Wott A Penalty

PAUL Wotton has reached the stage of his career when Press interviews constantly refer to numbers.

The former Pilgrims’ skipper’s 65th goal in the 25th minute of his 469th Argyle appearance set his home-town club on their way to a 2-1 home victory over Fleetwood Town.

It came, as many of the previous 64 had, from the penalty spot, after Conor Hourihane had been fouled by Jon Parkin.

Spot-kick duties used to be the sole prerogative of Wottsy, but most of his team-mates do not remember those halcyon days and there was some internal debate before he rifled the ball home in familiar no-nonsense style.

“I think Reuben [Reid] wanted it; Jason [Banton] took it off him,” he said.

“It takes me a fortnight now to get up from the back to get the ball and it was a difficult one because Jason had the ball and was very confident and I don’t like messing with someone before they take a penalty.

“I obviously wanted it, and I think word eventually came from the bench. Then I was thinking ‘I’d better not miss here’. It was my first penalty for Plymouth for quite a while.

“It went in, so happy days.”

Banton added a first-half second before Paul, back in the side as Guy Branston’s central defensive partner, was forced to soak up near enough constant Fleetwood pressure which saw David Ball score the visitors’ first ever Home Park goal.

“It was a tough game,” he said. “I thought we did really well in the first half. Fleetwood are a good team and will be definitely be up there at the end of the season. It’s a massive three points for us.

“We could have seen it out more comfortably in the second half, maybe, but it was all about the result today.

“We were hanging on, but comfortable, if that makes any sense, although the goal changed everything.”

With eight games to go and the bottom six in League 2 covered by a single point, the relegatuion dogfight is shaping up to be a tense, prolonged affair.

“It’s tight now,” said Wottsy. “It’s good for us. The more teams that are in it, the better.

“It’s going to be edgy for the next eight games.”

The first of those eight is at Southend on Tuesday, when Argyle will come up against former manager Paul Sturrock, whose assistant Graham Coughlan was Wottsy’s former Argyle centre-back mucker in better days.

“It’s a big game for us,” he said. “We need to recover and go again.

“They are a strong team and the manager will definitely have them fit and organised. It’ll be a hard game. I’m looking forward to it.”