Date: 9th October 2016 at 10:37am
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Another win on the road, the fifth in succession kept Argyle five points clear at the top of League Two.

This time is was the turn of Stevenage to be swept aside by the Green tide on their home turf.

The 2-1 win at Broadhall Way on Saturday showed the battling qualities of this new look Argyle team and as manager Derek Adams would often say ‘it’s important’ to pick up points on the road.

Two headed goals from Sonny Bradley sandwiched an unfortunate own goal gave Argyle the win and Bradley an unusual hat-trick.
This new team has a lot more bottle and character than last season’s outfit, I think the team of 2015-2016 would have struggled against the physicality of the Stevenage team but yesterday the team stood up to the robust challenges, the long high balls into the area and the closing down of the Stevenage team which in turn allowed us to play the good passing football that won us the game in the second half.

In summary, we had to win the battle to win the war and this was largely down to the strength and heading ability of the triangle of Bradley, centre-back partner Nauris Bulvitus and Yann Songo’o.
The unlikely alliance from Latvia, Yorkshire and Cameroon have formed a strong defensive base with a ‘thou shalt not pass’ motto that has Songo’o sitting just in front of the two centre-backs and conducting a lot of the dirty work that often goes unnoticed, as typified against Stevenage when he headed, tackled and closed down which allowed the creative players in the team to weave their magic in the second half.

The left-side of the attacking unit has seen Adams adopt a rotation policy with no player nailing down that position, yesterday it was Jordan Slew who returned to that role and like his predecessor Ryan Donaldson he is a right-footed player tasked with playing on the left and based on the evidence against Stevenage Slew can look forward to an extended run in the side.

His pace and strength caused all sorts of problems for the Stevenage defence and it was Slew who won the free-kick from which Bradley scored the first goal. The downside is that Slew regularly got into some good positions but didn’t trust his left foot to either provide a cross or shoot on goal so delayed to switch to his more favoured right-foot and the chance was gone. That said, Slew had his best game in an Argyle shirt and rightly received a standing ovation when he was subbed late in the game.

It was noticeable that the pre-match warm-up routine has been changed to include the six outfield substitutes.
Last season the 10 outfield starting players would have a pass and move game within a restricted area on the pitch with some players wearing coloured bibs with the subs left to their own devices somewhere else on the pitch. But now, as witnessed in the warm-up before the Stevenage game, all 16 outfield players took part in the kick-about with the subs rotating with the first team players.
It’s a nice touch from Adams and his coaching staff and emphasises it’s a squad game and not about the 11 players who start a game.

So nine league wins and 28 points from the last 10 games sets us up nicely for the 100th Dockyard Derby against Portsmouth next week and as Adams would say ‘it’s important to win that one’.