring in the Pilgrims’ 3-2 Boxing Day win at Sky Bet League 2 leaders Oxford United, with Reuben adding the second from the penalty spot after Dave Kitson had handballed, and the third after linking with substitute Tope Obadeyi.

“Caolan gives us a little something different,” said manager John Sheridan. “He’s always on the [defender’s] shoulder; he’s a will o’ the wisp; he’s always pestering strikers.

“He’s a goalscorer. You could see his natural finishing in the first goal. It’s probably only him that would have scored that. He’s anticipated where the ball might go and that’s why he’s got his goal. It’s a great finish.

“Reuben gives you that little bit of control and presence, and he likes the ball to his feet, so they are a bit different.”

There were heroes all over the pitch, though, as John was eager to emphasise.

“As a team today, I thought we were excellent,” he said. “I thought it was a very, very good team performance. I have got Andres working his socks off, Lewi [Alessandra] working his socks off; and young Ben [Purrington]’s made his debut and you’d think he’d played 50 games.

“I thought Dominic Blizzard came in today and looked a lot better. He gives you that bit of presence. It’s difficult, leaving Youngy [Luke Young] out of the team – he’s done well for me – but I went with Ben and Conor [Hourihane] because the gave us that bit of balance as left-footed players.

“Full credit to the whole group. Obviously, the goalscorers get the plaudits but, as a team, I praise each and every one of them because it was a really solid performance.”

Reuben netted his fifth penalty of the season, taking his overall tally to 11, having previously missed a spot-kick at Chesterfield. That miss had not changed the Pilgrims’ penalty-taker policy.

“It is up to whoever is confident and whoever feels they are going to put [the ball] in the back of the net,” said John

“He’s got the confidence to take them – good lad. I’m pleased he scored.”