JOHN Sheridan hailed an “outstanding” Argyle team performance after watching his team thump Exeter City 3-0 in their home Sky Bet League 2 opener.If Home Park had a roof, it would have been blown off after 14 minutes, as Tyler Harvey curled in a beautiful free-kick in front of a raucous crowd of 11,418 at the Theatre of Greens.
Reuben Reid capped off a glorious passage of play from the Pilgrims to double their lead, which could well have been plenty more by the end of the first half.
With seven minutes to go, Captain Curtis Nelson turned home for his side to put the game beyond doubt, sending their bitterest of rivals back up the A38 with nothing to show for their travels.
Sheridan was eager to praise his side’s dominant showing, especially in the opening 45 minutes, where their high pressing and quick tempo allowed his team to control proceedings.
“I am really pleased,” he said. “In the first half, we were tremendous. Our first-half performance has won us the game, and it should have been all over by half-time.
“I thought we opened them up at times. Exeter are a good footballing side – if you let them dictate the way they want to play, they slow the game down – so I told the players that we need
to play at a high tempo, and get in their faces.
“Once we did get hold of the ball, we did move it well and create some really good chances.
“It was an outstanding performance. Everyone knew what their job was, and they created a lot of opportunities with their work ethic. Some of the football they played at times was tremendous.
“Reuben’s goal, with the little passage of play before it, was terrific. If we were cute enough we could have scored more goals.
Whilst Shez reiterated that the overall team performance was the most pleasing factor to him, the gaffer did tip his metaphorical cap to our most recently-acquired Pilgrim.
“I thought Anthony O’ Connor was tremendous,” he said. “He just does the simple things, and reads the game very well, wins headers, and those are the players who go unnoticed.
“I don’t want to pick any players out, though. When you win 3-0, you do not want to pick an individual out.
“As a team we were really good, especially in the first half. Everyone knew what they had to do – it was a team effort.
“I thought we could go on and win 4-0 or 5-0 – I really did – if we kept the same the tempo and kept doing the things we were doing.
“It was a big game for the supporters, so this one is for them, and it is pleasing that we came out well on top.”