Taking the Knocks

DEREK Adams will not be using the loss of some key Argyle players as an excuse for their 2-1 loss to Exeter City.

The visitors secured an unlikely victory at a sold-out Home Park thanks to a pair of first-half goals from Ryan Harley, with a first professional goal from Oscar Threlkeld unable to prevent a first loss in four games to Argyle’s Devon rivals. 

Adams was forced to reshuffle his pack once more ahead of the game, with Carl McHugh and Peter Hartley joining Luke McCormick, Reuben Reid and Hiram Boateng on the club’s injury list. 

On the subject of Hartley, Derek said: “He’s a got a wee problem with his foot. He’ll hopefully see a consultant on Monday, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be back very soon. He just kicked somebody else’s sole with his boot in training.

“Carl came off against York and was just feeling his hamstring and felt like he wasn’t able to play today. We’ll see how he is for Tuesday night. 

“I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to miss people, because we’ve got a lot of good players in the team. I thought Oscar Threlkeld and Josh Simpson played well in there today. It’s about a team game.”

To cover for some of those knocks, both Christian Walton and Luke Croll made their debuts in the defeat, and Adams had praise for his two latest recruits.

“Luke was fine,” said Derek. “He dealt with lots of balls, was a good passer of the ball, and defended well.

“He was just in yesterday. It wasn’t easy, but I thought he acquitted himself very well. It was vital [to bring him in]. We were down, we didn’t have any central defenders, really, and it was important that we brought him in. I thought his performance didn’t show that he just arrived Thursday.

“I spoke to a number of clubs, and Crystal Palace is one of them. He was trying to be brought in on loan; Colchester and Leyton Orient were interested as well, and we’ve managed to get in there just before them. We did that on Thursday night.”

As for the Brighton ‘keeper, Adams said: “I thought over the 90 minutes, he’s done well. It’s not easy coming into your first game on a Devon Derby. 

“I can only play with the cards that I’m dealt, and the cards I was dealt today are the players we’ve had. They’ve performed strongly throughout the 90 minutes. We had two players making their debuts today, and I thought they came in and did well.”