THEY say lightning never strikes twice but we would like to prove that wrong, and in actual fact, it has struck Plymouth Argyle. How can such a phenomenon happen we hear you ask, or is it simply a pre-Halloween coincidence?
In truth, this story starts at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane, at the time managed by a guy called Ryan Lowe, heard of him, anyone?
Bury, of course, went on to gain promotion from Sky Bet League Two last term in Lowe’s first season as a manager. They got there thanks to a free-flowing and exciting brand of football, where it was essentially: “always go for more goals.“
That never-say-die attitude served them very well, as they went up with a club record 85 points in third place. Let us rewind a little though, and focus on the beginning of the Shakers’ season, which, as Argyle supporter John Eales pointed out to us after some assiduous research, bears more than a passing resemblance to the Pilgrims' early 2019-20 campaign.
After 15 games, Bury had played eight at home and seven away, that is exactly the stage we are at today, but let’s take a closer look. These statistics are almost identical for Bury then, and Argyle now across home and away games. Hear us out, Pilgrims: 15 games played, both teams had won six, lost four, and drawn the other five. That means that both sides would have 23 points. Not to mention both sides at this point sat one place outside the play-offs.
Away from home, both sides had drawn twice; won twice and lost three. At home, both had won four; drawn three and lost once. Are we sensing a theme here, Greens?
Let us carry on. According to John, at Gigg Lane, Bury had scored 16 times during this period, Argyle have also scored 16 times at Home Park. In terms of losing goals: Argyle have shipped eight. Bury, at home, had lost one fewer goal. On the road, both sides had an equally keen eye for goal, both scoring eight times. Bury had conceded just one more than us (9)
The only discrepancy is the fact that Argyle have conceded one more home goal than the Shakers had this time last year, and that stat was the opposite for away games.
Of course, this uncanny set of numbers may be no surprise to the coaching staff at Home Park, or indeed the likes of Will Aimson, Danny Mayor, Dom Telford, Byron Moore or Callum McFadzean, but it certainly was to us!
With that knowledge in mind, the Green Army can be rest assured that we are right on track to repeat the feat of Bury’s promotion last year.
(However, be aware Pilgrims, Bury’s 16th game in Sky Bet League Two last season, was a 1-0 loss to Port Vale away from home), so tomorrow at Exeter is a good time to change history. The full broken-down table after 15 games is as follows:
Bury 2018-19: P 8 W 4 D 3 L 1 F 16 A 7
Argyle 2019-20: P 8 W 4 D 3 L 1 F 16 A 8
Bury 2018-19: P 7 W 2 D 2 L 3 F 8 A 9
Argyle 2019-20: P 7 W 2 D 2 L 3 F 8 A 8