ARGYLE’S storming second-half Home Park performance against Dagenham & Redbridge produced “a massive win” for the Pilgrims, according to deciding goalscorer Luke Young.Luke, 20, netted direct from a free-kick 13 minutes from time to secure a 2-1 victory that propelled the Pilgrims up to 14th in Sky Bet League 2.
“It was a massive win to everyone,” said Plymouth-born Luke, “a great team performance. I think we thoroughly deserved the three points.”
Luke’s winning moment – in front of the FES Devonport End – came after team-mate Reuben Reid’s rampaging run on goal had been blocked off. Despite having missed with similar efforts since netting from a free-kick at Exeter, he did not hesitate in stepping up to try his luck against the Dagenham & Redbridge defensive wall.
“I thought: ‘I’ve got to put it right, here’ because, in the back of my mind, there were few [free-kicks] before that haven’t really been what I know I can do,” he said.
“What a great time to put it right – 1-1; being on top of the game; at home; in a big game. To see it finally go in was a great relief.
“It was about time another one went in. I fancied it when I walked up to it, and had a discussion with [team-mate] Conor [Hourihane] about deciding which way to go.
“They had a massive gap around the wall and it looked like the ’keeper was kind of giving it to me. I just thought to myself: ‘Keep a good technique; keep your eye on the ball; get it round the wall.’
“If you put enough pace on it, it goes on target, and, luckily enough, it went in. To get it up and over [the wall] or to try to beat the ’keeper on the ’keeper’s side, you would have had to have been two yards further out.
“Round the wall was on and, with it being greasy on the pitch, if [the ball] hits the surface and it’s on target, and the ’keeper gives me that space, it goes in.”
The first half had seen the visiting Londoners – in the play-off positions at the start of the day – edge proceedings.
However, Reuben scored his fourth goal in two games and four days in the 44th minute to put Argyle ahead, only for Zavon Hines to immediately equalise.
“It was always going to be a tight game, and that showed in the first half,” said Luke. “To go in level was not too bad, but, considering we scored and they scored straight away, was a little bit disheartening. Credit to the lads, everyone stuck together and I think we deserved to win.
“[Dagenham & Redbridge] had a little spell at the start of the second half were they might have had an attempt on goal, but, credit to everyone, we dug that period out, because you are going to get that in games; you can’t be on top all the time.
“After that 10-15 minute spell, we dominated the game, controlled the game. We pressed them high up the pitch, I think that was the key. We won the ball back quite often; we got them on the back foot.
“That shows the battling qualities of the team. Even before we went 2-1 up, we created chances and looked on top. Then, to get the goal and grind it out – and even then, we could have probably got a third one, with Tope [Obadeyi]’s effort at the end, and a couple of more chances.”
Luke also welcomed the return to scoring form of team-mate Reuben.
He said: “Everyone knows that’s what he can do, and it was just a case of getting a little bit of confidence and scoring some goals.
“He has worked hard and it’s starting to show on the pitch.”