ARGYLE found their goal-scoring boots at Home Park again in a 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers, but Derek Adams was equally buoyed his side’s defensive display.
The Greens returned to winning ways by seeing off Rovers, with goals either side of half-time from Graham Carey and Jake Jervis securing a first win at home since the end of October.
The goals were far from the only factor in a key win, though. Argyle also rediscovered their defensive resilience, keeping a clean sheet against a Donny side who had scored in every league game this season before meeting the Pilgrims.
“Without the ball, I think that we were excellent at times,” said Adams, “keeping our shape and negating the space for them to play in. We allowed their two centre halves [time] on the ball and kept a good line.
“Later on in the game, they did go for it. They took off their centre half, I think it was their left back as well, and put on a midfield player to another area of the pitch. They took their right back to centre half; it probably didn’t help them in a respect from a defensive point of view, but offensively they were going for it.”
While Argyle fans, staff and players have had to watch a number of teams come to Home Park and show little adventure going forward, Rovers threw bodies forward in the game - down in part to Argyle forging ahead before half time. It allowed Derek’s attackers more room and opportunities to create and impress.
“After that, we knew we would get opportunities in the game,” said Adams, “because we’ve got very good, creative players. We’ve got a lot of quickness in the team and it was only a matter of time before we scored.
“Teams are going to come onto us. That becomes very difficult for them, because we’ve got the creativity to open them up.”
Carey was a player who benefited from that room on the field, opening the scoring with a wonderfully-taken strike on 33 minutes - but even Graham’s role was part of Derek’s masterplan to keep Rovers at bay.
“An outstanding finish,” said Adams on Carey’s goal. “He took it very well; he turned it onto his left foot and curled it into the corner.
“He played as an inverted winger today in a 4-3-3 formation, allowing us to stop space in behind and stop space in the midfield, where their players were going to get time on the ball. We allowed them time on the ball because you have to be a very good team to play through teams. I thought today that when we won it back, we were able to counter them with Graham Carey one-on-one with the defender.
“A very good performance from us today, I thought, from start to finish. Tactically and technically, an excellent day for us. We’ve been able to win 2-0 at home, which is an excellent result.”