Take It Away

HOME is where the heart is, but away from Home Park will be where promotion is won or lost.

That is the view of Argyle defender Anthony O’Connor, who helped the Pilgrims notch a third Sky Bet League 2 win on the road this season with a 3-2 victory at Northampton Town.

Given the platform of a solid defensive display, Argyle led 3-0 thanks to goals from Peer Hartley, Andy Kellett and Lewis Alessandra, until a dramatic late thrust from the home side saw Ivan Toney and Stewart Murdoch cut the deficit to one.

That meant some anxious moments and a tense finish which required even greater defensive contributions before the three points were secured and the Pilgrims moved up to fifth in the table.

“Our home form is really good and we talk about needing to start picking up points away because that is where the promotion is going to be gained” said Anthony. “Northampton is not a bad place to come to and get three points.

“We’ve gone to places like Luton and got three points. It’s like we go to the big clubs and get three points, then, when we go to the, as they say, lesser clubs down the bottom of the league – that’s when we get a bit sloppy and don’t pick up the points.

“But we’re working on that every day. We’ve got a home game now next week against Dagenham & Redbridge. Hopefully, we’ll win that and we’ll kick on from there.”

Despite conceding two goals, the Pilgrims still boast the best defensive record in the Sky Bet League, a statistic founded on their 3-5-2 system.

“We’ve been playing that formation for a while now, especially in the league,” said Anthony, “and we all look very comfortable with it, especially with the two wing-backs, Kelvin [Mellor] and Andy Kellett – it suits us really well, with them going forward and us being as solid as we are.

“We’ve still got Carl [McHugh] to come back into the squad, too. We’ve got players who want to win; we’ve got players who want to keep the ball out of the net; that can only be good for us.”