Date: 19th April 2010 at 11:05pm
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Argyle 0 – 2 Newcastle

……… Carroll 20, Routledge 28.

Well it’s finally happened and we’ve been put out of misery, after months of trying to avoid the inevitable Argyle have finally been relegated, all captured by Sky.
Newcastle deservedly won the game but to kick the Argyle fans in teeth one final time the PA system played the song ‘We are the Champions’ moments after the final whistle, a crass and insensitive decision and an insult to all Argyle fans.
We’ve just been relegated for goodness sake, let the Geordies have their own party at St James Park!
The Newcastle fans were even allowed to have a pitch invasion, something the Green Army were stopped from doing during our two recent Championship winning seasons. Yep, we certainly rolled out the red carpet tonight!

All that’s left now is a summer of upheaval to look forward to.

For this latest must-win game Argyle Head Coach Paul Mariner had defensive midfielder Karl Duguid playing as a right-winger and the right-footed Alan Judge on the left-wing, the ever-reliable Chris Clark can count himself unlucky to be dropped to the bench.
Kenny Cooper was missing from the squad all together while Kari Arnason made a welcome return from injury and was named amongst the subs.

Argyle started the game well and should have been two goals to the good in the first minute! A cross from Damien Johnson found Jamie Mackie who took aim and fired but Steve Harper clawed his shot away at the expense of a corner. From that flag kick Bondz N’Gala had a free header that flew just over the crossbar.

The game was played at a fast pace but was also scrappy and littered with free-kicks.
Andrew Carroll had Newcastle’s first chance, he looked offside when played through on-goal but he messed his pants, or should that be he missed his chance and shot over the bar! 🙂

That lucky escape for Argyle didn’t last long because a corner from Danny Guthrie was easily headed in by the unmarked Carroll, another sloppy goal to enter in Argyle’s Big Book Of Sloppy Goals 2009-2010. 1-0 to Newcastle and game and season over.

The ‘Championes’ chant broke out around Home Park, remember that from 2002 and 2004, distant memories? But this time it was the visiting fans that were singing it.

Soon after it definitely was game and season over when flying winger Wayne Routledge was put through on-goal, he rounded the advancing David Stockdale and slotted in from a difficult angle. 2-0 to the naked Geordies.

Soon after Mackie had a great chance to make a game of it but his volley was well saved by Harper, the previously anonymous Bradley Wright-Phillips tried his luck from outside the box but his shot sailed over the bar and the ball was lost amongst the black and white in the away end. The strong running of Mackie upfront was causing some problems to the Newcastle defence but he wasn’t helped by the continual high balls being hoofed out of the Argyle defence.
The impressive Damien Johnson crossed to Judge and his snap shot flew just wide.

The Argyle boys may lack the quality of the Newcastle players but they were certainly not giving up without a fight.

An even first half, oh apart from the two goals.

No Argyle subs for the second half, Mariner must have been happy being just 2-0 down.

Kevin Nolan (he’s a big lad when you see him in the flesh) had a shot that Stockdale did well to save and followed that up with another effort, this time from 20 yards out, but the ball cleared the crossbar.
There was a slight tweak to Argyle’s tactics – Judge was given licence to roam and he did this to good effect and became Argyle’s best chance of a goal when he shot from 30 yards out, the ball beat Harper but thumped against the crossbar and bounced out and away. So unlucky for little Judgey.

Judge then turned postman as he hand-delivered a letter from Mariner to Fletcher, the result was that Argyle changed to a 4-3-1-2 formation with Judge now playing just behind the two strikers.

Newcastle made two subs and changed their strikers around and soon after Mariner took off Wright-Phillips and brought on Joe Mason.
Judge had another chance, this time with his left foot but shot wide of Harper’s goal.

Yala Bolasie then replaced Onismor Bhasera as Mariner went with just three defenders in attempt to delay relegation for another week.

Newcastle nearly increased their lead but Stockdale made some fine saves from Joey Barton and Leon Best. A strong run from Bolasie ended with Mason shooting over when he really should have got his shot on target.

In injury time a corner from Judge found Mason, he got his shot away but there was Danny Simpson to clear off the line.

That was it, the ref blew the final whistle, Argyle are relegated, the Geordies invade the pitch and some idiot plays ‘We are the Champions’ ( no time for losers). Crass, crass, crass.

Goodbye Championship, hello League One.

If only the players had fought and played like this against Watford last week.
The gulf between the two teams in financial terms is enormous and it was indeed Premier League versus League One but we beat Newcastle on spirit and determination.

Judge and the two Johnson’s were Argyle’s best players. Damien Johnson had a ‘mare against Watford last week but stepped up to the plate tonight. Judge was everywhere and was Argyle’s only creative spark, while we will do well to hold onto Reda Johnson this summer.
Richard Eckersley is out of form, that much is clear; Duguid rarely offered anything going forward. Wright-Phillips did his invisible man impression once again and Mackie was his usual full of running self. Bhasera was up against the tricky and pacy Routledge but held his own.

At least we have finally been put out of our misery.

Stockdale 7, Eckersley 4, N’Gala 6, R Johnson 7, Bhasera 6 (Bolasie 5), Judge 8, Fletcher 7, D Johnson 7, Duguid 5, BWP 5 (Mason 5), Mackie 6.

Subs not used: Larrieu, Barker, Arnason, Clark, Fallon.


5 Replies to “Argyle Relegated”

  • Good report Ian (as ever). I thought Judge had a good game. Duguid showed why he is not a Championship midfielder- he’d rather hoof the ball 30 yards to their defenders than provide a simple pass to either of 2 players within 10 yards of him. Eckersley is flashy but looks a poor defender. The CB’s are either brilliant or ***** (throughout the game), both need an experienced head beside them (although Reda seemed a bit more controlled than usual). We need an overhaul, and the amount of on-loan players over the last 2 seasons looks to have contributed to our downfall.
    Thought Jose Enrique was outstanding for them, and quite often showed the gap between a Premiership standard player and League 1/ 2 Duguid.

  • Your biggest mistake was pinching Paul Sturrock off of us – it done us a massive favour but it was your downfall.
    Good luck for the rest of the season.

  • Pompey fan here living in your fair city…. A sad day for you Janners…I blame Aviva for having a bloke in an Argyle shirt a Bristol accent….but serioiusly sad day for the city, and of course i had hoped to be at Home Park with our fans next season rather than cheering the greens against Scumhampton

  • Hopefully we won’t have many, if any, loan players next year as we’ve got too many inexperienced players already. Tip for next year: Joe Mason to score 20+. You read it hear first

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