Empty Stocking

ARGYLE played the part of the little boy that Santa forgot this Christmas...

...as they followed up Boxing Day’s 2-0 Sky Bet League 2 reverse at Newport County with a 2-1 home defeat by Oxford United on Sunday.

Lewi Alessandra opened the scoring for the Pilgrims midway through a first half which they ended with only ten men following the dismissal, for a foul, of young centre-back Aaron Bentley.

Despite continuing to dominate proceedings, Argyle were condemned to only their second Home Park defeat of the campaign when Oxford substitute John Campbell and James Roberts scored late goals against the ten men to leave the Pilgrims pointless from their two holiday matches..

Defender Andy Kellett summed up the frustration – and determination – in the Pilgrims’ dressing-room after the defeat, insisting all minds were already focused on their first game of 2015 at York on Saturday.

“All the lads are gutted,” he said. “I thought we should have got points out of both games we have played so close together, Newport and Oxford, but it’s just not meant to be. We’ll kick on from it, like we’ve been doing all season, and hopefully push for promotion.

“With football, you have just got to move on to the next game and that’s out next focus. We’ve lost two on the trot now, which is not like us at all.

“Both performances have been good. We could have actually won both. We’ve been missing our chances lately and I think that’s what punished us, because we are always going to concede – everyone concedes.”

Andy paid tribute to Home Park’s second-biggest crowd of the season – 11,020 – for their support in the adverse circumstances.

“The crowd is fantastic all the time, home and away. Even when we went 2-1 down, they were still getting behind us. Hopefully, they’ll stick with us through this tough bit of the season.

“We are confident in ourselves. Obviously, the fans have seen how well we are playing, but it’s just not clicking with that end-product at the moment because we are controlling games.

“It’s a little bit tough but it is something that is easily treatable.”