DESPITE the disappointment of Argyle’s Sky Bet League One defeat to Gillingham on Good Friday, manager Derek Adams was able to identify at least one positive from the game in Kent – the impressive full debut of Lloyd Jones.
Having joined the Argyle youth set-up as a young boy, before setting off on a footballing journey that took him to Liverpool, various loans, Luton Town and then back to Argyle on loan, the home-town defender ended a life-long wait to make his first start for the Pilgrims on Friday.
“I thought he did well and dealt well with the threats that Gillingham were causing,” said Derek, who opted to bring Jones in for Niall Canavan. “That’s important for him, because it’s not easy coming in for your full debut.”
Jones played the majority of the game alongside Ryan Edwards in the heart of the Pilgrims’ defence and dealt exceptionally well with the physical and aerial challenge presented by Tom Eaves, who bagged a hat-trick in the same fixture last year. In fact, such was the dominance over the Gills’ forward, he was withdrawn at half-time, ultimately to the Pilgrims’ detriment.
“Lloyd Jones came in and had a very good full debut,” said Derek. “Second-half, they make a tactical change, take Eaves off, and it benefits them. He’s one of the top goal scorers in the league, but it enabled them to play in a different style.”
As Argyle chased the game, Jones found himself switched out to the right side of defence, where he again impressed as a marauding right-back, but has he done enough to ensure that he retains his place ahead of Easter Monday’s clash with high-flying Barnsley at Home Park?
“We’ll assess it and look at the players tomorrow and Sunday, and see who is ready for the game on Monday,” said Derek. “We don’t have the luxury of making too many changes, but there are options.”