The Big One

ARGYLE’S Sky Bet League One draw at Rochdale was pay-back time by the Pilgrims, according to goalscorer Joel Grant.

Four days after being decidedly second-best in losing 2-0 at Northampton Town, Argyle bounced back with a superb display at the Crown Oil Arena, where they were unlucky not come away with greater reward than a point from a 1-1 draw.

“We were disappointed with Saturday and we needed a reaction,” said Joel, after the game.“I think we owed it to the manager and the staff, and the fans who travelled to see us on Saturday. We weren’t at the races, but I certainly thought we were tonight.”

The Pilgrims were particularly impressive in the first half, when the attacking unit of Joel, Graham Carey, Ruben Lameiras and Antoni Sarcveic dominated proceedings without scoring.

It was not until early in the second half that Joel headed Argyle in front, only for them to be pegged back almost immediately when Ryan Delaney nodded in from a Rochdale corner to leave the Pilgrims with a point that keeps them in touch with the play-off places.

Joel said: “You could always do with two extra – you could always do with three points. It remains to be seen. We’ll have to look and see how the last three fixtures go – it could be a massive point. Hopefully it is.

“We were out of the traps quick and, in hindsight, that’s when you feel we maybe should have taken the three points but, like I say, it could be a massive point.

“Particularly of late – the last two games – I don’t think we have been creating as many chances as we have been doing but, tonight, we were definitely at it. As a team, I thought we were on the front foot and caused a lot of problems.

“We have been doing that a lot this season and that’s why were in the place we’re in at the moment.”

Joel’s goal was his fourth of the season, and second time he had scored first in a 1-1 draw with Rochdale.

He said: “It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet – tonight was no different – and luckily, I manged to do that.

“I remember Ruben getting to the ball and just trying to make the box. He’s managed to flick it back nicely and it was just about hitting the target. I had to jump early because you’ve got some big centre-halves in there. I managed to hit the target and it went in. I’m delighted with a goal.”

Within two minutes, Rochdale were back on terms to take a share of the spoils that aided their fight against relegation, holding off a strong finish from the Pilgrims.

“We were unlucky with a couple of efforts,” said Joel. “Lionel had one which ricocheted and just went wide; I had one that just went wide myself. We were definitely trying to win the game and that’s all we can ask for.

“I thought the boys were outstanding tonight. Rochdale’s not an easy place to come to, especially with their position in the league. 

“We have got to take the positives. We’re still in the race for promotion.

“This is what we are in it for. It’s exciting times. We have had a roller-coaster season, if you like, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.”