The Ryan Game

ARGYLE’S long wait for a penalty is over.

The Pilgrims were awarded a spot-kick for the first time in 39 games during their home Sky Bet League 2 match with Mansfield Town. It was duly despatched by Ryan Brunt, the first of the forward’s two goals in the 3-0 triumph, against Scott Shearer, a goalkeeper who, a week earlier, had saved two penalties in the same game.

Referee Brendan Malone pointed to the spot after being alerted to a foul on Ryan by his assistant Mike Pottage, after the Argyle man and his team-mate Peter Hartley were both sent sprawling in a melee. With regular penalty-taker Reuben Reid on the substitutes’ bench, up stepped Brunty.

“I got pulled down; Pete got pulled down; and the linesman flagged very late,” said Ryan. “Fair play to the linesman – not many linesman call it and tell the referee to change his mind, or whatever.

“I’ve said all season that, if Rubes isn’t on the pitch, I’ll take [the penalty]. You have just got to be confident in the situation.”

The 36th-minute conversion came three minutes after Gregg Wylde had opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season – and third in five matches – before Ryan rounded things off six minutes from time when substitute Jake Jervis played him in.

He said: “It was a great ball by Jake and I’ve sort of checked the man and, luckily, it’s come off my left foot as I’ve slid in. 

“I’m probably frustrated that I should have got a third, a header at the end. It was lack of judgment; I think I probably thought I was a bit further out than I was. I’m happy – I’ll probably kick myself tonight – but you have got to move on and two goals is good.”

In between his strikes, Ryan had showed another side to his game by nodding Ryan Tafazolli’s header off the line. 

He said: “There are little things we work on as a team and exactly how it happened is something the manager has drilled into us, so credit to him. We worked on it yesterday, as we do every week. We all know what’s going on and, luckily, I was there to clear it.”