Derek's Wembley Way
AS Argyle saw off Portsmouth and booked a place in the Sky Bet League 2 play-off final, Derek Adams paid tribute to the unity shown in the entire football club to achieve this moment.
Twenty years to the day after their last play-off semi-final victory, the Pilgrims slowly took control of the second leg against Pompey, piling on the pressure in the latter stages. As the game looked set to head into extra time, Peter Hartley rose highest to meet a Graham Carey corner and nod home in front of the Devonport End, sending the sold-out Home Park crowd into delirium.
The Greens' hopes of playing League 1 football next season are still alive with a trip to Wembley to look forward, and Derek knows just how important this moment is to Argyle, the supporters and the entire city.
"It was a fantastic achievement for the football club, just to get to Wembley," said Adams. "It's 20 years since Plymouth Argyle have been there, and we're going back.
"We're the first team to get through [to the final] via the play-offs this season, and we've done it in dramatic style. The players have worked non-stop and they've got their rewards. I'm delighted that the players, their families, the supporters, have got an opportunity to go and have a good day out at Wembley. But you only have a good day when you win."
When asked about how he achieved Argyle's place in the final, Derek said: "I haven't - the players have, and the staff and everybody at this football club around about them.
"I've had that from the players this season, the staff at this football club, the supporters as well. We're all going back to Wembley. I think that's what you call a unity, and the football club has got unity. We probably had a squad that was a wee bit short for automatic promotion, but we've kept ourselves going. We've lifted their spirits and been able to get an opportunity of getting into the next division."
The Theatre of Greens was at its loudest at kick-off and only continued to raise the volume and atmosphere levels throughout the 90 minutes. Now the Green Army have a chance to do something similar in London at the end of May, and Adams commended the supporters' priceless contribution to this season.
"The fans were fantastic from start to finish," said Derek. "We went to Fratton Park and their fans fantastic as well. You cold see the emotions from the players after the game, and I think that the fans have shown it in response.
"It's going to be a fantastic occasion for Plymouth Argyle. The Argyle fans have wanted to go back there and they've got that opportunity. We've got to go there and try and win the match to get into the next division."