Pomp and Circumstance
DEREK Adams had praise for every member of his team as they collectively stepped up to record a massive 2-1 victory over Portsmouth.
The Dockyard Derby at Fratton Park saw moments in the ascendancy for both sides in a hard-fought affair, though it was the hosts who made the breakthrough after 37 minutes, as an Enda Stevens cross found its way to Michael Smith, who nodded a header past Luke McCormick.
"We had to stop them to start with," said Derek. "Their two full backs get forward.
"We lost a poor goal from a quick throw in from their point of view; not really by them playing any good football through us. A quick throw and a cross into the box - we could've dealt with it better.
"They're at home; they've got a very passionate support, and from our point of view it was about keeping them quiet. We knew as the game went on we would get chances. We would change the approach to the game, and that's how it worked. Overall I'm happy with the shape we had to the team, and then going on to win the match. Again today, we lost a goal, and then showed great character to come back."
That comeback was put into motion by Jamille Matt, who persevered up front to finally grab a goal with seven minutes to play, winning a corner before heading it home after Graham Carey's delivery.
"I'm delighted for Jamille Matt getting another goal," said Adams, "because he had to work hard today. It was a well taken goal: a great ball in the box from [Graham] Carey, and a great header from Jamille.
"He's a nuisance up there, he occupies defenders, and he's been a great signing for us."
The Green Army did not have time to catch their breath before the Pilgrims completed the turnaround, courtesy of Gregg Wylde. Another delivery from Carey, this time from open play, found its way to the Scottish substitute, who fired past Paul Jones.
"He can always pop up with goals," said Derek about Gregg. "I think that's his eighth goal this season from a wide player, which is outstanding.
"Gregg Wylde trains and plays exactly the same way, every day. He's got a great temperament for the game. You don't play for Glasgow Rangers in the Champions League unless you're a good player. He's played under Walter Smith at Rangers; he's got undoubted ability, quickness, and he's very direct at times as well. It's just good for him to get another goal, and an important one at that."
The boss was keen to not just praise the goal-scorers of his side, but every member of the team that refused to accept defeat against an impressive Pompey side, instead recording a victory that puts the Greens right back in the mix for automatic promotion with just four games to play.
"Defensively I thought we were outstanding today," said Adams, "dealing with crossed balls with [Curtis] Nelson, [Peter] Hartley, even [Kelvin] Mellor and [Ben] Purrington and [Carl] McHugh. It was an outstanding performance from that point of view.
"The two in the middle of the park [Hiram] Boateng and [Jordan] Houghton worked tirelessly, and you need [Jake] Jervis as well to give us a work rate, and we had a lot of players working hard today.
"From our point of view, it's a great win for us today. We showed a lot of character throughout the 90 minutes. It's not easy coming here as I've said before, but to come away from here with three points at this stage of the season is what matters.
"Performance-wise we've done very well. A magnificent performance from us today - we've grounded out a great win and a deserved three points. To come away from here with three points is obviously very good."