The Pen is Mightier

GRAHAM Carey missed out on a first hat-trick when he fluffed a penalty in the Pilgrims’ emphatic 4-0 win over Southend United– but he wants to continue taking spot-kicks.

The Irish midfielder scored Argyle’s second and third goals in their Good Friday victory at Home Park which took them back into the Sky Bet League One play-off places.

Southend defender Michael Turner’s foul on Joel Grant then presented him with the opportunity to become the first Pilgrim to score a home league hat-trick for 12 years.

However, he cracked his shot against the crossbar and the moment he has waited a career for passed by.

“I’ve never scored [a hat-trick] so, when I was taking the penalty, I was thinking about that,” he said. “Luckily, it didn’t really matter, but I would have loved to have scored a hat-trick.”

Graham has missed three of his last four spot-kicks – although he netted a crucial winner from 12 yards in the previous home match against Bristol Rovers – but is undaunted by the streak.

He said: “I’ll take the next one. I’m obviously disappointed with the miss but I back myself under a lot more pressure than I was today and I’ll make sure I score.”

Graham thinks that part of the pressure has come from the number of penalty awards that Argyle’s clever play has brought this season, with goalkeepers as aware as Pilgrim penalty-takers of players’ preferences.

He said: “It’s getting a little bit harder. We have had so many penalties this season that the ’keepers have done their research. It’s a bit difficult – we never usually get this many penalties.”

In trying to be exact with his placement, Graham reckons that he might have hit his shot with a little more power than he intended.

He said: “I kind of caught it too cleanly and it took off of my boot a bit hotter than I thought it would be.

“I should be scoring them and I’ll definitely score the next one.”