LAST season’s memories of the Pilgrims’ Emirates FA Cup exploits were never far from thoughts before and after Saturday’s 1-0 home victory over Grimsby Town in the first round of this year’s competition.
Graham Carey’s eighth-minute goal secured Argyle a place in Monday’s second-round draw – one game away from the stage when the Premier League sides like Liverpool, against who the Pilgrims had a memorable encounter 12 months ago, enter the competition.
“We would like to have a favourable draw in the next round so that we can get a crack at the third round again,” said manager Derek Adams. “We saw, last year, how well it was to go to Anfield, and we would like to try to do the same again so, hopefully, the draw is kind to us.
“We would take a home draw. There are a lot of good teams in the second round. We saw them come out of the hat in the first-round draw a couple of weeks ago and you say ‘We don’t want them...we don’t want them...’ we didn’t want Grimsby, to be fair, but we got them.”
Despite early dominance, Argyle could not find the second goal that would have eased their passage and they had to see the game out with a clean sheet to ensure Grimsby – who sent on former Pilgrim Jamille Matt for the last quarter – did not take them back to Humberside for a replay.
Derek said: “It gets to that stage – it only takes a knock-down from one of their players and a ricochet, and it could be a goal – but I felt we did well with that threat. We had bodies in and around the 18-yard box.
“We had to deal with a number of long balls, especially in the second half, when big Jamille came on – he tried to put himself and get on the end of things. We dealt well with that. You are always a wee bit apprehensive when Jamille comes on.
“We probably should have finished them off to give us a 2-0 or 3-0 lead and not allowing them the confidence to try to get back into the game.
“We have had troubles at the start of the season through injury and suspension. We have had a lot of good performances and we haven’t had the results that our play has deserved, but, today, we deserved to score a lot more goals than we did.”