JAKE Jervis was the two-goal hero in Argyle’s 3-1 victory over Leyton Orient, and he believes the team is now thriving under the pressure of a promotion battle.
The Greens racked up their 12th Sky Bet League 2 away win of the season at the Matchroom Stadium, opening the scoring on the stroke of half-time. Graham Carey’s pin-point free-kick allowed Peter Hartley to exploit some slack Orient defending, ghosting in at the far post to volley home his first goal of the season.
“He’s been trying all season and had a few chances,” said Jake. “He’s took his time on that one and finished it well, and I’m happy for him.
“I think that’s the problem with zonal marking: players are running in on you and you’re stood still. We took advantage of that.
"The crowd started to go against them from then, and then we got another one and that kind of killed them off; and we managed to get another one at the end.”
Those second and third goals were delivered by Jervis himself, who replaced an injured Reuben Reid late in the first half. Jake turned home another Carey delivery after the break, and following an Ollie Palmer penalty that reduced the deficit to one, Argyle's top goalscorer put the game to bed in injury-time with a calm finish.
“There was a lot of space where Graham was crossing, in that front area,” said Jake, “because they were marking zonal. There was just a little signal beforehand, and he [Carey] obviously puts it on a plate most times.
“He’s done well and I’ve managed to a get a head on it. For the second one, I just took my time and finished well.”
To back up his tireless display and constant hassling of defenders, Jake’s two strikes took him onto 14 goals in his debut campaign for the Pilgrims. After a roaring start to the season, he is hoping his double in London will kick off another goalscoring run for Argyle’s final three fixtures.
“As with any forward player and the players we’ve got here, we’ve got to obviously score goals,” said Jake. “We’re up there to get the goals.
“I started the season really bright, and hopefully I can finish it really bright as well. It’s only going help the team.”
Argyle have taken maximum points from their last two games, a feat not achieved by any fellow promotion-chasers in Sky Bet League 2, leaving just goal-difference between them and automatic promotion places. Holding your nerve is now the key, and Jake believes the last two outings from his team-mates show they can handle the pressure.
“It’s massive,” he said. “We’ve managed to do it quite a few times this season - back to back wins in a short space of time. Hopefully we can keep it up.
“We’re just concentrating on us winning games - that’s all we have to do. Obviously a few teams are having a bit of a wobble, so hopefully we can keep going.
“It’s exciting a lot of people. It’s good to get nervous; the boys have embraced it, and you can see that with the performances in the last two games. We just want to win games.”