Date: 20th September 2014 at 5:54pm
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Goals from Marvin Morgan and Nathan Thomas gave Argyle an unconvincing 2-0 win against a very average Hartlepool team but credit to John Sheridan and the team for turning things around after the defeat against Wycombe on Tuesday and giving the fans a better performance.

We dominated the first 15 minutes, Morgan scored his goal and we then sat back. We allowed Hartlepool to dictate the play for the rest of the game until Thomas sprang to life late in the game to give us the cushion of a second goal.

Sheridan started the game with another formation, this time 4-1-2-3 and it worked! O’Connor sat deep behind Cox and Blizzard with Morgan and Alessandra flanking Reid. Purrington was given a rare start and showed that an overlapping full-back is crucial to a team playing at home.

Injuries to Reid and Hartley took the gloss of the win, hopefully they are not too serious.

It was the left side triangle of Purrington, Blizzard and Morgan that looked the most likely to produce a goal, the combination of those three really worried Hartlepool and Morgan started the game just as he did against Southend.

Reid and Morgan both had chances that were saved and Blizzard also had a shot that was saved.
The goal assist came from Reid who passed to Morgan in the box, he twisted and turned (on a sixpence?) and fired in a low shot that beat the keeper and gave us the lead we fully deserved.

The players celebrated with the World Cup rocking baby routine.

Instead of killing off Hartlepool we were content to sit back and soak up the attacks. A dangerous game because just before half time Hartlepool nearly scored but thanks to an good save from McCormick we kept the score at 1-0.
Also just before half time Reid left the pitch with a back injury.

Thomas replaced Reid for the second half with Morgan moving to the middle. This seemed to affect the team and Morgan because we just couldn’t get going and allowed Hartlepool to have a lot of possession. They never really carved out clear cut chances but there was a nagging feeling that an equaliser was never far away.

The game (and nerves) was settled when Blizzard put a peach of a ball through to Thomas in the middle, he advanced on goal and slotted past the keeper.
I thought Thomas was offside but no matter we’ll take it.

Alessandra (who had bizarrely just been named man of the match by the match sponsors) was put through by Thomas but shot wide. Nevermind, the three points were safe.

The stand out players for me were Hartley, Purrington, Blizzard, Cox and Morgan.
Purrington made a big difference at left-back, willing to defend and get forward. Blizzard and Cox were neat and tidy, just playing it simple and Morgan was a thorn to the Hartlepool defence until he faded late in the game.

It looks like Hartley has a dead leg and hopefully he’s back next week.

Thomas had a great 45 minutes, looking to get to the by-line and get the crosses in and took his goal well. The fans and team needed that second goal.
I can also see why Sheridan is reluctant to start with Thomas, he still has a lot to learn in playing for the team and keeping shape but he is an exciting player.

Hopefully Sheridan will stick with this same formation home and away, injuries permitting.

A good ugly win, although I think we are only one or two defeats for the Sheridan out campaign to start again. Hiowever, to be fair Sheridan got his tactics and formation spot on for this game.

McCormick 7, Mellor 6, Nelson 7, Hartley 7, Purrington 7, O’Connor 6, Cox 7, Blizzard 7, Alessandra 5, Reid 6, Morgan 7, McHugh 5, Thomas 7, Harvey 6.

Entertainment 5.

Sheridan 7.

Man of the match – Blizzard.