JOHN Sheridan has praised his Argyle’s determined display in their come-from-behind draw against Burton Albion.
Sky Bet League 2’s leading side have built a reputation this season of seeing out tight victories in a thoroughly professional manner. The Brewers have eight 1-0 victories under their belt and looked to be well on their way to a ninth when scoring after 33 minutes at Home Park.
A back-and-forth contest provided an opener as Kevin Stewart let fly from 25 yards with a shot that one would have backed Luke McCormick to collect until it took a deflection off of Carl McHugh, leaving the keeper stranded as it hit the far post and nestled into the opposite corner.
“All goals [conceded] are poor but it’s took a deflection and gone in the back of the net,” said Sheridan after the game.
“They’re a decent team and they’re up there for a reason. They’re very well organised and have one or two decent players. They get men behind the ball, keep their shape and sometimes you’ve got to be patient to break them down.
“I felt our biggest problem was that we just didn’t keep the ball well enough today. We kept giving the ball away when we were in comfortable possession and I thought it was our downfall today. I felt that, if we did keep it better, we could’ve caused them one or two more problems.”
Despite not firing on all cylinders and going behind to the division’s most clinical side, the Pilgrims simply refused to lie down, coming out for the second half full of belief and energy with the Green Army firmly behind them. Their reward nearly came as Reuben Reid smacked a shot against the post from a clever free kick routine, but the breakthrough finally came on 86 minutes from another set piece.
Bobby Reid’s corner in front of the Devonport End floated towards the edge of the six yard box and was met by Carl McHugh, who powered a header past his marker, above the grasp of Jon McLaughlin and into the net.
It was a true show of character from Sheridan’s men, and the boss was pleased to see his team justify his belief in them.
“I said at half time that I felt as though we could get back in the game,” said John. “I thought it was tight. There was not a lot between the two teams I think a draw was probably a fair result.
“Full respect to the players; the second half was a battling performance but you’ve always got to be wary of them [Burton]. They’ve got some good players on the break and we’re trying to chase a game and get something out of it, but I definitely felt we deserved something. It was a very good, workmanlike performance – ugly at times.”
Whilst Argyle’s defensive record has served them so well this season, if a goal does slip through the cracks they have often struggled to find a reply. The Greens bounced back today, though, against the toughest opposition League 2 can throw at them, and Sheridan knows the possible importance of the draw.
“They’re well known for getting a 1-0 result,” said John, “so for us to come back against a top of the league team shows a bit of character, and it could be a really valuable point in the end.
“We kept plugging away and I think the fans appreciated the way we went about the game. We didn’t play great but we kept plugging away and got our rewards in the end.
“Everyone stuck together, and we got a point – a good point.”