Argyle 2 – 1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Reid 44, Young 77. Hines 45.
Luke Young struck a superb second half free-kick to seal the win for Argyle who are now unbeaten in seven games.
A very average first half from the Greens was balanced by an excellent second half display that finished off a spirited Dagenham & Redbridge team who had cemented a play-off position prior to this game.
Argyle boss John Sheridan kept faith with the same outfield line-up that thumped Lincoln 5-0 on Wednesday in the FA Cup with Luke McCormick taking over in goal from Jake Cole. New signing Caolan Lavery was on the bench.
Dag & Red dictated the early play with midfielder Billy Bingham (not the former Argyle manager) sitting in the centre circle playing the quarterback position and stroking the ball around. It might have been to man-mark him with Lewis Alessandra dropping back to stifle Dag & Red in midfield.
Indeed, Dag & Red should have taken the lead when Zavon Hines had a free header from a corner but McCormick saved well.
Just when a poor first half would be coming to a finish the game sprang to life with two goals, although in the build up to each goal there was a dubious decision from the disappointing set of officials.
Conor Hourihane was down injured and the Dag & Red players didn’t know whether to carry on or not (it’s actually up to the ref to decide), Hourihane recovered and barged into a player, Dag & Red claimed a foul but the ball broke to Reid who smashed it in from 20 yards after hitting the post and then nestling in the net on the other side of the goal. An oasis of skill and excitement from a dull first 45.
Just when Argyle were looking forward to a well deserved half time cuppa Dag & Red equalised.
For the equaliser Durrell Berry was clearly fouled but the ref waved play on, the cross wasn’t cleared and Dag & Red scored on the stroke of half time. Berry really should have put the ball out of touch.
All square at half time.
The second half saw a much-improved Argyle, the emphasis was now on pressuring the Dag & Red players and playing on the front foot.
Argyle were camped in the opposition half for most of the second period, probing and looking for a chance.
Reid was involved with the winner when he had a storming run at the Dag & Red defence and was brought down. It seemed another dubious decision from the ref but who’s complaining except the Dagenham players.
Local boy Young stepped up and fired the free-kick in from 20 yards out, 2-1 to the Greens and fantastic from Youngy.
After that Dagenham rarely threatened and it was Argyle who could have scored again with chances falling to the lively Obadeyi and Lavery who entered the game as a late sub.
Another win and the march continues!
The team is now playing with a lot of confidence and momentum, the weak point is at left back where Berry really struggled, he just doesn’t have a left foot. Too often attacks would stop while Berry himself stops and switches to his favoured right foot. He did well at defending which is his priority but his distribution was poor. It’s not his fault he’s asked to play out of position.
Nelson and Trotman was rock solid, we all know McCormick is a safe pair of hands and Gurrieri came to life in the second half – just like the team.
For the second half we pressurised and didn’t let Bingham dictate play, the momentum was building before the goal and it was only a matter of time.
Obadeyi looks and plays like Bolasie – Obalasie? Sheridan was right when he said he gets the team up the pitch, he did exactly that today, often winning a foul with his pacy runs.
The star of the show was Reuben Reid – strong, aggressive and full of confidence. A few weeks ago he wouldn’t have attempted that shot today, the worry is that struggling Yeovil may have a clause in his loan deal whereby they can recall him in January. We’d be lost without him.
Lavery arrived late in the game and looks very lively and even in that short space of time he had a half chance that the keeper smothered.
McCormick 7, Blanchard 6, Trotman 7, Nelson 7, Berry 4, Gurrieri 7, Hourihane 6, Young 7, Obadeyi 7, Alessandra 6 (Blizzard), Reid 8 (Lavery 7).
Man of the match: Reid.
Cool Hand Luke
Argyle 2 – 1 Dagenham & Redbridge