1st January 2017
ARGYLE will head into 2017 at the top of Sky Bet League Two after a 2-0 win against Crawley Town at Home Park - and manager Derek Adams could not be more delighted.
Oscar Threlkeld and Craig Tanner both scored as the Pilgrims overcame the Red Devils to make it 15 wins out of 23 games in the league for Argyle. The last six days have seen Argyle take four points in the league, putting Derek's side two points clear at the top.
"I'm delighted," said Derek. "The run we are on is very good. It is a tough league as I keep on saying. To pick up a win at any time in this league is important. It was a hard fought win. To come away winning 2-0 and keeping a clean sheet at New Years Eve is very important, and we have been able to do that today. It is a good night for us."
Derek shifted Threlkeld from left-back to centre midfield, and after Gary Miller was substituted at half-time, in favour of Tanner, Oscar played the second half at right-back. Argyle's utility man repaid his boss by scoring the opener, but it was not all praise for Oscar, though.
"He didn't do well enough in the first half," said Derek. "He was poor. But in the second half he put in a better performance at right back. He has done really well at left back. I am delighted that he has been able to play in a variety of positions. He has been a very good signing for us.
"He can play in a variety of positions. Right back, left back and central midfield. Today he has played in two positions. I thought it wasn't up there with the good performances of his recent games.
"It was a good break down the side," said Derek of Oscar's goal. "He did well to follow it up because he was quite as distance from the action. He ran in and he slotted it into the bottom corner. Oscar has done really well for us in recent times. Today when we needed our midfield players to get on the ball and move it we moved him out of that position. Carey went in there in the second half an orchestrated a lot of the play we needed.
With Argyle 1-0 up, the Pilgrims changed formation to incorporate three central defenders. The Red Devils almost equalised but Luke McCormick made an important save to keep his clean sheet in tact.
"He made a good save," said Derek. "He came for a number of crosses today and he either caught them or punched them. He did well from that point of view. When you have got a goalkeeper that plays on the front foot it helps your defence.
"We have got good competition for places and that is helping but the back line have done well. The players in front as well have been solid and have helped that."
Jake Jervis combined with Tanner to double Argyle's lead and secure the victory.
"It was a good combination," said Derek. "We kept them up the park and a wee bit wider. Jake has good pace and Tanner has got a wee bit of creativity. When he gets into that area he is going to hit the target nine times out of ten and it was a very good finish."