No Disguises

DESPITE a last-gasp equaliser in Argyle’s 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge, manager Derek Adams was not about to overlook his side’s sub-par display away from home.

Against a side still searching for their first league win at home all season, the Pilgrims found themselves behind after 59 minutes, as Joss Labadie broke through from midfield to end a spell of heavy Daggers pressure with a goal. 

The hosts had plenty of success over the top of the Greens’ back line thanks to the tireless – and ageless – Jamie Cureton, in much a similar fashion to their 2-0 win in the same fixture in the previous campaign. 

“We never had one ball in behind Dagenham in the whole game,” said Derek, “and Dagenham had a lot of balls in behind us all game. We didn’t perform to the standards we’re capable of today. 

“Last season, Plymouth came here and got battered 2-0, and today we came here and it was exactly the same. Sometimes you come to venues where it’s difficult to get a win, and this is one of those venues for Argyle.

“It was a very poor performance from us today, from start to finish. It wasn’t a good display, and it didn’t improve throughout the 90 minutes.”

Another 180 seconds after those 90 minutes, though, Argyle dragged themselves level at the death. Much like his winner against Luton Town, Ryan Brunt was the man of the moment, thundering in a long range strike to bring the near-four-figure following of the Green Army to their feet with the last kick of the game. 

“It was a fantastic strike,” said Adams. “Ryan is capable of scoring goals like that, and when it comes to him on the edge of the box, it’s a fantastic finish to give us a point. 

“It’s a horrible thing to happen to you as the manager of the opposition’s team, but our team do go to the final whistle – that’s the good thing about us. It was the only shot we had on target all game, and we score a goal.”

Brunt’s wonder-strike aside, there was little to shout about for Adams, his team and the fans as they pencilled in consecutive draws against London-based teams – though the boss is not overlooking how important the result could prove to be. 

“I think that it’s always important you pick up points away from home,” said Derek. “We have the best away record in the league, but today our performance levels were very poor. 

“We didn’t play to the standard we are capable of, but obviously there are a number of reasons why that is the case. Come the end of the season, you look back at these points and say that’s one of those that’s got you to where you are.

“We’ve played 25 games this season, and we’ve put ourselves in a very good position on 40 points. If somebody had said that at the start of the season, any Argyle fan would’ve taken that.”