Saturday, 9 October 2010
More poor defending gifts Charlton an equaliser, Paul Benson netting his second of the game with a tap-in after the ball is allowed to travel right through the Argyle penalty area. It's no less than the visitors deserve, but Peter Reid will be tearing his hair as his side toss away two points.
The visitors remain an attacking threat though, with Reid and Martin rampaging down the flanks. Romain Larrieu calms some Green nerves, however, showing confidence to come off his line and pluck a cross out of the air.
WHAT A STRIKE!
Out of nowhere Yala Bolasie smashes the ball past the helpless Rob Elliot. The pacy forward almost takes his shirt of in celebration, then realises that he'll get a booking an changes his mind at the last moment. Can the Pilgrims hang on? There's little over five minutes left to play...
Romain Larrieu then makes three excellent saves in quick succession to prevent his side from falling behind. First, the Frenchman makes a fantastic stop to prevent Marcel Seip putting the ball into his own net, before gathering Pawel Abbott's free header after a lapse of concentration from N'Gala. Less than a minute later Le Keeper is action again, saving from Lee Martin. Peter Reid does not look happy.
While the Pilgrims are still struggling to find their attacking rhythm, the visitors are starting to look really threatening from the wide areas with Kyel Reid and Lee Martin offering pace on the flanks.
Meanwhile, Lee Martin is certainly offering more threat on the Addicks' right flank, firing a dangerous ball across the face of the Pilgrims goal.
The tricky winger almost makes an instant impact, firing a shot goalwards from 25 yards. It's another slow start to a half from the Greens.
Then, catastrophe. Reda Johnson bizarrely allows the ball to bounce a couple of yards outside the penalty area and Paul Benson sneaks in to poke a shot past the despairing Larrieu, the ball slowly rolling into the corner of the net. Le Keeper is understandably furious and proceeds to let fly at the Benin international.
Meanwhile, on Radio Devon, Martin Hodge is expressing his displeasure at one of the Charlton centre-halves wearing bright blue football boots.
It's been a bit of a mixed bag at the back for the Pilgrims so far, with Lee Molyneux making some good challenges but Reda Johnson having one of his more uncoordinated afternoons. Peter Reid will be happier with the look of things upfront, with Maclean showing some nice touches and Gary Doherty looking troubled by the pace of BWP.
But what's this? An Arnason long-throw, some poor defending and there's Bradley Wright-Phillips, sweeping the ball into the net to give the Pilgrims an early lead, with just four minutes on the clock!
So, after the excitement of drawing Exeter in the JPT regional quarter finals earlier this morning, Argyle will turn their attentions back to league matters and the visit of Charlton Athletic to Home Park.
Here are the teams...
Romain Larrieu, Marcel Seip, Bondz N’Gala, Reda Johnson, Lee Molyneux, Jack Stephens, Carl Fletcher (c), Kari Arnason, Craig Noone, Steve MacLean, Bradley Wright-Phillips. Subs: Karl Duguid, Chris Clark, Joe Mason, Yala Bolasie, Ollie Chenoweth, Dean Parrett, Anton Peterlin.
Rob Elliot, Christian Dailly (c), Jon Fortune, Gary Doherty, Johnnie Jackson, Scott Wagstaff, Jose Semedo, Therry Racon, Kyel Reid, Pawel Abbott, Paul Benson. Subs: Miguel Llera, Lee Martin, Alan McCormack, Matt Fry, Joe Anyinsah, Ross Worner, Carl Jenkinson.
Two changes from the Hartlepool defeat for the Greens, with Lee Molyneux coming in at left-back and Jack Stephens making his league debut on the right side of the midfield .
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
An unintentionally amusing closing statement from the Radio Nottingham commentator:
Notts County are in League Two...round two of the Carling Cup...
Some scores from elsewhere: Exeter 2, Ipswich 2, Leicester City 4, Macclesfield 3.
An Arnason long throw leads to a chance for Maclean in the Magpies' penalty area, but the Scot drags his shot wide after a smart turn 18 yards from goal. Five minutes for Argyle to find an equaliser and force extra time.
Argyle have a bit more momentum as we enter the last ten minutes, however, with Noone receiving more and more of the ball on the right wing. Omnisor Bhasera receives a yellow card for a mistimed challenge, which prompts a rousing rendition of 'You don't know what you're doing' from the home fans, aimed at Mr Tanner.
Craig Noone delivers a corner for the Pilgrims, which drops just behind Bradley Wright-Phillips in the County penalty area. Argyle then make their final change, as Steve Maclean replaces Fallon. There's some cheers as Rory's number appears on the board. It's not been one of the New Zealander's better evenings.
Two Magpies players then go into the notebook in quick succession - Ben Davies and the goalscorer Spicer are shown yellow cards by Steve Tanner.
County take an age over a corner kick, which is cleared by the Greens backline. The visitors are unlikely to hurry anything in the next half an hour, but referee Steve Tanner is already looking displeased at the idea of any timewasting.
Argyle are struggling to create anything at the moment. Maybe it's time for Summers to come off the bench?
Craig Short then makes his first substitution, withdrawing the busy Burgess for Jake Jervis. Can Argyle respond to conceding that goal?
We return to Radio Nottingham as Rory Fallon cracks a volley narrowly wide of Stuart Nelson's post. Peter Reid has made one change at the break, with Jim Paterson replacing Lee Molyneux. The former Everton and Southampton man full-back has done well in his 120 minutes on the pitch considering his lack of a proper pre-season.
County win another free kick in a shooting position, which is deflected clear. Argyle then break through Noone, whose dangerous cross is scrambled away by the Magpies. There's a bit more about the game in the opening stages of the second half.
Still, this one is still for there for the taking. Back in a few for the second half.
The Greens, who have lost their way somewhat in the last twenty minutes, almost snatch the lead on the stroke of half time as Craig Noone fires a shot wide of the target, before Bhasera makes a crucial block from Westcarr in the Argyle penalty area.
As irritating as it is that the Radio Devon commentary feed is working, it is interesting to listen to another radio station's perception of Argyle. The Radio Nottingham commentators sound pleasantly surprised that their side are keeping up with the Pilgrims. That would seem fairly pessimistic, considering the Greens home form over the past couple of seasons, but it might be something Argyle can use to their advantage over the next few months.
There's been a fair bit of long ball stuff from Argyle so far, which is hardly making the most of the snooker table like surface they're gracing. To be fair, it's proving quite successful so far with County, who shipped three against Huddersfield on Saturday, looking rather jittery at the back.
Talking of Huddersfield - Damien Johnson is one of the good guys.
Arnie advances upfield to hurl a long throw into the County box, which the visitors succesfully defend. We only saw a couple of those on Saturday. Wright-Phillips is coming more and more into the game meanwhile, hurrying and harrying the Magpies defence.
A fairly scrappy start, with a lengthy stoppage in the opening couple of minutes as County's Craig Westcarr goes down with an injury.
Argyle create the first opening of the game, as BWP tees up Craig Noone to flash a shot wide of the target. The Notts County commentators are surprised that Bradley didn't feature on Saturday; they're also shocked that the new pitch cost £500K. It's surprising Munto Finance didn't buy them a new one.
So, after masterminding a tremendous opening day win at St Mary's (match report coming soon) Peter Reid tonight takes charge of his first match at Home Park as Argyle play hosts to Notts County in the first round of the Carling Cup. What's more, this will be the first game played on the brand spanking new Home Park pitch - head over to Greens on Screen for all the lovely pictures.
The Greens will line up as follows:
Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Romain Larrieu; 2 Karl Duguid, 5 Réda Johnson (C), 11 Kári Árnason, 34 Lee Molyneux; 17 Craig Noone, 6 Chris Clark, 21 Anton Peterlin, 15 Onismor Bhasera; 10 Bradley Wright-Phillips, 14 Rory Fallon. Substitutes: 3 Bondz N'Gala, 20 Luke Summerfield, 29 Jim Paterson, 31 David Button (gk), 32 Steve MacLean, 35 Curtis Nelson.
Interesting to see that Reda is named captain ahead of Arnie, whilst Marcel Seip only makes the bench.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Man of the Match - David Stockdale - made a string of brilliant saves at 1-0 to set the platform for the victory.
Plaudits should also go to BWP, Mackie, Bolasie, N'Gala and, well, the whole ruddy lot of them!
Blackpool have beaten Swansea 5-1. Bring 'em on!
One minute of injury time left. Palace are two down against Forest.
Ipswich have a free kick 30 yards from goal. Garvan smashes the ball into the wall, before Chris Clark dispossesses Healy to make the clearance.
One minute plus injury time left. Four or five minutes of stoppage time?
David Healy has a chance at the back post, but the Northern Ireland striker is denied by yet another outstanding Stockdale stop. Moments later the loanee 'keeper is down injured, having hurt his knee whilst plucking a cross out of the air. The home fans aren't too impressed, the away fans just keep singing.
Stockdale looks okay to continue. Five plus stoppage time left to go.
Brilliant work from Mackie, setting up Mason to roll the ball past Murphy's despairing dive! Raucous celebrations from the players on the pitch and the fans in the away end.
Eleven minutes left. The next five are vital...
No, Nigel, no! He thinks Argyle are looking pretty comfortable at the back. Don't say it Nige!
Ipswich win a free kick in an attacking position, which Leadbitter lines up. It's a fine strike, and Stockdale makes another brilliant diving save.
Nigel likes Mackie's workrate, which has again been outstanding. I think he might be a Wolves fan, he keeps mentioning that they're beating West Ham.
Alan Judge dribbles round four players before losing control and watching the ball roll out for a goalkick.
Oh dear - Barks is injured. Mariner hauls him straight off, with Judge coming on in his place. Clark (the footballing swiss army knife, according to Drew) drops back to left full-back. Still, Judgey will be another one for the Ipswich defence to think about.
Nigel reckons Sawyer is out for the season, so lets hope Bhasera gets his paper work sorted pronto.
Palace are a goal and man down at Forest.
Yala Bolasie drifts past two Ipswich challenge before firing a shot into the side-netting. The ref saw a deflection and awards the visitors a corner, which comes to nothing. Drew likes Bolasie - he's gone straight into his all-time top-five PAFC players to watch.
Roy Keane makes a double change, Garvan and Leadbitter are on for Carlos Edwards and David Norris. Cheers Chuck.
Nigel is pleased to see Argyle maintaining a high defensive line. You and me both Nigel, you and me both. A high line won't solve the defensive weakness on the left though - a ball from that flank finds Daryl Murphy, who is denied by another great save from Stockdale.
Moments later Ipswich are on the attack, Stockdale fumbling a long-range effort from Pablo Counago. The Fulham 'keeper more than makes amends a couple of minutes later, however, stopping what looks a certain equaliser from McCauley with a great save.
The game is so wide open that there must be a second goal. It's vital that Argyle get it.
Anywho, we're back underway at Portman Road. The home side take the aerial route from the kick off, but Bondz N'Gala makes a couple of headed clearances. A long throw is then allowed to Bounce in the Pilgrims' box, but David Stockdale gathers the ball.
It's not all Ipswich, however. Bolasie tries his luck from 35-yards, but his effort is so far off-target that Paul Mariner checks his glasses. Jamie Mackie then chases down a long ball and forces a corner, which Brian Murphy claims.
Still, Argyle continue to look dangerous going forwards, as a hacked Ipswich clearance flies behind for a corner. Brian Murphy flaps at Bolasie's delivery, but his defenders scramble the ball clear. The home fans are less than chuffed.
Scunthorpe are 3-0 ahead now. The Greens need to win this one.
Gosh, is that the time? The ref blows to end the half and Argyle take a 1-0 lead into the break. Well done BWP, well done Yala, well done everybody else.
Now, the big question - can Argyle hold onto this lead for more than five minutes?
The big answer - yes. In fact, the Greens continue to threaten in attack, with Yala Bolasie causing plenty of mayhem down on the wing. Sign that contract, Yala.
Duguid appears to concede a corner, but the ref awards Argyle a goalkick. Super.
David Norris, of all people, gives the ball away to Bolasie. The Argyle winger finds Wright-Phillips, who rifles his header past Brian Murphy to send the travelling Greens wild. A deserved goal for the striker, who has been the visitors' stand-out player, and his side who have matched Ipswich in the first half an hour.
That's the first goal that Ipswich have conceded at Portman Road in 2010.
Moments later the Ipswich fans are on their feet, as Gareth McCauley heads narrowly off-target. A close shave, that one. Argyle respond in the right fashion, however, winning a corner and a free kick in an attacking position. Both are cleared.
Drew is concerned that it sounds like it's just Nigel and himself at Portman Road. The FX microphone is working - the home fans are just a bit quiet.
Pablo Counago turns Reda Johnson and blasts a shot over the bar. N'Gala gives his new partner a ticking off for that one.
Ipswich win another corner, which the Greens clear. Scunthorpe are now two up at Peterborough - oh dear.
The home side are growing in confidence and starting to pile the pressure on the Pilgrims' creaky defence. A sweeping move on the Argyle right cuts through the Greens defence - luckily Murphy fires his shot into the side-netting.
Scunthorpe are beating Peterborough.
Carlos Edwards and Jack Colback are beginning to pull the strings in midfield for the Tractor Boys, who win another corner. Wright-Phillips clears for the visitors. Nigel is impressed with Colback, who apparently looks like a combination of Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt. If only we knew his hair colour...
Argyle's next chance comes from a Chris Barker long-throw; Reda Johnson flicks the ball across the face of goal, but no white shirts are on the spot to muster an effort on goal. Ipswich are also looking dangerous, however, as Murphy smashes an effort just clear of David Stockdale's crossbar.
Chris Barker then has to leave the pitch after taking a whack in the mouth. Whilst the veteran left-footer is receiving treatment Plymouth mount their first attack of the evening, as Jamie Mackie is flagged offside from BWP's lofted through-ball. A marginal decision, according to Nigel.
Drew Savage and Nigel Walrond are our commentary team on Radio Devon. Nigel is worried about Darryl Murphy and the Pilgrim's suspect defence. He also has a pair of binoculars.
Argyle get us underway.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
Scorers - Kari Arnason (45+1), Michael McIndoe (49)
The Ricoh Arena - soulless, half-empty and attached to a casino - represents, to me, the very worst of modern football stadia (let's hope phase II, when/if it gets built does not turn Home Park into something similar). Perhaps my dislike of the Ricoh stems from the fact that it was also the site of one of my most depressing afternoons as an Argyle fan, as the Greens' slim play-off hopes withered and died in a miserable fashion one Saturday in March 2008. That experience, in combination with the offer of work on a Saturday and the £10 parking charge in the Ricoh car parks (£10!!), led to my decision not to attend this fixture last season. Inevitably, Argyle won 1-0, with Craig Noone scoring a wonderful late winner. This season, a lesson learned, I checked my wallet for a crisp ten pound note and embarked upon the 45 minute drive to the outskirts of Coventry.
In truth, I had few hopes of seeing a performance any better than the 2008 debacle, after Argyle had slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Loftus Road in midweek. Happily, Paul Mariner's men put in a very creditable performance, full of fight and endeavour, but fell just short of taking the three points so desperately needed.
The first surprise of the afternoon appeared on the teamsheet, with two players making their first starts for the club. Bradley Wright-Phillips finally made his full debut for the side he joined seven months ago, while Yala Bolasie was handed a first start on the right of the Pilgrims midfield. Captain Carl Fletcher was returned to his natural home in the centre of midfield, with Duguid moving to right-back and Chris Barker coming in at centre-back.
Coventry may have come into the game on the back of an impressive run of form, but it was Argyle who made the brighter start to the game, with Mackie, BWP and Bolasie all getting early touches. A great pass by Wright-Phillips played Mackie clean through on goal, but Jamie air-kicked and missed the ball completely. This was at the far end, so there could have been a bobble off the (awful) pitch, but this sort of thing happens far too often when Mackie's one-on-one with the keeper.
Coventry bossed the middle-section of the half, without creating much in the way of clear cut chances. Argyle defended fairly well individually, but there was a lack of communication throughout the backline - Barks headed one behind for a corner because he didn't get a shout in the first half, while Duguid left one with a Blue shirt right behind him in the second. These sort of things are inevitable with the amount of chopping and changing we've had at the back, and two more new faces are unlikely to improve that situation. We picked up again as half time approached and grabbed the lead right on the break, Arnie looping a header over the stranded Westwood from Damien Johnson's free kick.
Arnie's long-throw (which had mixed results) almost gave us a second right after the break, as Barker nodded over the bar. However, within two minutes Coventry were level, a cross from the right going straight through the box for McIndoe to covert at the back post. To be fair, it was a very good delivery - if Arnason or Barker had stuck a leg out they could well have turned the ball into their own net. From that moment on Argyle were the better team and looked the more likely to find a winner. Fletch and Johnson scrapped and harried in the middle, whilst Bolasie caused no end of problems and consistently got the better of his full-back. The Greens' weakness was on the left, where Clark had one of his more difficult afternoons. Things only worsened when Eckersley limped off for Sawyer, who had an absolute 'mare going forward.
Both sides had chances as the game came to a close. Fletch had a goalbound shot blocked from a Bolasie corner, whilst Coventry shot across the face of goal.Things went into overdrive in injury time, with Stockdale making a good save and Bolasie's shot (which was going right into the corner) hitting Mackie square on the back.
It was a decent performance, and a point which at least maintains Argyle's slim hopes of survival. The big plus was Bolasie, who was tremendous throughout and, should the worst happen, will tear up League One next season. Mariner ushered him over to the Green Army at full time where the majority were singing his name. Add that to the chants of 'One Joe Mason' that were heard at Bramall Lane a couple of weeks ago and you get the feeling that after a really tough couple of years we're just starting to find some new heroes.
(This is an amended version of a post that appeared in the 'Brief Synopsis' thread on PASOTI).