IF Argyle have, indeed, timed their Sky Bet League 2 play-off run to perfection – and it would take an unlikely set of circumstances now to deny them an extension to their season...
...then no-one typified that timing in their 3-2 home win over Tranmere Rovers better than Tareiq Holmes-Dennis.
The Argyle wing-back chose the ideal moment to register his first senior goal, just after the visitors from the Wirrall had levelled Reuben Reid’s early penalty, despatching a low 37th-minute drive with crisp sweetness beyond the dive of Owain Fon Williams.
“When I got the ball, that was it,” said the 19-year-old on-loan Charlton Athletic defender.
“Sometimes you second-guess yourself and don’t go for it, but I thought ‘I’ve got to hit it’ and, when it went in, I was too excited – first goal and that; it was enjoyable.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew that I had struck it well and it was going in the corner. Everything was kind of slow-motion. Because of the occasion and the atmosphere, it made it ten times better, but just getting my first goal in my first season was good.”
Lewi Alessandra added an 81st-minute strike to make it 3-1 to the Greens, whose play-off ambitions were given a further boost when ten-man Southend took what turned out to be an unassailable 1-0 lead over the Pilgrims’ play-off rivals, Luton.
A late Kayode Odejayi goal for Tranmere gave Argyle a nervy final five minutes and Tareiq said: “We just gave them a bit of a sniff which we shouldn’t have done. Maybe it was my mistake, defensively, for the second goal, but we ground it out to make sure they didn’t get another one.
“We made it a bit harder for ourselves in the end, but we got the win.
“We got off to a good start and scoring made us more and more confident to go and do what now what we can do, get the ball down and try to play. We created a few opportunities and probably could have had a few more goals.
“It was a good performance and it was nice to have a good performance to go with the result, but, when it gets to this stage of the season you are just looking for the result. Performing well was a bonus.”
For Argyle to be denied a place in the League 2 play-offs, they would have to lose at championship-chasing Shrewsbury next weekend, while, at the same time, Luton would have to beat play-of qualified Stevenage at Kenilworth Road; and there would have to be a net eight-goal gain by the Hatters.
“Hopefully, we’ve done enough but we’ve still got to give our utmost in the last game of the season to secure it 100%,” said Tareiq.
“We have got to go in with the same attitude that we’ve gone in with today and try to get a result, to do enough to secure a play-off spot.”