Decision Time

A PAIR of refereeing decisions in the first half came under scrutiny from Argyle boss Derek Adams following Argyle's 2-0 home defeat to Barnet.

After an early Michael Nelson header put the visitors in front at Home Park, official Brett Huxtable was the focus of Argyle fans, players and staff alike for a number of controversial decisions. After waving away a strong penalty claim as Jake Jervis went down in the box, Yann Songo’o appeared to be brought down in the middle of the park. Huxtable allowed to play to continue and, seconds later, John Akinde doubled the visitors lead in the 45th minute.

“The referee didn’t want to speak about anything after the game,” said Adams.

“The thing was, he thought he was having a good match, but there was time wasting from Barnet, their goalkeeper continually held the ball for more than the six seconds, the time they took to take throw-ins; the time they took to make substitutions.

“Is it part of the game? Yes it is, but it’s up to the referee to deal with it.

“Throughout the evening, the fans told the referee what they thought of him. When that happens, the referee at some point in the game has to realise that they’re not too happy with him.”

Adams made five changes to his starting line-up from the weekend defeat to Grimsby Town - one enforced, as Oscar Threlkeld stepped in at left back for Ben Purrington, who picked up a hamstring strain at the end of Saturday’s game.

“He hurt his hamstring on Saturday, in the game,” said Derek. “He was probably fortunate just to stay on the pitch on Saturday. We’re hoping it’s not too serious. We’re hoping he can recover quite quickly from it."

As for Threlkeld’s return from injury, Adams said: “He started off a wee bit nervously to start with, because it’s not easy going across to that side. He then grew into the game and was able to use the ball well.”

Nauris Bulvitis was also able to return after missing two games through injury, but Paul-Arnold Garita’s involvement is still limited, coming on as a substitute as he shakes off the last of a hamstring injury of his own.

“It wasn’t an easy one because of the injury he’s had,” said Adams. “He’s been out for a period of time, so that was going to cause him a fatigue problem. If you do that, then it causes him further damage.

David Goodwillie started in place of Garita and, on his performance, Adams said: “It was difficult for him. I thought he started the game well; he got in and around the box.

“Not a lot of opportunities for him; he probably could’ve got a penalty kick in the first half, but in the end we probably didn’t get enough good balls into him.”