DESPITE producing what Derek Adams called their best football of the season in their last victory, Argyle managed to go one better in their win over Exeter City, according to the boss.

Adams oversaw the Pilgrims’ 5,000th competitive league game, in which they coasted past the Grecians with a 2-0 victory in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Second Round southern section.

The 101st meeting between the rivals was one of the most comfortable wins for Argyle in recent memory, going into the break ahead courtesy of Hiram Boateng heading in his second career goal, just three days after scoring his first.

“We passed the ball extremely well,” said Derek, “the possession stats were obviously very high, and the amount of chances we had on goal were into double figures. We’ve totally dominated a football match tonight. 

“To do that in a derby match is very difficult, but we passed the ball with an outstanding capability. We’ve maintained possession; the amount of breaks and counter attacks we had were outstanding. We’ve got a very good team there.

“We passed the ball really well tonight, and opened them up time and time again.” 

The only thing that seemed capable of halting the Greens’ serene display was a broken floodlight at Home Park, which delayed the second half getting underway. After a brief, stuttering restart, though, Craig Tanner put distance between the two sides, stretching his legs and sweeping past defenders before tucking in his third Argyle goal. 

“There’s nothing you can do,” said Adams, on the subject of the floodlight delay. “What happened was that we didn’t start particularly well as the second half got underway, for about five minutes, but then we got a grip of the game, and then we scored. 

“Craig is very good at that; he played in an awkward position to pick up tonight, as Graham Carey does. They can dribble with the ball, they can score goals, they’ve very good left feet, and their creativity can cause teams problems.” 

Argyle’s defence stood firm for the rest of the match secure a much-deserved clean sheet, progression into the next round, and their just rewards for what Derek believes to be the most complete performance from his team to date. 

“It’s another clean sheet,” said Adams, “and I think that’s important, but we could’ve scored a lot more goals tonight. We had a lot of pace in the side, we had players who take the ball on and move it. 

“Exhilarating is probably the word. A fantastic performance. I said on Saturday that the first 45 minutes was the best, but tonight was by far the best. 

“I watched them press the game very well tonight. We won a lot of tackles, regained possession well, and kept the ball well. We counter-attacked because Exeter can go forward. They take chances, and when teams do take chances, you regain possession of the ball, then use it well.”