Minding the Gap
THE good news for Argyle fans, but bad news for the rest of Sky Bet League Two...
...is that the Pilgrims are not satisfied with a five-point lead at the top of the table and that there is plenty more to come from Derek Adams’ side.
Argyle’s players go into Saturday’s game at home to Yeovil Town looking to emulate their illustrious 2003-04 predecessors and chalk up a tenth successive game unbeaten.
Their ninth match of the run, against nine-man Leyton in London on Tuesday, saw them win 2-0 to open up a clear lead ahead of a large pack of pursuers.
However, midfielder Ryan Donaldson is not concerned with the dozen or so clubs currently in Argyle’s slipstream, or with Yeovil, for that matter.
“We have just got to concentrate on what we do,” he said. “We have got a nice lead, but we want to make it bigger. We’re nine unbeaten, but who knows how far we can go? Every result’s big; every point’s big. We want to carry on as long as possible.
“We want to win every game and, like we saw a couple of weeks ago, when it’s a local derby, there’s a bit extra. We’re more than ready. We’re capable of stepping our game up even more. We’re looking forward to it.”
Ryan, the first of Derek’s summer signings, became the sixth Pilgrim this season to claim his first goal for the club, tucking home Tuesday’s late second from Ben Purrington’s cross against a teak-tough defensive display by Orient’s depleted side.
“It’s always nice to get off the mark as soon as possible,” he said. “I’ve waited a while, and had few half-chances which I’ve looked back on and thought I could have done better, but it’s nice to come in.
“Ben did brilliantly, and he has done that a few times this season; I was just right place, right time, and I managed to stick it in. It was a big weight off everyone’s shoulders when it goes to 2-0 and the game’s done. Obviously, when it involves three points, it’s a lot better.”
Tuesday was a weird evening, with Leyton down to ten men after 25 seconds following captain Robbie Weir’s over-the-top challenge on Ben. Ten became nine soon after Jimmy Spencer had given Argyle the lead, with Jens Janse walking for tripping Jake Jervis and committing what is shortened these days to DOGSO – denying an opponent a goalscoring opportunity.
Consequently, the Pilgrims played for all but the first 14 minutes against a 5-3-0 formation with everyone behind the ball.
“It’s the quickest red card I’ve ever seen,” said Ryan. “We did well; it was a really strange environment to play in. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I don’t think many of the lads have, either. I don’t think it will happen again for a while.
“Invariably, you get a lot more possession but it is what you do with that which is key. Nine people on the edge of the box is quite hard to break down.
“The goal just after they went down to ten was really important and I think that settled us down a bit.
“We would have liked to have scored a few more, but it just didn’t happen – 2-0, move on.”