ONLY an “unbelievable” save prevented Argyle from smuggling a point away from the Pirates’ lair as the Pilgrims’ winning streak came to an end at the Memorial Ground.Bristol Rovers’ goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall made a super stop to thwart Argyle substitute Marvin Morgan’s late goalbound header and preserve his side’s 2-1 lead given them by goals from Chris Beardsley and Kaid Mohamed, either side of a leveller from Pilgrim Neal Trotman.
Argyle manager John Sheridan said: “It was an unbelievable save. It was a great ball from Tope [Obadeyi] and a great header. He made a top, top class save.
“I would have been very pleased with a draw and to have picked something up from the game. If we had got a point, I would have been pleased with a point, the way the game had been going. We came to win the game, but I think my lads found it very difficult.”
The fact that two of the Pilgrims’ impact players did just that shows the strength in depth of John’s current squad as it enters the gruelling vital home stretch of the season with the play-offs still very much in sight.
“I’ve got good players on the bench and I am leaving good players out, as well,” said John. “I think they are all good enough to start the game, so I feel as if they are good enough to come off the bench and change the game.
“That’s the way we’ll do it. We have got lots of games. We’ll probably pick up injuries and suspensions, so I’ve got them all ready and prepared for when they are going to be involved.”
John admitted that not everyone in the near 1,400-strong travelling Green Army initially saw eye to eye with his decision to replace the side’s top two goalscorers – Reuben Reid and Lewis Alessandra – with Marvin and Tope, but insisted he will continue to do what he feels best for the team, short-term and long.
He said: “I heard one or two idiot supporters who were shouting ‘Sheridan this’ and ‘Sheridan that’. Do they know what they are going on about? We’ve got how many games [coming up] Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday? Am I taking Lewi off so we lose the game? I am taking him off because I’m saving him. He’s played every game this season. Likewise with Reuben.
“I know it’s only one or two that are shouting and it’s just pathetic. It’s purely for the benefit of the team and for Lewi. The game wasn’t going his way; the game wasn’t going Reuben’s way; so I tried to make one or two changes.
“I made three changes last week and they were all involved in goals, so I was brilliant last week because I made some good subs; this week, I didn’t make the subs to win us the game. I’m not a magician.”