PERHAPS the most curious aspect of Argyle’s 2-0 victory at Shrewsbury that confirmed their participation in the play-offs...
...was that it came without either of the players that had scored 29 of their 53 league goals prior to their Greenhous Meadow visit.
Reuben Reid, who has been suffering from a foot problem since his hat-trick at Exeter City, was rested for the final day of the league season, which Argyle entered with an eight-goal goal-difference over nearest rivals Luton Town.
He was joined on the sidelines by his main partner this season, Lewi Alessandra.
“He was a bit ill, an upset stomach,” said manager John Sheridan after the game, when he also confirmed that both absentees will be available for next Saturday’s play-off semi-final first leg match against Wycombe Wanderers at Home Park.
“He’s had a slight hamstring, too, but nothing that would have stopped him. I just felt I didn’t want to risk him. Going into the game confident that, with the eight-goal cushion, we would get the result, I didn’t want to risk anyone who was carrying anything.”
The attack was led by Ryan Brunt and on-loan Charlton striker Zak Ansah, who both contributed to a marvellous victory thanks to first-half goals from Bobby Reid and Kelvin Mellor.
“I thought Zak did well, and Brunty,” said John. “He probably tried too hard. I’ve told him just to relax, but it is difficult when you are not playing regularly and you come in. I thought they both did well. They worked their socks off and were part of a good team performance.”
The match also afforded Tyler Harvey some game-time from the substitutes’ bench and the player who scored Argyle’s first goal of the 2014-15 league campaign nearly rounded the season off with a delightful free-kick that required a great save from the home goalkeeper.
“I’ve seen little things from Tyler in training, and I’ve had a chat with him, as well,” sad John. “I know what he’s capable of. I just want the kid to understand I think a lot of him.
“I know he hasn’t played a lot of football but I think it’s down to Tyler now. You can see the ability he’s got.”