PILGRIMS’ manager Derek Adams refused to be downbeat after Argyle suffered only their third Sky Bet League 2 defeat of the season in their top-of-the-table clash at Oxford United.
A goal by United midfielder Liam Sercombe after 32 minutes gave the home side victory, although the Pilgrims stayed two points ahead of the rest of the division after Portsmouth conceded an equaliser at home to Stevenage in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The defeat was only the second time under Derek’s 17-game management that Argyle have failed to score and he said: “As a football club, we’re doing well and it’s important we keep moving forward. We’ve picked up 29 points and it’s a very good points total from 14 games.
“We’ve overachieved already this season. We’ve shown, in the games, how competitive we can be. Oxford are an experienced side, a well-staffed side, and we have had to come here and play against a very good team.
“It was a game of two halves: in the first half, Oxford played very well and, in the second half, we were excellent as well. From our point of view, we could have taken something from the game – we had opportunities in the second half and so did Oxford.
“We were in total command of the second half; 90% of the play was played in the Oxford half; they dominated the first half. They passed the ball; they ran forward; and they created chances. But that’s what happens sometimes. There was half an hour in the second half when we did exactly the same to them – we ran forward and created chances as well.
“We have got to give credit to Oxford. They defended their penalty box very well. I was not surprised. Oxford are a good football side and we’re a good football side, as well. We showed that in the second half. I thought there were a lot of good performances in the team.”
The match was watched by a near 1,000s-trong contingent of the Green Army, to whom Derek paid tribute.
“We’re a well-supported football club and they have shown by their loyalty tonight to travel to Oxford,” he said. “It has been recognised by the players and the staff. It is testimony to them, the way they support their football club.”