Schumacher's Forest Green Reaction
It seems the most obvious of statements to say that the two goals that Argyle scored in their 2-0 win over Forest Green Rovers were important, but their timing in the context of the game, and the season, cannot be overstated.
Forest Green, Sky Bet League One’s bottom team, came to Home Park with an understandable defensive mindset, and throughout the afternoon Argyle struggled to effectively break them down.
Pleasingly, though, James Bolton’s eighth-minute goal broke the deadlock and settled the Pilgrims. The defender headed home Jordan Houghton’s corner to notch his first goal in a green shirt, and from then on Argyle always looked favourites.
“We felt that it might be a game that we might control possession,” said manager Steven Schumacher. “We expected Forest Green to come with a plan, be organised and be hard to beat, hard to break down.
“We just felt that if we got ourselves in front, get the lead by showing a bit of quality or score from a set play then we'd be able to control the game. We would've liked to have maybe created a few more clinical chances, but it's hard when teams are defending with 11 men behind the ball.
“It settled everybody down. It was something that we spoke about yesterday, the set plays. We said this might be a real chance for us to score, considering Forest Green’ record this season. Jordan’s delivery was outstanding and Bolts timed his run perfectly. It was a brilliant header, it gave us the start we desperately wanted in the game.
“[James Bolton] has been brilliant. He's had a frustrating time. He hasn’t played the games that he would've wanted to because of the injuries that he's had. He's been unfortunate, but what I will tell you about him is that every single day he's trained with the right attitude.
“He's come and knocked on my door a few times and said: ‘when am I going to get an opportunity?’ I think he's earned that chance today and I thought he was probably our man of the match.”
The game’s second goal came within two minutes of the restart, with James Wilson venturing forward on the right to clip a cross to Bali Mumba, who headed in to make it 2-0.
Argyle cruised home from there, and will now look to take the winning form to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night.
“The second goal, just at the start of the second half, helped us give us a little bit more breathing space,” said Schumacher.
“It was huge because it was a weird game, with how deep and how organised Forest Green were. It was quite tough to break them down. We said if we could move the ball a little bit quicker, be a bit more adventurous and commit some more bodies into the box, then we’d have a chance. Thankfully Willo stepped in on the outside, ran through and put in a lovely ball, where Bali’s in exactly the right place where we need him.
“He's got some huge goals of this this season, and probably none more so than that because at 1-0, the longer the game goes on, everyone gets a little bit nervous.
“At 2-0 we thought we had a little bit more breathing space. Our defenders, the goalkeepers and the whole team didn't make any errors, and kept another clean sheet, which is great.
“We asked for a professional performance, and I feel as though everyone to a man did that today. In the main, we handled the game really well.
“We've managed to get people on the pitch who needed minutes. It's a good afternoon and we go again on Tuesday, for another big game and one that we go to need to win again.”