Fruitless Dominance

ARGYLE skipper Gary Sawyer was extremely disappointed that the Pilgrims were unable to convert their first-half dominance into goals during Saturday’s Sky Bet League One defeat to Charlton and accepts that it ultimately cost them the match.

“I think, in the situation we’re in, it’s frustrating because it’s another game gone by, and we’ve obviously not got any points out of it,” said Sawyer.

The Greens were causing high-flying Charlton all sorts of problems in the early stages of the encounter at Home Park, and perhaps should have been home and dry before Graham Carey saw his 39th minute penalty saved by visiting ‘keeper Dillon Phillips. Two minutes later, Argyle were behind through a Lyle Taylor header, which Sawyer felt was harsh on his team-mates.

“Obviously, the boy gets a cross in, and we didn’t really tie up in the box and we find ourselves 1-0 down, which wasn’t really merited,” said Sawyer. “They score early in the second-half and everything’s a battle from there.”

A goal early in the second-period effectively killed off Argyle’s hopes of a comeback, as the visitors were able to shut up shop and restrict the Pilgrims’ attacking prospects from that moment on.

“I think, if you go 1-0 down to a team like Charlton, it’s always going to be tough,” said Sawyer. “To come out in the second-half and let a soft goal in, it’s always going to be an uphill battle. They are where they are in the league for a reason. It’s unfortunate for us, and we just couldn’t get back at them.

“It just didn’t work for us. The ball didn’t fall right, we didn’t really push them as much as we could have, and the game got away from us a bit.”

In the previous two weeks, excellent performances against Bristol Rovers and Blackpool were spoiled by conceding last-minute equalisers, and Saturday’s first-half performance was again encouraging. While Sawyer can take some positives from the way he and his colleagues are playing, he believes that, at this stage of the season, only one thing matters – and that is results.

“As good as we were in the first-half, we’re sitting here with no points,” said Sawyer. “It’s something that we’ll look at in training, and if we could play like that for 90 minutes rather than just the 45, we’ll certainly have no problem at all. It’s a positive to a certain degree, but obviously disheartening as well because we didn’t carry it through.”

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