DEANE Smalley scored his first goal in an Argyle shirt on Tuesday night to rescue an unlikely point for the Pilgrims......and believes that the 1-1 draw was a ‘fair result’ in a physical yet underwhelming encounter with Stevenage.
After Connor Calcutt’s 54th minute header had put the visitors in front, Deane scored from the penalty spot in the dying embers of the game to earn Argyle a draw. Bira Dembele, was adjudged to have handballed in the box – in the eighth minute of stoppage time - and Smalley stepped up to rifle his shot straight down the middle, orchestrating an eruption of relief and happiness from both the Argyle fans and Deane himself.
It was Deane himself who headed back across the area in the build up to Dembele’s handball, and, standing at the same angle as the assistant referee who flagged for the infringement, was in no doubt it was the right decision.
His decision, in turn, was where to place his spot-kick. He chose to go straight, and it was a tactic that worked.
“It was 100% a penalty,” said Deane.
“I was always going down the middle; I was taking no risks, and I was just hoping the ‘keeper dived and thankfully he did.”
Argyle’s performance manager, John Harbin, is known for encouraging players to ‘one more round’, and after a sub-par performance against the Boro, the late leveller was reward for the Pilgrims fighting to death in a game which looked to be sewn up by Graham Westley’s side.
It was in contrast to a sterling Argyle performance three days earlier, in which they trounced Exeter City 3-0. Deane remains full of optimism ahead of the game against Bury on Saturday.
“All the way through the game I thought the lads battled hard,” he said. “I don’t think we deserved to go 1-0 down, so I think a draw is a fair result. But luckily enough we got the penalty right at the end to equalise
“I thought we were brilliant on Saturday, a little bit of a contrast today because not everything clicked, but you are going to have days like that in this league.
“We came away with a point today and hopefully we can take this into the Bury game on Saturday and come away with the three points.”