Banton Repays Green Army
JASON Banton did not quite lay the ghost of Vincent Pericard......but his first two goals as a Pilgrim in Argyle’s 2-1 win at Aldershot will have had an arguably bigger impact on the Greens’ fortunes than Big Vince’s triple seven years earlier.
Jason’s double in front of more than 900 of the Green Army put him on course to become the first Pilgrim to claim a hat-trick since Pericard scored all the Argyle goals in a 3-1 win over Coventry at Home Park in February 2006.
Even though it did not knock the Frenchman’s name out of the record books, Jason’s contribution – in only the second game of his loan spell from Crystal Palace – was plenty to give the Pilgrims their first away win in ten games on the road and kept new manager John Sheridan’s unbeaten run going.
More importantly, it moved Argyle above their hosts and keeps them out of League 2’s bottom two
“We knew the importance of getting a win today, so to get the three points, especially away from home with the great support, was massive,” he said.
The first goal came from a short fifth-minute free-kick which skipper Conor Hourihane played short inside for 20-year-old Jason to fire home.
He said: “I didn’t think Conor was going to play it across but he eventually did and I thought: ‘Get my head down and out my foot through it’. It took a deflection but I’m still claiming it.”
In fact, Jason had a hand in all three goals, with Aldershot’s equaliser six minutes after the opener coming when team-mate Guy Branston’s clearance hit him.
Jason had the last word though when, five minutes before half-time, Reuben Reid’s barnstorming run found him in space on the left for him to cut inside and curl a low shot across the goal and into the far corner.
“There was a bit of a mix-up and Coley [goalkeeper Jake Cole] made a good save” he said, about the Shots’ leveller. “Unfortunately, it fell to one of their players
“But we showed the firepower to come back on the counterattack and Reuben picked me out for the second goal. He did really well to pick me out after that long run.
“I was just glad I could finish it. We do quite a lot of that at Palace and we’ve done a bit at Plymouth so I just thought I’d take the opportunity to do what we’d practiced.”
For the second time, Jason was able to celebrate with the huge away following.
He said: “I was buzzing to repay them for coming all this way and showing their support, to let them know we’re thankful.”
There were no further goals, and the Pilgrims had to roll up their sleeves after the interval make sure of bringing home the points.
“We were under the cuff for most of the second half but, when you’re down there, you have got to do the nitty gritty,” said Jason.
“Sometimes you ride your luck. Obviously we’re not in the best of positions, but we’re not in the worst of positions.
“To get the three points was the main thing, and to grind things out is sometimes what you have to do.”