Back To It
REUBEN Reid and debutant Zak Ansah will get the headlines for scoring the goals that lifted Argyle back into the Sky Bet League 2 play-off positions...
...but manager John Sheridan took great pleasure from a consummate team performance at Whaddon Road.
The 3-0 victory put to bed a run of three winless matches to reignite the Pilgrims’ promotion ambitions with seven games of the 2014-15 season remaining.
Carl McHugh’s surging run from deep teed up Reuben for the 32nd-minute opener, and the Argyle number nine made it 19 goals for the season when he converted Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’s pass on the hour. Zak came on as substitute to ring in the triple four minutes from time after good work from Anthony O’Connor.
After some fallow games of late, there were noteworthy performances all over the pitch, with Reuben receiving stout support from Lewi Alessandra and Jason Banton, while the midfield was bossed by Dominic Blizzard and Bobby Reid.
John said: “Obviously Reuben’s got the goals, but Lewi, Bobby, Dom, Tareiq…I thought it was a really, really good performance. Jason did well in the time he was on; I felt he got a little bit tired.
“We got the [first] goal; a great goal. Carl’s done brilliantly and it’s a great little finish from Reuben.
“He scores goals, doesn’t he? For the second goal, Reuben’s in position where he’s giving the defenders problems. It was a great ball and he’s had a strike; it’s on target; it takes a deflection; and it’s in the back of the net.
“So he’s got another two. I thought Lewi played really well in the second half. They are a handful when they want to be.
“I felt Anthony’s been off his game, but it was a doddle for him; Bobby Reid played better today. They are four big players and I felt they are four of my players who have been off their game. People just performed well today.
“When you get the first goal, it gives you something to hang on to, but we saw the game out really, really well. We were excellent in the second half.
“It was a really, really good performance; a good bounceback. We got massive support and it was great for the supporters, as well. We all want the same thing. At the end of the season, let’s just hope we achieve something.”
The clean sheet was Argyle’s 20th of the season, a tally which has seen them compile a goal-difference far superior to any of their play-off chasing peers.
John said: “It is a great record – it doesn’t matter where we end up in the season – to keep so many clean sheets. We could have scored more goals, as well.
“I’m not a defensive-minded manager. I’d love to play and attack and score goals all the time – I’ve done it at most clubs I’ve been at.
“It’s not just the ’keeper and the back five – it’s the team. I keep telling my strikers ‘work hard from the front’.”