EVEN if he knew as much his winning goal as anyone inside of Home Park, Ryan Donaldson was delighted to help his side grind out another key league victory against Colchester United.
Argyle saw off United 2-1 at Home Park in a late-finishing, unusual affair. After goals from a pair of Craigs - Tanner and Slater - cancelled each other out in the first half, substitute Donaldson’s fresh legs and desire paid dividends. After an under-hit Colchester back-pass, goalkeeper Sam Walker’s clearance was blocked by Ryan, looping into the air and finding the net after what felt like an eternity.
When asked about his winner, Ryan’s response was: “You tell me about it!
“I don’t know - it happened so quick. It was a bit of a short back-pass so I thought I’d try and put a bit of pressure on. The closer I got, the more I thought ‘this might hit us’. Where it’s hit me I do not know, but the next thing I’ve seen is a lot of spin on the ball. I thought it may’ve gone over the bar, but thankfully it’s found the net.”
Donaldson entered the fray shortly before an extended stoppage in play that changed the face of the game. Jimmy Spencer inadvertently collided with referee Kevin Johnson, leading the official to receive heavy treatment on the field and taken to hospital. Donaldson and the rest of the Greens managed to stay active during the delay of over ten minutes, with Ryan’s winning goal coming just seconds after the restart.
“It’s a bit of a strange one,” said Donaldson. “You come on and then you’re waiting around for ten minutes again - I’ve done three warm-ups. You’ve just got to get on with it. It’s one of the strangest situations I’ve been involved in.
“We didn’t know what was going on at first. We heard a few different things. We just tricked to kick on and stay warm. I don’t know how long it was - ten minutes I think. Obviously our thoughts go to the referee - we hope he’s alright. But it’s a strange situation.”
The visitors were certainly in the match before the stoppage and the Greens were not at their best. Once again, however, Argyle battled through and added yet three points to their historic start to the season.
“It was such a tight game - you take anything when it’s a game like that,” said Ryan. “Obviously we love to play lovely football and get a goal from 25 yards, but at the end of the day it’s 2-1 to us, and that’s all the matters.
“In the first 20 minutes, I thought we played really well, but credit to them - they’re not a bad team. There’s some good teams in this league and I thought they were really good today. They’ve had a bit of a tough run, but I think I’d expect them to be up there at the end of the season.
“They caused us a few problems, and it’s a great finish from their lad for their goal. It was a bit scrappy after that; it was always going to be one goal that wins it, and thankfully we’ve got it - off of my calf, or whatever it was!”