Argyle 1 – 0 Northampton
Another late show from Argyle secured a deserved three points to make it two wins in succession.
After Neil Trotman’s injury time winner against Mansfield last week it was Lewis Alessandra who left it until the 90th minute to fire in the winner against struggling Northampton today.
Argyle boss John Sheridan kept faith with the same string eleven from the win against the Stags last Saturday with Andre Blackman replacing Paul Wotton on the bench.
A strong swirling wind around Home Park meant that passing football could be at a premium however both teams provided an open and entertaining game in the testing conditions.
It was the Cobblers who nearly took the lead when Trotman attempted to stop a cross but ended up heading against his own post with keeper Luke McCormick well beaten.
With wing-backs Durrell Berry and Jamie Reckord pushing forward Argyle started to control the game. Reuben Reid and Alessandra were linking well up front and it was these two that combined to set up Reid with a shot from the edge of the area, sadly he couldn’t keep his shot down and the effort sailed over the ball and hit some poor sod in row z.
Trotman was in action at the right end soon after when he headed a corner over the bar from close range.
At the other end former Argyle defender Mat Doumbe also headed over the bar when he should have done better.
Curtis Nelson, again playing midfield, had the last chance of the first half when his left foot shot was well saved by Duke in the Northampton goal.
For the second half Northampton targeted the left side of Argyle’s defence, mainly the area between Guy Branston and wing back Reckord. This tactic meant that Aidy Boothroyd’s side had the early attacking pressure and should have scored when Luke Norris beat Branston and aimed his shot into the top corner; however McCormick was there to pull off a fantastic save.
Reid and Alessandra were still looking lively upfront and Argyle’s best chance of a goal would surely come from one of these two.
Branston was subbed after picking up a harsh yellow card. The big defender wasn’t happy and mouthed a few words to Sheridan as he sat in the dug out, however he didn’t stay long before storming off down the tunnel leaving his team mates behind. He said a few more words to Sheridan as he passed him on the way to the tunnel.
It’s a team effort Guy!
Nelson moved back into defence while Luke Young came on to play in midfield.
The youngster now got Argyle passing again with his balls into feet.
A shot from fellow sub Paul Hayes was nearly met by Alessandra at the far post but he just couldn’t reach the shiny new yellow ball.
With time running out Reid and Alessandra combined, aided by Young, to produce the move of the game. Young fed Reid who slipped a slide rule pass into Alessandra; he took aim and found the far corner of the net. 1-0 to the Greens, Home Park erupted and there’s just a few minutes left! Does it get any better?
The players wound down the clock with no alarms to grab a fully deserved win. It’s a shame that Branston wasn’t there to witness it.
Reid was outstanding and is so much better with the ball at his feet rather than aimed at his head, his ability to pick a pass or run at defenders is a huge benefit to the team.
Alessandra had his best game for a long time, either as a striker or when he moved back to replace Boco. He is another who is better with the ball at his feet in the middle of the pitch rather than as a winger.
Trotman is our best defender, strong and decisive with Blanchard not far behind him.
It was almost the complete team performance; it was just the goals that were lacking. Chances are being created but we need a little bit of luck and some clinical finishing.
It’s still a concern for me that Sheridan and Harbin sit at one end of the dug-out while Owers and McCarthy sit at the other end with hardly any communication during the game. It’s almost like two camps within the coaching department.
McCormick 7, Blanchard 7, Trotman 8, Branston 5 (Young 7), Berry 7, Reckord 6, Hourihane 7, Nelson 6, Boco 6 (Hayes 6), Alessandra 8, Reid 9 (Harvey).
Man of the match: Reid.
Alessandra Gives Cobblers The Boot
Argyle 1 – 0 Northampton