Argyle 1- 3 Port Vale
Williams 18. Myrie-Williams (pen) 66, Vincent 74, Williamson 78.
Argyle: Cole 7, Berry 6, Purse 5, Blanchard 5, Williams 6, Macdonald 6, Hourihane 6, Young 4 (Madjo 5), Wotton 7 (Lecointe 5), Bhasera 7, Feeney 6.
Subs not used: Chenoweth, Nelson, Gorman, Gurrieri, Lennox.
Argyle lose the Battle of the Ports!
From looking in control and cruising along with a one nil lead Argyle surrendered and looked a poor team by the time the ref blew the final whistle.
Argyle boss Carl Fletcher persisted with his one striker policy for home and away games and set-up his usual 4-1-4-1 formation with Warren Feeney given the thankless task of leading the line.
However, for the first 20 minutes of the game Argyle were in control and enjoyed plenty of possession. With Paul Wotton sitting deep and in acres of space he was able to pass the ball around and find either Onismor Bhasera or Alex MacDonald in the wide positions.
After blasting the ball at the Port Vale dugout Wotton was upended by Louis Dodds in retaliation and received a yellow card.
Both Argyle centre-backs also saw a lot of the ball and were able to play it into midfield to allow Conor Hourihane and Luke Young to set up an attack.
Despite the possession stats hitting the roof the final ball was always lacking but Port Vale still struggled to contain the free flowing football played by Argyle.
After all the little one-two’s and triangles it was a long range shot from left-back Robbie Williams that gave Argyle a deserved lead.
It surely wouldn’t be long before we scored a second goal?
However, credit to Port Vale manager Mickey Adams because he changed his formation and closed down the Argyle midfield and stopped the supply to the flanks.
The tactical move worked and Port Vale finally started to threaten Jake Cole in the Argyle goal and he pulled off a great save to thwart Tom Pope.
The Greens left the pitch at half time to deserved applause.
However, the second half was completely different. Adams used the same tactics and Argyle`s midfield couldn`t cope, not helped by Wotton leaving the pitch due to a groin injury.
The flowing football from Argyle was replaced by a long high ball to the short and lonely Feeney upfront and the Port Vale centre backs gobbled up the attacks time after time after time.
After looking like they had weathered the storm Young dived in and gave away a penalty, although the decision looked harsh. Young was lucky not to pick up a second yellow card.
Myrie-Williams did the necessary from the spot and it was one each.
There was now only going to be one winner with Argyle’s confidence shot to pieces.
Myrie-Williams set-up Vincent who scored from 12 yards out and then came the most obvious and disgraceful cheating I’ve seen at a football game.
Port Vale number 10 Ashley Vincent pretended he was fouled by Durrell Berry. The ref dished out a yellow card and awarded a free-kick and from that Williamson netted the third goal for Port Vale.
Vincent – you cheated, you know, we know it and Berry knows it. You cheated a fellow professional into a yellow card and you cheated a goal for your team. I hope you sleep well tonight.
Williamson was the third ‘Williams’ to score in the game.
Argyle finished the game with boos ringing out from the stands.
Will we ever play with two strikers for a home game? I feel sorry for Feeney.
The dilemma for home games is – does Fletch want to flood the midfield and have plenty of possession and hope for a break or does he want to take the game to the opposition and start with two strikers?
Losing Wotton through injury was a turning point in the game; with no experienced cover Argyle’s young midfielders struggled and Port Vale were able to cut through with ease.
Congratulations to Adams, his tactical tinkering outwitted Argyle and won the game.
Man of the Match: Bhasera.
Argyle Vale At Home Again
Argyle 1- 3 Port Vale