Love in the First Position

DEREK Adams was feeling the love after another late Argyle goal took them into Christmas as Sky Bet League 2 leaders.

Defender Kelvin Mellor smashed home the Pilgrims’ 90th-minute winner in their 2-1 triumph at Hartlepool, having earlier given away a penalty which had allowed the home side to level Carl McHugh’s sublime opener midway through the second half.

“I have got a group of players who are thoroughly outstanding,” said Derek. “I love them to bits because they keep on going.  They are a fantastic group of players to work for.”

Argyle looked to have the game won when Carl showed great skill to fire them in front with 15 minutes remaining. However, eight minutes later, Scott Fenwick levelled from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Kelvin.
“I didn’t love Kelvin to bits then but I loved him to bits when he scored the goal,” said Derek. “He didn’t really have to give away the penalty – the ball was crossed and the boy wasn’t on the end of it. The pace of the ball was far too quick. He didn’t have to make the challenge; he has fouled him.

“He just got himself in a bad position, but he got himself in a very good position to score the winner.

“The goals came from players who are not renowned for their goalscoring qualities but Carl McHugh had a great touch with his right foot and, technically, it was an excellent strike with his left.”

The Pilgrims gradually cranked things up at Victoria Park after a goal-less first half and were good value for their seventh away win of the campaign which saw them leapfrog Oxford and Portsmouth to return to the top of League 2.

Derek said: “It’s a difficult game, coming here, but it’s a terrific win for us. We’ve seen teams come here in the past and struggle to get a point or struggle to get a win. 

“In the first half, we had to weather the storm, from the point of view that it was windy and we were playing against the wind. It was important that we got ourselves in the game and got ourselves in at 0-0 at half-time; we knew we would have better opportunities in the second half.

“Three points is massive in this league – we know that. We know that when you are trying to get yourself in a very good position, you need to win football matches – the more wins you can get, the better opportunity you have.

“We’re obviously delighted to be top of the table. The performance levels have been very good and I think we deserve to be there.”