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17 August 2015

ARGYLE were made to pay the penalty in the Dockyard Derby, conceding two spot-kicks in a 2-1 defeat against Portsmouth at Home Park.

During stoppage time at the end of the first half, Hiram Boateng was adjudged to have brought down Enda Stevens in the Pilgrims’ penalty area, and Matt Tubbs stepped up to convert from twelve yards out and put the visitors in front. 

Four minutes from time, Gary Roberts worked his way into the penalty area and earned a second spot-kick, challenging with Gary Sawyer, and the midfielder took on the responsibility to tuck home and double Pompey’s lead. Gregg Wylde responded in injury time with an excellently-taken strike, but the Pilgrims ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Whilst Adams disagrees with the referee’s decision to award the opening penalty, the boss was also aware of how his side could have avoided putting themselves in such an awkward position. 

“From my point of view,” said Derek, “we lose possession and don’t react quickly enough, and have a number of players out of position at that moment in time, which is probably why we got ourselves into that bit of bother. 

“The first one, looking at it from where I was, was very soft. The player had fallen down before he was touched, and I think that he was in a forward motion, so I don’t think that was a penalty. 

“The first one is a big decision, because it’s right on half time. You’ve got to be 100% sure, and obviously the referee was. 

“The second one was a definite penalty.” 

Between the two penalties, Greens captain Curtis Nelson was replaced after receiving treatment for a nasty head wound by Ryan Brunt, as Adams looked to create opportunities for his side in any way possible. 

“Curtis had his head glued – he had a cut to his head,” said Derek. “Whether it was a header or an elbow, we don’t know.

“He was away and up the tunnel, so I had to make a decision and take him off, or wait for however long that it might’ve been. 

“There were a lot of long balls going up to the strike force today, which wasn’t the plan. That’s probably credit to Portsmouth, because they didn’t allow us to play in that manner. When we did go long and Ryan came on, we saw a bit of a benefit to that.”

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