LADIES and gentlemen, the late, great Lewis Alessandra.The Argyle No.7 has scored eight goals for Argyle since joining the Pilgrims last summer, and four of them have come in the last five minutes of a game.
Indeed, three have come in the very last minute of a match: the extra-time grabber at Birmingham in the Capital One Cup; last Saturday’s point-stealer at home to Mansfield; and a draw-to-victory Home Park strike against Northampton, who the Pilgrims visit this Saturday.
“It’s always nice to score a late goal; there’s no better feeling,” he said. “I’m a little bit disappointed that, on Saturday, it wasn’t to win the game, but we stuck in there right until the last minute.
“Even though we only drew, it does feel nice that we have scored late on, but, especially these games at home, we should be winning.”
It is not just Lewi, either – the Pilgrims have taken 13 points in the last 13 minutes of matches this season. So, what is the secret of their late success?
“I think the big thing is mentality – a never-say-die attitude,” said Lewi. “Then, there’s the physical side of things: you feel fitter than the other side coming into the last 10-20 minutes of games and you are on top of them, especially when people are fatigued.
“Personally, and you can see it in the other lads, especially towards the end of games, it’s feeling strong. It’s just a shame we can’t start games like we are finishing them, really – I think, when we do, we are going to end up running over someone one week soon.
“We keep plugging away, and when subs come on – especially Nath [Nathan Thomas] on Saturday; Youngy’s [Luke Young] has done it last couple of weeks – they have changed games.
“It’s a combination of those three things.”
Northampton might be rock bottom of Sky Bet League 2 but, with new manager Chris Wilder and a handful of players set to make their home debut, Argyle will need to be up for the fight at Sixfields – and beyond, if their season is going to amount to anything.
Lewi said: “We know we are going to be in for a tough match – New Manager Syndrome. He’s brought a few players in and, even for the players that have been there a while, it’s like a fresh slate – everyone is playing for their places.
“They are six points adrift the bottom and, if they are going to stay up, they need to pick points and wins up as soon as they can, so we are under no illusions how tough Saturday is going to be.
“But we need to get back to winning ways ourselves. If we want to go anywhere this season, we can’t keep drawing games and we need to get back to where we were three or four games ago, when it maybe clicked a little bit.
“It’s make or break. A little run could put you back up there, but if you keep drawing and picking up a win every three or four games, [the season] is probably just going to fizzle out, which we don’t want.
“We want to be playing for something every week. So if we can go on a little run, like we did just before Christmas, that will put us in a nice place.”