Observing the Orient
DEREK Adams certainly did his homework on Leyton Orient and it paid dividends as Argyle saw off the O's 3-1, thanks in part to some deft changes and observations.
The Greens' first two goals at the Matchroom Stadium saw them exploit a scouted weakness of their opponents to full effect. A pair of Graham Carey free-kicks saw Orient's zonal marking system undone by both Peter Hartley and Jake Jervis.
Argyle's goals came after some periods of possession for the hosts but very little penetration, as a formation switch to 3-5-2 appeared to stifle much of their attacking threat, led by Sky Bet League 2's second highest goal-scorer in Jay Simpson.
"It was to counteract the direct style that Leyton Orient were going to play," said Derek of the change, "with [Armand] Gnanduillet up front, with Simpson, and we knew [Ollie] Palmer would come on at some point in the game.
"We knew Simpson would run in behind with the flick-ons, so we just counteracted that by one more in there, just to stop the threat that they could cause.
"I thought we've done that over the last couple of games: you need to be in the game to win the game, and you have to see out the opening periods of games away from home because you're the away side."
Orient did threaten to stage a late comeback after Palmer won a penalty late on that was tucked away by Lloyd James. However, the Greens stood tall under the pressure, with Jervis putting the game to bed in stoppage time with his second goal of the night.
"You won't get it all your own way," said Adams, "and I thought we managed the game very well tonight, in the later stages of the game and obviously at the start of the game as well.
"I thought we dealt well with their threat and I thought defensively we were sound. We knew we would have to deal with a wee bit of pressure towards the end when it went 2-1.
"We're always capable of the counter attack because of the pace we've got in the wider areas and through the middle, and that we could possibly get a chance, and it worked out that way."