2013-14 in Review: Top Five Goals
CONTINUING our series of 'Top Fives' from Argyle's 2013-14 season, today, we bring you a quintet of great goals scored by Pilgrims.We have looked at every goal Argyle notched during the campaign, and chosen our top five. It was not an easy decision to make, we can tell you.
We decided to judge the goals on their own merit, i.e. a consolation goal would carry as much weight as a last-ditch winner. It was all about the individual moment, not the context in which it was scored. You can view all five goals in a video at the bottom of the page. We also limited our choice to one goal per player.
We would love you to join in the discussion on Twitter or Facebook. using the hashtag #PAFCTopFive, to register your elation or displeasure at our final choice. You can also look back on our previous Top Fives where looked at our best games at home and away.
5) Reuben Reid, Wimbledon 1 Argyle 1 - Sky Bet League 2, Sunday, December 29, 2013
Included on the list for the team-quality of the goal, and for the contributions of two young players combining to create a wonderful chance for Reuben to equalise in an important game.
Argyle were a goal down at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, and the track was building to a climax. Reuben was in the groove, though, and near the end of the 45, he produced a finish as smooth as vinyl. Substitute Nathan Thomas, making his Argyle debut, neatly spread the ball to Ben Purrington. The left-back, just 17 at the time and making only his second start in an Argyle jersey, played a sumptuous through-ball to find Reuben, who made a tricky finish look very easy.
4) Jason Banton, Argyle 1 Hartlepool 1 - Sky Bet League 2, Saturday April 26, 2014
If you had not attended any games during the 2012-13 season, you missed some virtuoso performances from a Mr J Banton, temporarily visiting us from just south of the River Thames. If you came to games during the 2013-14 season, you may have been anticipating that you would get to see some of his magic in person.
Well, you had to wait until the final home game of the season, but when it arrived, it was something special. Collecting the ball outside of the penalty area, Jason danced around several Hartlepool legs and got himself into a lovely position to strike. He put the exclamation mark on the fancy footwork with a powerful drive beyond the helpless Pools' 'keeper, notching his first goal since his permanent return to the club - and doing it in style.
Next season, with a proper pre-season and a run of games, here's hoping that Home Park will be graced with plenty more moments of Banton magic.
3) Luke Young, Exeter 3 Argyle 1 - Sky Bet League 2, Saturday, October 5, 2013
There is no disguising or softening of the memories of that day. We lost to Exeter at their place - that says it all, really.
But there was a light among the cloud of darkness that day. Luke Young, as green as the ripest apple, scored a sublime equalising goal from a direct free-kick, right in front of the rapturous Green Army. Youngy scored four goals during the season - three of them from direct free-kicks - but this was the pick of them; not solely due to the opposition, but for the crisp strike from a tricky angle that saw the ball arc away from Artur Krysiak and into the far corner.
2) Conor Hourihane, Argyle 1 Wimbledon 2 - Sky Bet League 2, Sunday, April 19, 2013
Our skipper tends not to score ordinary goals. If we extended this list to a top ten, there is a fair chance we would use plenty of his nine goals to populate it. We opted to keep just one of his in the top five - but what a beauty it was.
When he picked the ball up some 30 yards out against Wimbledon at Home Park, the Dons defence were probably of the mindset to just let him have a crack. 'If we restrict players to shooting from there,' they probably thought, 'We'll probably be okay.' They reckoned without the left foot of Conor Hourihane, though.
Taking aim at the Barn Park End, Conor whipped a ball sailing over the goalkeeper and into the net in a flash. A sublime effort, no doubt, and a goal that would be followed up in the captain's personal record book by another pair of good'uns in the last game of the season. Conor's nine-goal haul in 2013-14 will be his target for next year, as he searches for a double-figure season. We would not want to bet against it, that is for sure.
1) Lewis Alessandra, Birmingham 3 Argyle 2 - Capital One Cup first round, Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Before the second game of the season had finished, we had a fair inkling we had already seen the goal of the season. A loose ball at St Andrews was picked up by Lewis Alessandra, 25 yards from goal. His swerving strike was struck with maximum ferocity and velocity, soon nestling in the net as Argyle player piled on top of the goalscorer.
Lewi, too, has gone on to have an excellent season, filled with great goals - his volley against Dagenham was the last goal eliminated in our quest to narrow things down to five. While we are appreciative of his favourable goal tally and tireless running on behalf of the team, his shining moment will likely always be THAT goal at Brum.
Or will it? Lewi - over to you...