ARGYLE’S attacking midfield duo played starring roles in their side’s 4-0 victory over Southend United, spearheading a performance that even had Derek Adams’ counterparts purring.
The Pilgrims put a Shrimpers side on the up under Chris Powell to the sword at a packed Home Park, producing one of their most assured and dominant displays of the season. Ruben Lameiras scored in the third and third-to-last minutes of the game, bracketing two goals from Graham Carey in the 33rd and 56th minutes, to guide the Greens back into Sky Bet League One’s play-off places.
Ruben’s first goal encapsulated the afternoon’s performance from Derek’s side, put clean through after a sublime passing move, before firing into the far corner that Carey was involved in, setting the tone for the rest of the match.
“I thought we started the game very well,” said Adams. “We got ourselves in the lead with a well-taken goal. Good play in the centre of the park and then Taylor makes a great touch, and a fabulous finish from Lameiras. We just went on from there and grew in confidence, and went on to win convincingly.
“Both of them got two goals today, and Carey should’ve had a hat-trick. It’s great that they’re scoring goals, because they’re very creative players, but there are other players in the team were there to provide the ammunition for them.”
Indeed, the stage is being set by other players to allow Ruben and Graham to terrorise defences. As well as the midfield trio behind them, the superb centre forward play of Ryan Taylor has been instrumental in giving Lameiras and Carey the opportunities to cause havoc.
“He led the line very well,” said Derek of Ryan. “He caused the two centre halves a lot of trouble, and I think they were glad to see him come off. It gave us the platform for us to go forward. I don’t like my centre forwards to move much, and he certainly plays that role very well.”
Argyle’s defenders, meanwhile, were calm and assured throughout, making sure possession constantly remained around the feet of their attacking teammates. Returning from illness, Sonny Bradley guided the back four through 90 minutes where they so rarely looked like being beaten.
“He did very well today,” said Adams on Sonny. “It hasn’t been an easy time for them, but he played like he hadn’t been away. That was really good for the whole squad.
“He has been key. Just unfortunately, we had to wait for the results until he could play, and we’ve done that.”
Argyle’s fluid and expressive football had the Theatre of Greens on its feet on multiple occasions against United. Derek stated how the importance of working diligently between matches on that style of play is allowing them to deliver come match-day.
“We work on it all the time,” said Adams. “We work on one and two-touch play. We do three touches maximum in games, and that’s because they’re very comfortable on the ball. The more we do it, the more repetition that we work on, the better we become.
“I think that their [Southend’s] backroom staff said to us after the game that we played very well. It was an accomplished performance.”