Hiram and Higher

PETER Hartley thinks Argyle match-winner Hiram Boateng can go to the very the top.

The teenage midfielder, who is on loan at Home Park from Premier League high-flyers Crystal Palace, netted Saturday's late winner over Crawley Town that took the Pilgrims two points clear at top of Sky Bet League 2.

It was Hiram's first senior goal and capped a marvelous first quarter of the season for the Londoner who has impressed his colleagues, as well as the Green Army, as much for his attitude as his ability.

"He’s a good lad, as well; that’s an important thing," said Peter, on the eve of the Pilgrims 5,000th game - Tuesday's home Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Exeter City.

"He wants to learn; he’s got good character; he’s a good person. He’s 19 years old, and some of things you see him do in games...I forget how old he is. He looks like a 28 or 29 year old player, when he’s only 19. 

"If he keeps improving and keeps a level head, I think he could go all the way."

Hiram's central defensive partnership with Carl McHugh, who misses the 101st Devon derby through suspension, has been a key to the Pilgrims' success. 

"They’ve been massive," said Peter. "They’ve really bounced off of each other. I really feel like we’ve got a good mix with Carl, H [Hiram], and obviously Graham Carey, who all have different strengths and different weaknesses. They complement each other really well. 

"They’re quite young lads as well – Carl’s only 22; H is 19 – so they’re taking a big weight on their shoulders, and so far, so good for those boys."

Carl's absence and that of similarly suspended left-back Gary Sawyer means Argyle manager Derek Adams is committed to making at least two changes to the Pilgrims' winning line-up.

Peter, though, is confident that the Pilgrims called up in their stead will slot straight in.

"It gives other people opportunities," he said. "Ben Purrington is obviously chomping at the bit to come in if he’s chosen to play; Josh Simpson’s fit; Coxy [Lee Cox]’s fit. So we’ve got strength in depth. 

"Whoever comes in, the boys have full faith in them having the ability to do the job that’s there to be done." 

Tonight's game against Exeter kicks off at 7.45pm. Tickets are £17 for adults, £12 for concessions, £7 for under-18s. See you there!