The Tip of the Pendulum
THE Sky Bet League One pendulum swung back against Argyle at Rotherham’s AESSEAL New York Stadium.
A week after converting a point into three when Toumani Diagouraga struck a late winner in a 2-1 home triumph over Gillingham, they suffered a reversal of that fortune as they conceded an injury-time equaliser to the Millers.
Former Rotherham forward Ryan Taylor had appeared to have won the game with a late strike after the home side had been reduced to ten men in the second half following the sending-off of Richard Wood.
However, in the third of five minutes added to the 90, Semi Ajayi poked home the ball following some goalmouth pinball to salvage a 1-1 draw for Rotherham.
“We just couldn’t get rid of the ball,” said Argyle manager Derek Adams. “It was a good cross in from the corner-kick and there were a number of ricochets in the box; fortunately for Rotherham, they got the goal.
“We are obviously disappointed to draw the game after going ahead and looking like we were going to see the game through. We’ve taken a point but we had three points with two minutes to go.
“It is very frustrating because it would have been a big three points for us today.”
The dismissal of Wood, for two bookable offences, changed the game’s dynamics, with the home side playing on the counter and Argyle cranking the Green machine through the gears by bringing on attacking substitutes Lionel Ainsworth and Gregg Wylde to supplement a two-man strike force of Taylor and Jake Jervis.
Derek said: “Rotherham sat back and defended after [Wood’s sending-off] and it was difficult for us to play through them; they defended with ten players behind the ball.
“We went for it. We went two up front and two wide players. We did have the opportunity to make it 2-0; we didn’t do that and they get a last-gasp goal in injury-time.
“We created chances, especially in the second half, not so much in the first half. In the second half, we had opportunities in and around the 18-yard box.
“When you’ve come away from home, going in at 0-0 at half-time, you are always pleased; we nullified the threat of Rotherham.
“We stopped Rotherham playing, more than them not playing well. That’s the nature of football, and we stopped their danger players being successful today.”
The breakthrough came after a sustained period of Argyle pressure saw Lionel provide Ryan with his first EFL goal of the season to continue the Pilgrims’ recent League One progress.
“It was a great corner-kick and a very good header from Ryan,” said Derek. “It is always nice, coming back to your old club to score a goal.
“We’re on positive momentum. We have taken 16 points from our last 11 games; we took five points from our first 11 matches.”