Port Isaac

ARGYLE’S young stars were given a pat on the back by John Sheridan following the Pilgrims’ valiant 3-2 defeat to Port Vale in their FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay at Home Park.

Whilst the inclusion of full-debutant Isaac Vassell in the starting line-up may have raised a few eyebrows, the Cornish-born 20-year-old attacker quickly showed the potential and excitement that convinced the Argyle manager to bring him in.

“He did well,” said John, “especially in the first half. He got a little tight in the second half, because he hasn’t played much first-team football, but he was part a very good team performance.”

“I decided to throw him in last-minute – I told him at about 6.30pm that he would be playing. I just thought, with his directness and his pace, he would be a threat and get behind [Port Vale].”

Other youngsters such as Ben Purrington, Curtis Nelson and second-half substitute Nathan Thomas certainly did not look out of place against a high-flying Sky Bet League 1 side, thanks not just to their talent, but a touch of pitchside encouragement.

“They showed they can cope with it tonight,” said John. “I was quite animated on the touchline, but that’s just who I am.

“We’re a very quiet team – for some reason, players seem to play better when they’re closer to me.”