JOHN Sheridan was pleased to see his Argyle side follow up a free-flowing first-half display with a rock solid second-half showing......to earn a 3-0 Sky Bet League 2 win against Portsmouth.
The club’s seventh annual Armed Services Day was filled with pre-match displays and moving tributes to the country’s servicemen and women, and the Greens followed that up by completing their on-field objectives with military precision.
Sheridan’s side immediately put Pompey on the back foot and earned a penalty after six minutes, as Lewis Alessandra was brought down in the box. Reuben Reid duly converted to put the Pilgrims in front, and then watched on as Alessandra got in on the act fifteen minutes later to double the lead.
Reid put the game beyond Pompey after half an hour with a fantastic finish from the edge of the area, putting the finishing touch on one of the team’s most impressive 45 minutes of the season so far.
“I thought we played really, really well – probably one of the best performances since I have been here as a manager,” said Sheridan.
“It just gives you that lifeline, obviously getting three goals and you go in at half time 3-0. I am very pleased with the way we played.
“We knew that if we got at them, we could cause them problems, and we have got those players in the team.
“It makes you look a good team when you are moving the ball quickly with purpose, one or two touch. I will show the video to the lads and say that this is what I am trying to install in us.
“But I thought the first half was very good, and full credit to the players in the way they went about the game.”
After the break, Portsmouth began to maintain possession and create chances of their own, but the Greens’ back line held strong to maintain their Football League-leading defensive record.
“They are working hard,” said John. “We are working with our shape, and we do not want to concede. You can see that.”
“You know me: second half I thought we just probably gave the ball away too cheaply, even though we had some really good chances.
“I just felt like we gave the ball away too cheaply when we were in good possession, but games like this always pan out like that. I told them at half time that all I wanted from the second half was a clean sheet, and that is what they gave us.
“Our desire again, even in the last ten minutes; Portsmouth are trying to score, but we are working our socks off to keep a clean sheet, and it is a good habit.
“I will not get carried away. I am a perfectionist, so I will keep going on.
“I cannot grumble with the way we played in the first half, against a strong team who will be up there at the end of the season.”