IT took an hour for Ryan Brunt to turn Argyle’s dominance against Yeovil Town on Boxing Day into three points...
...but the goal which kept the Pilgrims top of Sky Bet League 2 had been coming from the first whistle.
“It is something we have been trying to work on,” said the 22-year-old, after netting the only goal in the 1-0 victory over the Somerset strugglers. “We seem to do well when we go into games early, so that’s something the manager wants us to do. Today, we did that. Especially at home, we haven’t done that in recent weeks, so it’s nice to get back on track.
“The conditions were really bad – swirling winds – and we played the game well; we played the game not pretty at times, but effectively. Yeovil were good, they were fighting – they are down there, so they are going to – but I thought we did well; we combated their threats. We probably could have finished the game earlier but...1-0 – we’ll take it.
“In games like that, when teams are fighting, they are going to go to the end. The back four were really good today; Carl [McHugh] in the centre of midfield, and Oscar [Threlkeld] ratted around. I think it was a solid team performance and we needed that at home, to put a little bad spell behind us.
“To come out and get three points was the main thing, and we’ve done that, so that was pleasing for the whole team.”
Ryan capped a tremendous performance by rapping the ball home in front of packed Devonport end after Glovers’ gloveman Chris Weale had beaten out Craig Tanner’s shot into his path. It was similar to another important strike last season.
“That’s a striker’s habit, a good habit to have,” he said, “and déjà vu of Cambridge last year. It’s nice. Any goal is nice. It’s perfect. The ball moved and the ’keeper had to save it, and luckily, it’s fallen into my path.”
Ryan, who has appeared in every match this season, said that the game had played on his mind more than most this season.
“Boxing Days are weird,” he said. “You’re sitting in with the family [on Christmas Day] and they are eating the turkey and the puddings, and you think ‘We’ve got a game tomorrow’, so it’s probably on your mind more than any other game is.”
The victory meant that the Pilgrims have reached the halfway point of the campaign with 46 points – exactly two per game – and are on target for promotion. Not that anyone at Home Park is counting chickens.
“It’s encouraging,” said Ryan. “It’s going the right way, but we’ve got another tough half of the season to go. I can’t say it’s been the easiest of starts, but we’ve done well. To push on and keep top of the table is what we need to do and today’s been a good way to do that.”