NOVEMBER at Home Park may not been quite have hit the heights of the previous month......but there were many positives to take from Argyle’s performances in the month, with the Pilgrims securing progress to the second round of the FA Cup, winning in style on Armed Services Day against dockyard rivals Portsmouth in front of the Sky Sports cameras and securing the services of Bobby Reid for a second time this season.
It would have been difficult to replicate the success of the previous month given the unpredictability of the division, but Argyle’s home record is certainly something to shout about, with the Greens extending their unbeaten run to eight games at home - drawing just one of those.
Burton 1-1 Argyle
Argyle 2-0 AFC Fylde – FA Cup first round
Coventry 2-0 Argyle – Johnstone’s Paint Trophy
Argyle 3-0 Portsmouth
Mansfield 1-0 Argyle
Argyle 1-1 York
Argyle kicked-off the month with a 1-1 draw away at Burton Albion with John Sheridan’s men conceding their first goal since September 27, when ex-Pilgrim Alex MacDonald put the finishing touch onto a good Brewers’ move to give them the lead. Argyle hit back when Reuben Reid smashed home a 70th-minute penalty that he himself earned to bring a point back to Devon.
Attention then turned to the FA Cup first round tie against Vanarama Conference North side AFC Fylde. The non-leaguers put up a fight, but it was not enough as goals from Peter Hartley and Marvin Morgan helped Argyle secure progression to the second round where they will meet last year’s semi-finalists Sheffield United, at Bramall Lane.
Argyle could not topple higher league opposition in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, as second-half goals from Gary Madine and Frank Nouble sealed a 2-0 victory for Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.
It was then back to league business, but it was not any old Sky Bet League 2 fixture. Argyle played host not only to dockyard rivals Portsmouth, but also the Sky Sports cameras. With the fixture also serving as our annual Armed Services Day fixture, Argyle were honoured by the internationally renowned Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth and this certainly helped to galvanise John Sheridan’s men as they went onto secure a comprehensive 3-0 win. All three goals came in the first half, with Reuben Reid chipping in with a brace and a precise finish from Lewis Alessandra augmenting his efforts.
This victory saw the Pilgrims consolidate their place in the play-off places and with the departure of Paul Cox after three-and-a-half years at Mansfield coupled with Argyle’s run of form, three points for Sheridan’s men at One Call Stadium seemed on. However, the Stags and caretaker manager Adam Murray secured an unlikely 1-0 victory, through a Vadaine Oliver lob, which snatched all three points away from the Greens.
The defeat to Mansfield was Argyle’s first since September and it was a taste they wanted to get out of their mouths straight away, and what better place to do it than at the confectionary shop of goals known as the Theatre of Greens. The Pilgrims took the lead after just three minutes through the returning Bobby Reid, but in a game which John described Argyle as “doing everything right”, the Greens’ cruelly conceded in the final minute of added time after Jake Hyde bundled home a last-gasp leveller to deny Argyle an eighth successive home win.
November Stat Attack
Goals scored – 7
Goals conceded – 5
League goals conceded – 3
Clean Sheets – 2
Points (from 12) – 5
League position at the start of the month – 6th
League position at the end of the month – 6th
Reuben Reid – 3
Lewis Alessandra – 1
Marvin Morgan – 1
Bobby Reid – 1
Peter Hartley – 1
Quote of the Month
“We have just got to keep those standards. The league is very tight. We have got believe, and I am very pleased with the way we are playing, especially at home.” (John Sheridan - post York City)