JOHN Sheridan hailed his side’s professional performance as they overcame the ten men of Southend United 2-0.A competitive-looking fixture between two strong Sky Bet League 2 sides was turned on its head after 15 minutes, as referee Brendan Malone sent off Cian Bolger, who had fallen victim to the exceptional industry of Marvin Morgan in the early stages.
The visitors were resolute and organised for much of the game, but the patient Pilgrims made the breakthrough after 52 minutes. An excellent passage of play down the right-hand side culminated in Kelvin Mellor setting up Lewis Alessandra, who slotted home from just inside the box.
The Greens were out of sight sixteen minutes later, as Reuben Reid headed home his fifth goal of the season in all competitions.
Despite struggling to break down their opposition early on, Sheridan applauded the team’s ability to take control of the game and put the Shrimpers to the sword.
"We were very good, against a team that will be right up there,” said John. “I thought we competed really well. I was really pleased with the way we played, even before they had a man sent off.
"I’m pleased to keep a clean sheet and win the game. It was tough – especially after last week – but I think the performance was a big lift from the Stevenage game.
"They were both really good goals, and we looked strong. We just stretched the game, got the ball wide and created problems."
Whilst there was a clear improvement in quality in Argyle’s display after the break, their success was also due at least in part to Sheridan’s slight change in their system.
"In the second half I thought we were very good and professional. I made a little change, putting Jason (Banton) in the hole just around (Connor) Clifford, and pushed the three up.
"I said to them at half time: ‘just keep playing two or three-touch football, keep stretching the play and keep the ball moving.
"They were getting tired when we were moving the ball quickly and creating chances. It was a really good, professional performance in the second half."