THE disappointment of Derek Adams was clear for all to see after Argyle's 3-2 loss to Dagenham & Redbridge, calling himself "devastated" with the result.
The Greens' hopes of automatic promotion from Sky Bet League 2 took a major blow at Home Park, as Adams' side lost to the division's basement club. The Daggers took a 3-0 lead into the break courtesy of a pair of headers from set pieces, scored by Clevid Dikamona and Christian Doidge, either side of a superb 25-yard effort from Matty Cash.
"You don't give yourself a chance when you're 3-0 down at half-time," said Adams. "We didn't defend well enough today; we lost three goals defensively and you've got a long way to get back.
"It's man-for-man marking. If you lose your man you're confined to [conceding] a goal. We probably could've done better not to give away the corner kicks. Overall we've had enough chances to score more goals today, but when you're 3-0 down then you've got a lot to do.
"We know what happened, how we lost the goals, but overall I think that we should've taken the chances that we had at the other end, as well. So collectively, we haven't done well enough today."
Argyle did indeed create a plentiful amount of scoring opportunities, racking up 36 shots in the game. Just two were converted, though, by Peter Hartley and Graham Carey, as Adams threw caution to the wind to try and get back into the game.
"We just needed to change the shape a bit - we had to go for it," said Derek. "We had to have a lot of attacking players on the pitch.
"We scored two goals; we could've scored more but we can't be 3-0 down. We put Gregg Wylde and Jake Jervis out as wing backs, we had two up front, we had one off, we had attacking midfield players, but we just didn't get the goal that we needed.
"We've had chances: we've had open goals, we've had ones past the post and over the bar. We've had numerous corner kicks into the box where we could've scored goals off of, and we did score one. We've had umpteen chances in the game to get ourselves back in it, but we haven't been able to do it.
"We probably didn't have enough in and the around the 18-yard box at times, from an attacking point of view, and that's something that we probably needed today. We did in the second half when we had to change and chase the game. The two midfield players [Jordan Houghton, - they looked a wee bit leggy today. They've played a lot of games for two young kids, but they did look like they struggled today."
Despite all the chances and energy given out by the Pilgrims, they come away with nothing, paying the price for moments of slack defending, and now need wins from their final two games to have a chance of finishing in the division's top three places.
"I'm devastated today, because I didn't see us losing three goals," said Adams. "The manner of the three goals were very poor, except for the second goal - but we still could've done better to close them down, because he's hit the ball from 20-odd yards.
"Overall, we haven't got the win that we needed."