Argyle 1 – 0 Rochdale
Reid 25 (pen)
A classic game of two halves with Argyle dominating during the first period and grabbing a goal only to sit-back for the second half to grind out the three points.
Argyle boss John Sheridan kept faith with the same 11 who took apart Cheltenham on their own patch last week with Jake Cole and Max Blanchard returning to the squad with seats on the bench.
Argyle started the match in ‘Cheltenham mode’ – looking positive and attacking the Rochdale defence.
With the attacking impetus mixed between short passes and long balls the Rochdale defence struggled to contain Argyle strikers Marvin Morgan and Reuben Reid with the first chance falling to Morgan but Rochdale keeper Josh Lillis pulled off a fine save.
It was all one way traffic and Argyle got the goal they deserved with Lillis racing out and tripping Morgan as he advanced towards goal. The ref, who up until that point was having a mare, pointed to the spot and Reid did the business to put the Greens one up.
With five games now gone all of the Argyle front four have got their name on the score sheet, this bodes well for the rest of the season.
Argyle didn’t take their foot off the gas and should have scored at least two more goals, however Lillis was in fine form and kept the Green wave at bay with several great saves.
Morgan and the excellent Conor Hourihane hit the woodwork and there was a feeling that one goal wouldn’t be enough.
For the second half a different Argyle team emerged from the tunnel, this team looked nervous and edgy and were content to sit back and defend the slender lead.
Gone was the swashbuckling attacking style to be replaced by a defence pitched on the 18 yard line inviting Rochdale onto them. They did exactly that with Rochdale controlling large periods of the second half.
However, Branston and Trotman defended like the experienced pros they are and swallowed up most of what Rochdale could throw at them and the times the Green wall was breached McCormick was there to punch away or pull off a save.
Sheridan switched to a 4-5-1 formation for the last 15 minutes to stem the Rochdale attacks and grind out the deserved win.
In recent seasons we would folded in games similar to this and got beaten, it’s a sign of our progress that we can now win ugly (or at least for 45 minutes) and close out games.
McCormick 7, Nelson 6, Trotman 7, Branston 7, Berry 6, Alessandra 6, Hourihane 7, Blizzard 7 (Young), Boco 6 (Blackman), Reid 7 (Gurrieri), Morgan 8
Rochdale Pay The Penalty
Argyle 1 – 0 Rochdale