THERE is a definite feel around Home Park that perfect Pilgrim performances can take second place to picking up points for the next three months or so.
Lewi Alessandra’s first-half goal on Saturday was enough to give Argyle a 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley and bust a run of seven matches without a win.
It carried Argyle back up to eighth in the Sky Bet league 2 table, two points off the seventh and final play-off position, and three off sixth place.
“It was important we stopped the bad run of form we’ve been on,” said the scorer. “It’s been a frustrating January for us. It was going well for us and it really stopped us in our tracks. The win was the most important thing on Saturday.
“I don’t think we were playing that badly before. We just weren’t taking our chances when they came, and we found ourselves not being able to win, so to bounce back with a good home win was good. I’ve watched the game back and we definitely should have made it more comfortable than it was.
“There were a few nervy moments towards the end, but, like I say, the most important thing was making sure we won the game and got three points.”
The chance that Argyle did take on Saturday came when Lewi robbed the ball from Stanley defender Seamus Conneely and smashed it home from not far off the bye-line.
“It was quite tight,” he said. “I ran down the defender – I think he was looking to let the ball run out of play – and I didn’t give up on it. I went one side, gambled, and he lost his footing, and [the ball] sat nicely for me. I thought I’d just hit it the target and hope it didn’t hit the ’keeper. I was delighted to see it go in.”
The match saw the return of vice-captain Peter Hartley for his first 90 minutes since the winless run started.
“Not wanting to single anyone out but I do think Peter has been a big miss,” said Lewi, “what he gives you in regard to leadership. Obviously there are a lot of other players that are like that, as well, but Pete’s a big one for us.
“It’s in certain people’s DNA, isn’t it? I wouldn’t say I’m a loud player myself – I just try to encourage when people do well; I don’t like to get on people’s backs – but I think the two main candidates for captain at the beginning of the season were always Nelse [Curtis Nelson] and Peter.
“With Peter not being captain, you are always going to get the same out of him, whereas Nelse has taken it on and done really well. It makes him more vocal, if you like.
“You have different sorts of players, but I think the more vocal players you have is only going to be a good thing.”