Argyle 0 MK Roundabout City 1
This was a scoreline that should never have made the football results, given that the boys from the roundabout town were clearly beatable. MK weren`t bad and could pass the ball quite well but were definitely not one of the more capable sides in this division. Their goal was scored with the help of some poor defending by Argyle who must surely learn to tighten up at the back, especially in those early stages.
Add the next ingredient to this amalgam of errors; a straight red card for one of our key players, no less than Mr Carey, and you begin to see why a likely three points morphed into a narrow defeat. The sending off of any player is always going to create an uphill task and so it did in this match. I was on the opposite side of the stadium so, not having x ray vision, can`t claim to be an expert witness, but the way in which MK players reacted combined with the fact that Carey just walked off the pitch and the subsequent video evidence does suggest, on balance, that the ref selected the correct card from his pocket. The Dons player did seem to be upended in a pretty spectacular fashion although there may have been an element of pantomime here.
Credit to Argyle though; the ten survivors battled hard and, in the second half started to look quite effective. The three subs all added something tasty to the mixture, especially Fletcher who looks like he is going to be something special – not least, he injected some real passion to the football and should surely feature in the future. Ciftci didn`t seem to be winning much in his lonely position in the vanguard but did hit a smackerooni later from which he nearly equalised. There`s definitely some quality there. Fox and Ness were playing some decent football and Bradley`s re positioning in the latter stages as a centre forward worked well because he added some height and zest so maybe there is an altitude lesson there.
This was always going to be a season of consolidation for PAFC but we are now worryingly close to the bottom four. I guess it`s the same two problems that plague a lot of teams like Argyle; money and geography. Derek Adams has done his best to attract players but, despite some good early signings, has been frustrated just recently. The club has to be careful with money and is competing against a number of clubs with much more in the way of spondoolix which doesn`t make their task easy. Let`s hope for a gradual upturn in fortunes. Currently, there are two suspended players and two injured, all four being key to the team, a serious setback for a squad of this size, so maybe a new face or two is needed.