ARGYLE limped away from the Valley battered and bruised and with a worryingly long injury-list.
Already without seven of the first-team squad going into the Sky Bet League One encounter against Charlton Athletic, they suffered an unwanted hat-trick of injuries before succumbing 2-1 to a late Karlan Grant goal.
Captain Gary Sawyer left the ground on crutches with a sore foot, while fellow defender Scott Wootton suffered a thigh problem. Midfielder Antoni Sarcevic was also forced from the field with a stomach issue.
Such were Argyle’s personnel problems that they began the match with left-back Ashly Smith-Brown on right side of defence and ended it with left-winger Gregg Wylde in a back four, where Peter Grant made his debut for the club as a first-half substitute.
“We had a lot of good performers,” said manager Derek Adams. “We had a left-back playing at right-back; we had a left-winger player at left-back; we had another player making his debut at left centre-half, so it was all going against us.
“We’ve got a good squad. It’s getting smaller and smaller at this moment in time but we’ll keep on moving along and try to get the wins that we need to get us up the league.”
If the sight of Gregg lining up in defence raised a few eyebrows, his performance – which involved one excellent block and one goal-line clearance – did not surprise his manager.
Derek said: “He can play left-back. I’ve played him there before, not in a senior game. He’s quick; nobody was going to run him. It allowed us not to alter the shape, too much, of the team.”
Peter, too, won praise for stepping into the breach caused by Scott’s departure.
“It’s not easy, coming to Charlton and making your debut,” said Derek. “I thought he defended his box well, made a lot of good clearances, good headers.”
ARGYLE’S INJURY LIST
Lionel Ainsworth (hamstring)
Niall Canavan (groin)
Conor Grant (calf)
Tafari Moore (unknown)
Jamie Ness (groin)
Joe Riley (knee)
Antoni Sarcevic (stomach)
Gary Sawyer (foot)
Scott Wootton (thigh)
Ryan Taylor (ankle)