Ahead of the Game: No Mere Match

LIAM Spence takes his weekly look at the next seven days at Home Park - in what may prove to be one of the most vital weeks in many a season...

Just one day removed from the Plymouth Half Marathon, Argyle will be looking to complete their own version of the endurance test as they enter the final two games of the Sky Bet League 2 season with their play-off fate in their own hands - and feet. 

John Sheridan’s Pilgrims will be looking to make up for their lacklustre 2-0 defeat to Carlisle United and consolidate their place among the all-important top seven when they take on relegation-threatened Tranmere at Home Park, on Saturday. 

After Argyle’s 1-0 away victory over Rovers, which was made possible by Reuben Reid’s powerful header after 29 minutes in October, the strugglers parted company with manager Rob Edwards, replacing him with Micky Adams. He has since been plotting their attempted course to safety, but left the club by mutual consent this week following their 3-0 home defeat to Oxford United last Saturday, meaning his entire tenure took place between two games against Argyle.

This has seen assistant manager Alan Rogers and Aacdemy head Shaun Garnett take on the task of keeping Rovers in the Football League as they sit two points adrift of safety, staring a possible double relegation in the face. 

Adding further concern to Tranmere’s hopes of safety is the fact that they have won just four league games on the road all season and currently find themselves on a seven-game winless streak. 

Argyle will be looking to capitalise on this fragility and add a 13th league victory to their impressive home record, but the Greens will have to keep their wits about them and be wary of the fact that this tie will not be plain sailing as Rovers will be fighting for their lives in a high stakes game for both the Pilgrims and Tranmere. 

A win for Argyle will see them maintain seventh-spot and a place in the play-offs with just one game remaining, while a win for Rovers could see them claw their way out of the relegation zone and go into the final day of the Football League season with hopes of avoiding relegation. 

On Wednesday, an Argyle Development XI will be looking to secure a place in the Edenvale Turf Ltd St Luke’s Challenge Cup final when they take on Willand Rovers at the Stan Robinson Stadium, at 7:30pm.

The Greens made the round with a 3-1 win over Buckland Athletic, while their opponents advanced to the semi-final stage with a 5-3 win over last year’s runners-up Tiverton Town. 

Whoever wins this tie will take on Bideford AFC in the final, after they sailed through with a 5-0 demolition of Stoke Gabriel on January 20. 

Prior to the big kick-off against Tranmere on Saturday, The Argyle Community Trust and the Green Taverners will be pedalling for pounds. 

In the days leading up to the crucial match, The 220-mile trip from Wembley Stadium to Plymouth will be made by cyclists to help raise funds for The Argyle Community Trust, Argyle Youth Academy and Prostate Cancer UK. 

Meanwhile, at Home Park's Green Taverners Suite, volunteers will be pedalling around the clock on a static bike to show solidarity with those making the journey west, and of course to raise more money for worthy causes. 

We will have regular updates on pafc.co.uk about the progress of the venture, including information on how you can donate. 

Good luck to everyone who is participating!