JOHN Sheridan was a happy manager after his Pilgrims opened their pre-season account with a 5-1 win at Tavistock on Tuesday.The entire Argyle squad, apart from forward Deane Smalley and midfielder Dominic Blizzard, played at least 45 minutes at Langsford Park as the 2014-15 Pilgrims eased back into their routine.
They led 3-0 at half-time after defenders Aaron Bentley and Carl McHugh finished off River Allen free-kicks and Matt Lecointe fired home in his first game following a year out with a cruciate ligament injury.
Jason Banton added a fourth after half-time and then won a penalty which was converted by Nathan Thomas – the only Pilgrim to play the entire 90 minutes – before the South West Peninsula League Division 1 East hosts netted a consolation.
The Lambs missed a chance to further reduce the deficit when they were awarded a penalty following a Banton challenge, but new Argyle club captain Luke McCormick saved the spot-kick.
“I’m very pleased,” said John. “It’s nice just to get back to playing football. I thought we played some really good stuff at times.
“It’s all about fitness, at the end of the day, but it was nice to get a few goals. I thought everyone played well. It’s our first game. You think you’re ready but…there’s a long way to go and it was a good work-out for our first game.
“No disrespect to Tavistock but we are a professional club and have got some decent players. So all credit to Tavistock – they never gave in. They gave us a good test.
“It was good for our fitness levels, getting as fit as we can and staying fit. The lads put a lot of effort in, getting up and down the pitch.
“There’s still a long way to go yet. We’ll be in tomorrow and we’ll be working hard leading up to the game on Saturday against Weymouth.
“As we go on through pre-season, the games will get a little bit tougher, working towards the first game of the season.”