FORGET the once-in-a-generation goal-less draw against Liverpool at Anfield – Argyle’s last-gasp Sky Bet League Two victory at lowly Cheltenham is the Pilgrims’ best result of the campaign.
So says Sonny Bradley, whose two headed goals in the 2-1 victory at the LCI Rail Stadium kept Argyle’s League One-bound train on course, and Pilgrims coach Paul Wotton, who knows a thing or two about winning promotion.
The first of centre-back Sonny’s second goal-double of the season came midway through the opening half; the second was scored in the first of four minutes stoppage-time, just after Cheltenham thought they had earned a point through substitute Dan Holman.
“Obviously scoring a winner in injury-time is brilliant stuff for myself and it’s great for the club,” said Sonny, who also scored a last-minute Home Park winner against Cheltenham earlier in the season, in the wake of the victory.
“Everyone’s delighted. Wotty’s come out and said it’s the biggest result of the season so far – and he’s probably right.
“I don’t think [Cheltenham] had too many chances. The goal we conceded was a little bit of warning sign, though, because that’s another set-piece we have conceded from which, on a personal level, I am not happy with; the team are not happy.
“But, when you score a 91st-minute winner, it kind of overshadows it.”
Sonny previously netted twice in a 2-1 triumph at Stevenage – as well as notching an own goal – and he had a sense of déjà vu.
“When you look back at both goals, they probably are pretty similar,” he said. “I can tell you now, it’s the same feeling as well. The feeling of scoring winner in a football match – not many will get to feel that. It’s a great feeling.”
The match came three days after the emotionally and physically draining Emirates FA Cup third-round replay against Liverpool.
Consequently, manager Derek Adams made full use of his substitutes’ bench at Cheltenham, bringing on Nathan Blissett and Jakub Sokolik at half-time, and Craig Tanner later in the match.
“We’ve shown great character,” said Sonny. “We were very tired after the Liverpool game. Although it might have looked like we didn’t have to do too much work, it really was a lot of strain on our legs. We have recovered well since then and we knew we had more than enough.
“Jake and Slewy ran themselves into the ground in the first half. The gaffer has seen that and brought on fresh legs to go for the win.
“The gaffer said before the game ‘We’ve got 90 minutes here and then we’ve got the chance of a good rest’ so we put everything into this game.
“If we want to get promoted – which we do – we have got to look after our bodies and we have got to perform to our best every week. That’s what we’ve done today and, if we continue to do that, we’ll be up there at the end of the season.”