JOHN Sheridan summed up his emotions after an excellent Argyle display only earned them a 1-1 draw against AFC Wimbledon in one word: 'gutted'.There has been much talk in recent weeks from the Argyle boss and players alike about how performances pale into significance at this point of the season, as the thirst for three points grows ever larger. The Pilgrims’ evening fixture against the Dons saw that ideology ring true, as Sheridan’s side were denied the full reward for one of their better showings this season.
“I’m gutted we didn’t get the three points," said John. "I think the performance well deserved three points. It’s probably the best we’ve played in a while, that. We would’ve loved three points but it was a really good performance.”
After an exciting first half produced no goals but plenty of impressive play and opportunities, Anthony O’Connor maintained his surge in recent goal-scoring form by making in 1-0 on 54 minutes. Yet another dangerous delivery from a Bobby Reid corner was nodded toward the far post by Curtis Nelson, with O’Connor judging his run to perfection to place home at the near post.
“I thought that with our delivery from set plays, we looked a threat most of the night,” said John.
“Set plays are all about your delivery, putting it in a good area, and your desire and willingness to get a goal. Anthony’s made a great run around the back and it’s a good little finish.
“We get the goal and I could not see them scoring. I thought we were going to go on and win it. I was very pleased with the way we played. It was a good response and I thought there was a bit more tempo to us.”
The Greens almost opened their opponents up at will in the following eight minutes as Neal Ardley’s side pushed for an equaliser with three strikers on the pitch, with Bobby Reid and Lewis Alessandra creating a number of scoring chances that lacked a finishing touch. Then came the sucker punch, as substitute Craig Tanner’s well-saved shot fell to Adebayo Azeez, whose shot agonisingly crept over the line and into the empty net.
More chances were spurned at the end as Sheridan’s side looked desperately searched for a winner with the Green Army right behind them but, whilst a stuttering performance against Mansfield Town earned Argyle three points, a much more dominant showing on this evening only produced one.
“There’s no blame anywhere. We’re disappointed with the result,” said John. “We would’ve loved three points and it just gives you a bit of leeway, but it wasn’t to be and we’ve got to accept it and move on. The performance was a lot better than what we have been showing of late.
“We created the opportunities but the keeper’s made some great saves, and on other occasions we haven’t hit the target or when we could’ve done better.
“It’s about putting the ball in the back of the net at the end of the day. We’ve played well tonight but we haven’t won the game. I’d rather play poorly and get three points to tell you the truth.
“We picked our game up which is a good thing. It’s just a crying shame to get three points because we know the importance of getting them, but we move on.
“We’re still there in the top seven and we would’ve loved three points, but if anyone’s telling me we haven’t deserved to win, they’re watching a totally different game to me. I told all the players in there that it was a really good performance.
“We’ve just got to stick together and believe that we will be in the top seven come the end of the season.”