Crawl to the Top

ARGYLE’S 2-1 victory over Crawley Town featured the best football of the Derek Adams era so far…

Who would be in a position to make such a statement? Well, Derek Adams, of course.

“The first half was, by far, the best performance I’ve had this season,” said the Pilgrims’ manager, who witnessed Reuben Reid finish off one of many sublime team moves to break the deadlock at Home Park after 43 minutes.

“It was a good piece of play, because we played the ball wide, from left back into the wide-man. It was bounced back into Graham Carey, and he slid the ball into Reuben Reid.

“It was a very good goal; he took it well, he was composed, and it was good to see him back in the goal-scoring charts.

“We were outstanding. We moved the ball very quickly, and we created many opportunities in the game. We should’ve been ahead in the game more than we were.” 

Despite Argyle’s dominance, the visitors managed to draw level five minutes from time, as Roarie Deacon turned home a rare Crawley trip into the Greens’ box from close range. 

“You’ll always get a chance in the game. There’s always going to be an opportunity where you get a free-kick, or a long ball into the box, and they were able to get a break of the ball and get a goal. 

“Other than that, that was probably the only opportunity they were going to get. It wasn’t like somebody had played through us. It was a scrappy goal, and it could’ve been prevented.” 

The terrific display from Derek’s side looked set to only be worth a draw, until Hiram Boateng netted his first senior goal in the 89th minute – the midfielder reacting quickest to a parried Graham Carey free-kick. 

“Carey’s always capable at free-kicks,” said Derek, “but it’s a great follow-up by Boateng, and he got his first goal as well. I’m delighted that he’s got a goal. 

“It was on his left side and he stroked it away well. We work on that: when the ball is laid back and you have a shot, you’ve got to follow up. 

“It’s an important goal for us, because 1-1 going into the last minutes of the game, you’ve got to push forward and take that chance, and he was able to do that. He’s been waiting for a while. He’s had shots at goal and he’s been in good positions. 

“We’ve got midfielders scoring, we’ve got strikers scoring, but today it’s about getting three points, and we’ve been able to do that.” 

Argyle’s first ever win against Crawley takes them to the top of the Sky Bet League 2 table after eleven league games, and whilst Adams is evidently buoyed by their start to the campaign, he knows his long-term objectives at Home Park are only just beginning. 

“Listen, we’re eleven games into the season, and we’re moving along nicely,” said Derek.

“It’s very tight at the top of the table. It’s always nice to win games – we’ve won seven games out of 11, and drawn two – so we’re showing the capabilities that we have. 

“That’s what you hope to do. With where the football club has been and where it wants to go, we’ve got a long way to go. It’s a long season: we’re 11 games into the season and we’ve got 35 to go.”