Treasure Chest

WITH Caolan Lavery unavailable for Sunday’s FA Cup with Budweiser tie at Port Vale, Argyle manager John Sheridan is keeping his cards regarding a replacement for the in-form striker near to his chest.

It may well be, though, that he turns to a man for who scoring in cup-ties has been little short extraordinary this season, and who also plays things close to his chest.

In fact, Lewi Alessandra actually netted Argyle’s last goal of a highly-productive Christmas with that part of his anatomy when he finished off Conor Hourihane’s 85th-minute cross in the 2-0 win over Torquay United.

“A lot of the lads have asked why I didn’t head it,” he said. “I don’t know. It was just at that height – and I wanted to make full contact with it.

“If I’d headed it, [the ball] could have gone anywhere, the pace it was going, so I just tried to get a big contact on it, and it was chest height.”

The goal was Lewi’s eighth so far in his debut Argyle season, although some still refuse to credit him with the Pilgrims’ fifth in their 5-0 victory over Lincoln City in the first round of the FA Cup.

Another five of his strikes have come in the Greens’ cup competitions – both in the 3-2 Capital One Cup defeat at Birmingham; one of four in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy; and another two from eight in the Pilgrims’ two FA Cup ties.

“It’s a coincidence that every time I have taken my chances, it seems to have been in the cups,” said Lewi, who has played a majority of his matches on the left side of midfield.

“I was delighted to get another one in the league on Saturday, but if I keep scoring in the Cup, I will be very happy if it helps us to progress.

“It is a big thing, especially for the forward players, when you are scoring. You see it all the time –when you start scoring, you score more and more.

“I would have liked to have scored more in the league, but it’s just one of those things – if I’m scoring, I’m happy. I’ve not really played that many up top, so it’s not too bad.

“I’m enjoying my football at the moment and, as long as the team is still scoring, I’m happy. Obviously, being one of the forward players, you are judged on your goals and it’s not a bad return but I’ll be looking to add to it.”

When Argyle take on Sky Bet League 1 Vale at Vale Park on Sunday, the draw for the fourth round of the competition will already have been made.

Lewi said: “If we do get one of the big boys, I can imagine it is going to be a very frantic game because of the potential prize. The revenue you can make from something like that is massive. It’s interesting, but I suppose it’s the same for both teams.

“The potential is massive; with the fourth round probably having even less of the lower teams, you have got more of a chance of getting one of the big boys.”

Whatever the draw throws up, Argyle will have to fight valiantly to overcome opponents who are riding high on the wave of last season’s promotion.

Lewi said: “They are in a higher league and going well – they went up last year and have taken that into this season –  and we might not be expected to win, but we will be going there wanting to win.

“It is a game we think we can win and we will be going there to win”