Ahead of the Game - Devon Sent
LIAM Spence takes a look at the week ahead for Argyle - with arguably the biggest game of the season so far coming on Saturday.
What a difference a week can make. From 10th position and without a win in seven games to three wins in a week and back among the play-off spots. Goals from Ryan Brunt and Lewi Alessandra secured a 2-0 victory over Cambridge United at Home Park, on Saturday to follow up wins against Accrington Stanley and Wycombe Wanderers.
Now all Green eyes turn towards our short trip on the A38 to our sold out derby day clash with local rivals Exeter City, at St James Park.
Argyle come into this match as the form team with Exeter managing to collect just three points in their last five games which has seen them drop to 10th in Sky Bet League Two. Their latest setback came against Portsmouth, as Paul Tisdale's men lost 1-0 after Pompey's Jed Wallace atoned for his penalty miss with a superb solo effort in the 89th minute.
The Green Army can also take encouragement from our comprehensive 3-0 home victory over the Grecians which saw Tyler Harvey open the scoring with a superb free-kick, the youngster then engineered the second with a defence-splitting pass that found Reuben Reid who coolly converted, before the win was capped off by an effort from captain Curtis Nelson from close-range.
However, St James Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Pilgrims as of late. We have not won at the Grecians’ ground since 2001, and a famous 3-2 victory over our rivals. Goals from Martin Phillips, Michael Evans and Ian Stonebridge helped to secure three crucial points in a season which culminated in a Division Three title under the management of Paul Sturrock.
The last time we met Exeter at St James Park we suffered a 3-1 defeat. Luke Young’s terrific equalising free-kick proved to be nothing more than a consolation as two goals in the final ten minutes from former Pilgrim Alan Gow and Scot Bennett won it for Exeter.
Although Exeter boast a decent home record against the Greens, they have only managed to win five home league games this season.
A win for Argyle could see them rise one place to sixth and increase the gap between themselves and their rivals to nine points, while victory for the Grecians could see them move into ninth.
Argyle will play a development fixture on Tuesday, as a Pilgrims XI travel to Cheltenham Town's training ground to play the latest match in the Final Third Development league. The kick-off is at 2pm.
Follow Liam on Twitter @liamspence94