Memorial Memories

TRIPS to the Memorial Stadium in recent years have yielded two wins and two defeats for Argyle - but the bare facts tell barely part of the story.

The last match played away to Bristol Rovers was on March 8, 2014 saw Argyle was beaten 2-1. The game was stolen away by Rovers in the last 15 minutes by Kaid Mohamed although Neal Trotman had pulled it back level for Argyle. before half-time. In context, though, Argyle were in sensational form, having won 4-0 and 5-0 in the previous games, but on a sticky Memorial pitch, they came unstuck. 
Prior to that, we visited on January 1, 2013. Once again the mighty Greens traveled to Bristol to be beaten by Rovers. However, the 2-1 defeat, in which two early Rovers goals put the game beyond Argyle despite Conor Hourihane's late consolation, was not the big story. The game was to be Carl Fletcher's last as Pilgrims boss. A tearful Fletch gave a dignified farewell at the post-match press conference, and was replaced by John Sheridan a few days later. 
Boxing Day 2011 saw Argyle pull off an astonishing comeback, going behind 2-0 and coming back to win 3-2.. The match started to go wrong for the Greens in the 30th minute, when Matt Harrold converted from the spot, and the same player scored again two minutes later. Warren Feeney put hope into the minds of the traveling fans scoring in the 52nd minute. Nick Chadwick pulled it back to 2-2 in the 79th minute and Ashley Hemmings late winner in the 90th minute put smiles on the faces of all the Greens.

Curiously, this was the second consecutive visit in which the feat was pulled off. 

On January 4 2011, nearly 10 years since the Greens had last visited The Memorial Stadium, a League 1 Argyle side containing the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Yannick Bolasie went to Bristol. Present Pilgrim Gray Sawyer was on the opposing side, as Rovers raced into an early 2-0 lead, both goals scored by Will Hoskins. Despite being 2-0 down, Wright-Phillips scored in the 58th minute. Only 11 minutes later Joe Mason equalised to make the score 2-2, and Stephane Zubar scored one more for the Greens in the 81st minute to complete a famous comeback.