ARGYLE must win at least three of their last seven Championship matches to stand any chance of escaping relegation.

But, realistically, it will take four – or possibly even five – victories for them to stay up.

That, it goes without saying, is a tall order, especially for a team which has been badly hit by injuries.

There are two main reasons why the Pilgrims are where they are in the table.

The first is that they have not put a run of positive results together all season, and the second is their inability to keep clean sheets.

Both of those factors came into play as former Argyle manager Ian Holloway made a winning return to Home Park with Blackpool on Saturday.

The Pilgrims were coming off a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Ipswich Town last Tuesday.

There was an opportunity for them to build on that, with back-to-back home games against Blackpool, followed by Barnsley tomorrow.

Instead, they slipped to their ninth home defeat in the Championship this term, and their 22nd in total.

Argyle kept only their fourth clean sheet of the season against Ipswich, but Blackpool netted twice in the last quarter-of-an-hour to take maximum points.

Fate was not kind to the Pilgrims, it must be said, as they lost influential captain Carl Fletcher early on.

Fletcher suffered a badly gashed knee in a crunching tackle with Blackpool midfielder Keith Southern in the fifth minute.

Luke Summerfield was sent on as a substitute because Fletcher could not continue playing.

Summerfield had a fine game, perhaps finally silencing his critics, as he showed off a good range of passing.

But his involvement in the match was also destined to end prematurely.

Summerfield was taken off in the 73rd minute because of a tight hamstring, after signalling to the bench he could not continue.

That meant the Pilgrims had to use their third and final permitted substitute.

Head coach Paul Mariner chose to send on 17-year-old Ryan Leonard for his Argyle debut.

Leonard slotted into the side at right-back, with Karl Duguid moving into the centre of midfield.

It must have been a proud moment for Leonard’s father, Dave, the Plymouth Parkway manager, who was at the match.

But it did leave Argyle with a very inexperienced right-side to the team.

Joe Mason, 18, had already come on as a 61st minute substitute for the injured Alan Judge.

Blackpool sensed Argyle were vulnerable, and inspired by their star player Charlie Adam, they struck twice late on.

Adam netted one of the goals, to take his tally for the season to 16 in all competitions.

He was signed by Blackpool last summer having been linked with a move to Argyle.

Adam and his agent were at the Pilgrims’ pre-season friendly against Unirea Urziceni, the champions of Romania, during the pre-season tour to Scotland.

But Adam ended up putting pen to paper for Blackpool, and at £500,000 has proved to be a bargain buy.

Injury-hit Argyle, with Leonard and another second-year apprentice Sean Kinsella on the bench, started slowly against Blackpool.

But they could have taken the lead in the 14th minute when Judge had a great chance.

Summerfield threaded a perfect pass behind Blackpool left-back Stephen Crainey for Judge to run onto.

Judge could have perhaps taken a touch, but he decided to hit his shot first time.

Unfortunately for him, and for the Pilgrims, the ball bounced awkwardly and he put it wide of the near post.

Argyle threatened again in the 23rd minute, when Bradley Wright-Phillips was twice denied.

His strike partner Jamie Mackie latched onto a ball played forward by Judge when he got the better of Blackpool centre-back Alex Baptiste.

Mackie moved into the penalty area and, unselfishly, cut the ball back to Wright-Phillips.

His sidefoot shot was saved by goalkeeper Matt Gilks, and Baptiste then blocked the follow-up from Wright-Phillips.

Winger Yannick Bolasie had one fierce shot stopped by Gilks, and sent another one narrowly wide and into the side netting, as Argyle dominated.

There was the sense at half-time the home side might regret not taking at least one of those chances.

And, sure enough, it was clear from the start of the second half that Blackpool had much more purpose about them.

Argyle goalkeeper David Stockdale, untroubled before the interval, made a fine one-on-one save from Seasiders’ striker Ben Burgess in the 47th minute.

It came after Summerfield made his one and only mistake as he misplaced a header and put Burgess clear.

Blackpool went even closer to taking the lead four minutes later when Adam curled a 25-yard shot beyond the reach of Stockdale but the ball rebounded off the left post.

Argyle tried to respond, with Mackie having a goalbound shot deflected for a corner off Seasiders’ defender Ian Evatt.

But Adam had taken control of the match and Stockdale pulled off a stunning save to flick a shot from the Scottish midfielder over the crossbar, at full stretch.

Argyle still remained an attacking threat, with Mackie working tirelessly for the cause.

Gilks palmed a stinging shot from Mackie up and over the bar in the 66th minute, with the ball landing on top of the netting.

Wright-Phillips then turned a shot against the left post, after home debutant Bondz N’Gala, the on-loan West Ham United defender, had headed the ball inside.

The ball rebounded off the post and, in the ensuing scramble, Mackie tucked it into the net, but an offside flag had already been raised.

Gilks made an excellent low save from Mackie, after he had twisted and turned his way past Evatt.

Argyle were building up some momentum, but Summerfield’s early exit was a blow to them as it forced a reshuffle.

Wright-Phillips and Bolasie also seemed to be feeling the pace, but no more substitutes could be used.

Blackpool then took the lead in the 78th minute when a clever backheel from Stephen Dobbie, one of the visitors’ substitutes, set up Adam.

He drilled a low shot across Stockdale and, with unerring accuracy, into the far corner of the net.

Argyle had a chance to equalise three minutes later, following a long throw-in from Leonard.

The ball reached Mason, but he miskicked his volley on the edge of the six-yard area.

Blackpool then grabbed the second, and decisive goal, from their next attack.

Seasiders’ substitute Barry Bannan worked his way past Duguid and Adam then flicked the ball into the path of Dobbie.

He raced clear of the Argyle defence and coolly clipped the ball over Stockdale and into the net to put the seal on Blackpool’s first away win in eight attempts.

Read the article on Plymouth Evening Herald

Injury woes continue to haunt struggling Greens

ARGYLE must win at least three of their last seven Championship matches to stand any chance of escaping relegation.

But, realistically, it will take four – or possibly even five – victories for them to stay up.

That, it goes without saying, is a tall order, especially for a team which has been badly hit by injuries.

There are two main reasons why the Pilgrims are where they are in the table.

The first is that they have not put a run of positive results together all season, and the second is their inability to keep clean sheets.

Both of those factors came into play as former Argyle manager Ian Holloway made a winning return to Home Park with Blackpool on Saturday.

The Pilgrims were coming off a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Ipswich Town last Tuesday.

There was an opportunity for them to build on that, with back-to-back home games against Blackpool, followed by Barnsley tomorrow.

Instead, they slipped to their ninth home defeat in the Championship this term, and their 22nd in total.

Argyle kept only their fourth clean sheet of the season against Ipswich, but Blackpool netted twice in the last quarter-of-an-hour to take maximum points.

Fate was not kind to the Pilgrims, it must be said, as they lost influential captain Carl Fletcher early on.

Fletcher suffered a badly gashed knee in a crunching tackle with Blackpool midfielder Keith Southern in the fifth minute.

Luke Summerfield was sent on as a substitute because Fletcher could not continue playing.

Summerfield had a fine game, perhaps finally silencing his critics, as he showed off a good range of passing.

But his involvement in the match was also destined to end prematurely.

Summerfield was taken off in the 73rd minute because of a tight hamstring, after signalling to the bench he could not continue.

That meant the Pilgrims had to use their third and final permitted substitute.

Head coach Paul Mariner chose to send on 17-year-old Ryan Leonard for his Argyle debut.

Leonard slotted into the side at right-back, with Karl Duguid moving into the centre of midfield.

It must have been a proud moment for Leonard’s father, Dave, the Plymouth Parkway manager, who was at the match.

But it did leave Argyle with a very inexperienced right-side to the team.

Joe Mason, 18, had already come on as a 61st minute substitute for the injured Alan Judge.

Blackpool sensed Argyle were vulnerable, and inspired by their star player Charlie Adam, they struck twice late on.

Adam netted one of the goals, to take his tally for the season to 16 in all competitions.

He was signed by Blackpool last summer having been linked with a move to Argyle.

Adam and his agent were at the Pilgrims’ pre-season friendly against Unirea Urziceni, the champions of Romania, during the pre-season tour to Scotland.

But Adam ended up putting pen to paper for Blackpool, and at £500,000 has proved to be a bargain buy.

Injury-hit Argyle, with Leonard and another second-year apprentice Sean Kinsella on the bench, started slowly against Blackpool.

But they could have taken the lead in the 14th minute when Judge had a great chance.

Summerfield threaded a perfect pass behind Blackpool left-back Stephen Crainey for Judge to run onto.

Judge could have perhaps taken a touch, but he decided to hit his shot first time.

Unfortunately for him, and for the Pilgrims, the ball bounced awkwardly and he put it wide of the near post.

Argyle threatened again in the 23rd minute, when Bradley Wright-Phillips was twice denied.

His strike partner Jamie Mackie latched onto a ball played forward by Judge when he got the better of Blackpool centre-back Alex Baptiste.

Mackie moved into the penalty area and, unselfishly, cut the ball back to Wright-Phillips.

His sidefoot shot was saved by goalkeeper Matt Gilks, and Baptiste then blocked the follow-up from Wright-Phillips.

Winger Yannick Bolasie had one fierce shot stopped by Gilks, and sent another one narrowly wide and into the side netting, as Argyle dominated.

There was the sense at half-time the home side might regret not taking at least one of those chances.

And, sure enough, it was clear from the start of the second half that Blackpool had much more purpose about them.

Argyle goalkeeper David Stockdale, untroubled before the interval, made a fine one-on-one save from Seasiders’ striker Ben Burgess in the 47th minute.

It came after Summerfield made his one and only mistake as he misplaced a header and put Burgess clear.

Blackpool went even closer to taking the lead four minutes later when Adam curled a 25-yard shot beyond the reach of Stockdale but the ball rebounded off the left post.

Argyle tried to respond, with Mackie having a goalbound shot deflected for a corner off Seasiders’ defender Ian Evatt.

But Adam had taken control of the match and Stockdale pulled off a stunning save to flick a shot from the Scottish midfielder over the crossbar, at full stretch.

Argyle still remained an attacking threat, with Mackie working tirelessly for the cause.

Gilks palmed a stinging shot from Mackie up and over the bar in the 66th minute, with the ball landing on top of the netting.

Wright-Phillips then turned a shot against the left post, after home debutant Bondz N’Gala, the on-loan West Ham United defender, had headed the ball inside.

The ball rebounded off the post and, in the ensuing scramble, Mackie tucked it into the net, but an offside flag had already been raised.

Gilks made an excellent low save from Mackie, after he had twisted and turned his way past Evatt.

Argyle were building up some momentum, but Summerfield’s early exit was a blow to them as it forced a reshuffle.

Wright-Phillips and Bolasie also seemed to be feeling the pace, but no more substitutes could be used.

Blackpool then took the lead in the 78th minute when a clever backheel from Stephen Dobbie, one of the visitors’ substitutes, set up Adam.

He drilled a low shot across Stockdale and, with unerring accuracy, into the far corner of the net.

Argyle had a chance to equalise three minutes later, following a long throw-in from Leonard.

The ball reached Mason, but he miskicked his volley on the edge of the six-yard area.

Blackpool then grabbed the second, and decisive goal, from their next attack.

Seasiders’ substitute Barry Bannan worked his way past Duguid and Adam then flicked the ball into the path of Dobbie.

He raced clear of the Argyle defence and coolly clipped the ball over Stockdale and into the net to put the seal on Blackpool’s first away win in eight attempts.

Read the article on Plymouth Evening Herald

Postat de pe data de 29 apr., 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 141 ori.

Publica un raspuns