Outstanding in Defeat
DEREK Adams refused to let the scoreline of a 2-1 defeat to Peterborough United detract from an excellent opening-day performance from his side.
“We were thoroughly outstanding, from start to finish,” was the emphatic theme of the manager's post-match comments, after watching his fall just short of taking something from their opening game of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Greens looked more than a match for their established League One opposition, creating a number of chances but either missing the mark or running into a goalkeeper in outstanding form in Jonathan Bond. The hosts would took a lead into the break, as an effort from Leo Da Silva Lopes deflected off of Gary Sawyer and into the near corner.
“We annihilated them in the first half,” said Derek. “We had chance after chance and we should’ve been ahead [by] four or five goals at half time. We were totally in control of the game and didn’t see much from Peterborough.
“We knew we could cause them problems. We certainly did that with balls down the side and good link-up play, passing play. Possession-wise, we were better than Peterborough, and we didn’t allow them to start out from the back.
“It shows you we’ve moved up a level, and we were able to compete with a team who have been at this level for a few years.
“We haven’t scored when we should’ve, at times. We had good, gilt-edged chances from a number of players. The chances created were excellent. To do that against a team who are trying to get into the Championship is very good from our point of view. We should’ve scored the goals. We had great opportunities in and around the six-yard box and we had to finish them off.”
Peterborough’s lead was doubled in controversial fashion, as Junior Morias finished off a move created by Jack Marriott, who appeared to foul Sonny Bradley to kick off the attack. Gregg Wylde scored another debut Argyle goal to set up a nervy finish for United, but a hard-working Argyle side were unable to force an equaliser.
“The second goal is a clear push on the touchline on Sonny Bradley,” said Adams. “It was about 15 yards from where I am. The linesman is three yards away. Sonny Bradley’s in control of the ball; the only way an opponent can get to the ball and past Sonny Bradley is to foul him, and that’s what happened. In the end, that’s how we’ve lost the three points.
“We get the goal and look like we could get the equaliser. Fair play to Peterborough; they could’ve gone and made it three as well, because we were playing on the counter attack as well as launching bodies forward.
“They started the better team in the second half, then we came into it again and took control of the game. The way we played was thoroughly outstanding, from the first minute to the last minute. You look at our fitness and the way we were running compared to Peterborough; it was quite scary at times. That’s a good thing as well.”
The boss had plenty of players to choose from for his starting XI, making for one of his more difficult selection choices since coming to Argyle. The likes of Ruben Lameiras, Lionel Ainsworth and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair found themselves on the bench this time around, as Adams looked to put out a team to specifically exploit Peterborough’s weaknesses.
“It wasn’t easy, but we had to pick a team that we felt could cause Peterborough problems,” said Derek. “There’s probably one or two that on another given day, [they] would’ve been in the team. It was just because of the way we felt the game would go.
One player that did start was Ryan Taylor, but the forward was forced to make way little more than 20 minutes into the game, landing awkwardly after an aerial battle.
“He went down and twisted his ankle,” said Derek. “One of their players went up for the ball with him. He fell awkwardly and the player fell on top of him. He’s got a twisted ankle; I’d probably say he’s out for Tuesday night’s game at Bristol City.”