Derek's Young Guns
A TRIO of young Argyle prospects were stand-out performers in an outstanding 5-0 win over Hartlepool United, taking full advantage of Derek Adams giving them a chance to impress.
The first two of the Greens' five strikes against the Pools came courtesy of Tyler Harvey, making his first start for the club since Adams' arrival and playing just behind the striker. After showing positional awareness and terrific ability to score from outside the area, Harvey then made it 2-0 in the 25th minute, getting in at the far post and beating his marker to a Gregg Wylde cross.
"Tyler is a player that has a good goal-scoring ability - you've seen that today," said Derek. "I think it's very good for him to score two goals today.
"I think it is the position he would prefer to play in. He could play up top as well, and it gives the team a different option."
Not to be outdone, a Pilgrims' striker making his first ever Argyle start got two goals of his own in the second half. The 19-year old Louis Rooney's first strike was an outstanding long-range effort that found the far corner, whilst his second was a close-range, instinctive goal - the sort of strike he has been regularly impressing Adams with on the training ground.
"He did well," said Adams. "He took a touch and he's hit it into the top corner, the far side.
"We see him doing that quite often in training," Adams said of the second goal. "We don't understand at times how he's able to get a goal, but that's what he does. He scores goals, he gets on the blind-side of defenders, and he's been able to get that goal because he's obviously been able to read where the ball's going to go."
The other goal-scorer on the day, captain Curtis Nelson, was replaced by another debutant: 17-year old Jordan Bentley, who comfortably slotted in at central defence for the latter stages of the game.
"It was good for him to get that experience," said Derek on Jordan. "He's done well: he's a first-year apprentice and he shows the rest of them what you can do with a bit of hard work.
"He's got very good attributes to be a centre half. He's robust, he's good in the air, he's a talker, he's a worker, and sometimes you get a boost, and he got that today."
Derek's much-changed side put in one of Argyle's best performances of the season, with an average age of just over 22 years old in the starting 11. The line-up was kept a secret to the team for much longer than usual, though, to allow them the best possible preparation for the match.
"They didn't know the team until half-past one today," said Adams, "because I didn't want it to be let out, what the team was going to be. They never knew, and it probably was a good thing, because it didn't give them a chance to get nervous.
"A great experience for both these young players to do that today. They're players who have played in the academy and come through the system."