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VIDEO: Fleetwood Town 0 Plymouth Argyle 4: Match report

By HeraldSport  |  Posted: February 25, 2014

By Chris Errington Chief Football Writer @ChrisErrington1

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Comments (21)

PLYMOUTH Argyle produced one of their best displays of recent seasons as they totally outclassed promotion-chasing Fleetwood last night.

The resounding victory did not flatter the Pilgrims, who had chances to have won by an even wider margin.

It was a superb team performance, and by far the best of John Sheridan’s 14-month managerial reign.

Argyle have now won their last three away games and that has put them in with a chance of making a play-off push over the rest of the season.

Argyle took the lead against Fleetwood in the 21st minute with a fine finish from top scorer Reuben Reid.

Midfielder Luke Young made it 2-0 early in the second half with a deflected 20-yard shot and central defender Maxime Blanchard then headed home in the 69th minute.

The scoring was completed with a stunning free-kick from captain Conor Hourihane in the closing stages of the game.

It put the seal on an outstanding display from the Pilgrims, who were even applauded off the pitch after the final whistle by the home supporters.

Argyle went into the game without Jason Banton, who suffered a groin injury in the 2-1 win away to Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

Banton did not even make the long trip to the Lancashire seaside.

It was the first match he had missed since re-signing for Argyle from Crystal Palace last month.

Defender Neal Trotman returned for the Pilgrims after serving a one-match suspension at the weekend.

That was the only change made by manager John Sheridan for the clash at Highbury.

The fixture should have been played on Saturday, January 5 but had to be rearranged because Argyle reached the FA Cup third round.

Trotman was part of a three-man central defence, flanked by Blanchard and Curtis Nelson.

Durrell Berry and Matt Parsons were wing-backs, with Paul Wotton playing a holding role in midfield.

Young and Hourihane were ahead of him, with Reid and Lewis Alessandra in attack.

Fleetwood threatened for the first time in the sixth minute when Conor McLaughlin put in a low right-wing cross.

Antoni Sarcevic tried to slide in and get a touch on the ball but could not get there in time.

Blanchard then had to make an important clearance after Town striker Jamille Matt turned away from Trotman and attempted to pick out Sarcevic with a cut-back.

Argyle ‘keeper Jake Cole made a fine save in the 16th minute as Fleetwood started strongly.

A deep cross broke to Gareth Evans beyond the far post and his fierce shot was pushed over the crossbar by Cole.

Argyle’s first chance came in the 20th minute when Hourihane fired wide from 25 yards after receiving a pass inside from Young.

Seconds later, Reid had a shot from outside the box saved by Chris Maxwell, and the Fleetwood ‘keeper made an even better stop soon afterwards.

Reid raced clear of the defence but his attempt on goal was blocked by the legs of Maxwell.

But Reid was not to be denied his 16th goal of the season as he put the Pilgrims into the lead.

Berry provided the right-wing cross and Reid applied an excellent finish into the far corner of the net.

Fleetwood went close to an equaliser in the 29th minute when a low shot from winger Matty Hughes was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.

Hughes was very lively for the home team, with plenty of pace and the ability to go past players, as he demonstrated on that occasion.

Sarcevic had a 30-yard drive comfortably saved by Cole in the 40th minute, and the ‘keeper also held onto a curling strike from Evans soon afterwards.

But it was Argyle who almost took a 2-0 lead on the stroke of half-time when a long-range shot from Parsons crashed against the bar, with Maxwell well beaten.

The Pilgrims did double their advantage only a couple of minutes after the interval, however.

Berry played the ball back to Young, whose low 20-yard drive ended up in the net, with the aid of a slight deflection.

It was Young’s fourth goal of the season, and another example of his desire to shoot whenever possible.

Fleetwood sent on Jon Parkin as 51st minute substitute for midfielder Alex Marrow as they switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

There was another good attacking move from the Pilgrims shortly before the hour mark, which ended with Alessandra’s fierce shot being diverted over the bar.

It was another industrious performance from Alessandra, who has been in fine form over recent matches.

Cole came to Argyle’s rescue in the 62nd minute with a tremendous save to deny Sarcevic, who had burst into the box.

Fleetwood then changed their tactics to 3-5-2, taking off centre-back Mark Roberts and replacing him with Josh Morris.

The substitute had only been signed on loan from Championship club Blackburn Rovers earlier in the day.

Argyle went further ahead in the 69th minute with an excellent finish from Blanchard.

The French defender dived forward to get on the end of a corner from Alessandra and headed the ball into far corner of the net.

Parkin fired over the bar from a 20-yard free-kick for Fleetwood after a foul on Berry on Sarcevic.

Wotton gave excellent protection to Argyle’s defence, breaking up play and showing his leadership qualities to rally those around him.

Argyle made a double substitution in the 83rd minute with Alessandra and Reid taken off.

There was applause from Fleetwood fans for the duo as they were replaced by Marvin Morgan and Rommy Boco.

The home supporters appreciated the hard work and skill of the Argyle strikers.

Argyle were not finished with scoring goals, either, as Hourihane curled a 20-yard free-kick into the net in the 85th minute to make it 4-0.

Before play restarted, newly re-signed Tope Obadeyi was sent on as a substitute for Wotton.

The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the Green Army, who were saluted by the players.

Now the trick for Argyle will be to reproduce their excellent away form when they host Morecambe at Home Park on Saturday.

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21 comments

  • trots  |  February 26 2014, 3:34PM

    JS and players should be congratulated for at least getting us into the position of " maybe" making the play offs which a few games ago games ago looked impossible. Our away form and Southend's recent slump have allowed us to come sniffing.. How good are we or can we be?? Personally I think two games coming up will answer those questions.. Scunny at home on 15th March and Chesterfield at home 3 days later. Undoubtably two very good teams likely to be promoted come May. If we are still in the hunt for the play offs by then well what massive games there'll be.. Not looking good for Torquay, real shame as local derbies generate a great atmosphere and big crowds.. Real shame Sent from my iPhone

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  • Pilgrim1311  |  February 26 2014, 3:00PM

    I'm with you, trots. This season, if you'd offered me mid-table obscurity, I'd have taken it without question after the relegation woes of recent years. Mid-table means 'win some, lose some', unlike relegation fights which mean 'lose some, lose some more'. Therefore JS has to be considered a success. People might not like the style of football, but inconsistency is better than losing consistently. From where we were last season, we're already exceeding most realistic expectations, so berating him for not achieving more seems a little ungrateful!!

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  • DavidofLancas  |  February 26 2014, 1:59PM

    Apologies trots, no personal slight intended. I enjoy our jousts on here and never seek to personalise differing views with cheap digs. I reserve my aprobrium for John Sheridan but even he's trying my zeal after last night!! There's definitely light at the end of a long dark tunnel and at least we can be certain that we're not going down this season and that is a huge relief. I still doubt that we have the consistency required to pull this off this season but I'd love to be wrong. Finally, it makes me smile that I can achieve one of the best and worst rated comments in the same thread. Now that's clever!

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  • Mdgreener  |  February 26 2014, 1:18PM

    Reasons to be cheerful: 1. Fantastic win last night. 2. Everyone on the field played great. 3. 4 goals from 4 players 4. Goals from every part of field striker, midfielders, defender 5. Wots is back! 6. We have talent in depth - a great squad - just look at the bench and who didn't even make the bench. 7. Four points out of playoffs with one game in hand 8. We are finding our best form at the right part of the season 9. We have a great manager in JS (bring it on you critics, trots, I'm with you) 10. Feeling excited about what's ahead at this time of the season - after . . . (you know) 11. My bet with WILF looks good (If we make play off's, I'll match your donation.) 12. DavidofLanc, MikeSpiligan, and others are starting to sound happy! 13. Our travelling fans are awesome. 14. We are at home on Saturday (hmmm, I think that is a positive) Serious, let's keep our feet on the ground. One game at a time. Morecambe should be are only focus. No more Yorks. (Lancs I can live with).

    Rate   -7
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  • trots  |  February 26 2014, 1:06PM

    David, " only Trots thinks he's the second coming" not sure why you needed to have a little dig at me. My support for JS over recent months has been obvious, I make no apology for that. My views about him have been consistent and unlike others it doesn't change weekly depending on results and performances. His win rate ratio during his time at PAFC has been pretty good and considering where we were 12 months ago I remain convinced he's done " ok" . After Saturdays win at Daggers who would have picked the team he put out last night?? Not many Last nights performance further evidences my views and fingers crossed it's the start of the consistency that we are all looking for. Fleetwood are no mugs and have spent loads. Off course it's not going to be 0-4 in every game but the squad seems to be taking shape now and soon, once we know where this season is going to take us, play offs or otherwise, he'll start getting a few contracts sorted for next season. We now have fierce competition for places all over the park which is really good news. I agree with your comments re Banton, give him some time off to find himself and a bit of enthusiasm for next season and hopefully Parsons will continue to impress.

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  • Chargyle  |  February 26 2014, 11:17AM

    With a 45/1 scorecast on Reuben to score the only goal in a 1-0 win, I was cursing Youngy in the 47th minute. May I publicly state that I forgive him.

    Rate   7
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  • MikeSpiligan  |  February 26 2014, 10:16AM

    Thank you davidof..... And before anyone comments that I only come on here to spread doom and gloom, my trip to up t'north was sponsored by Mr William Hill courtesy of the fact that I rightly predicted that Argyle would win and Man U would lose.... Sweet !!

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  • DavidMason  |  February 26 2014, 9:51AM

    Wow!!!! where did that result come from? the way we play away from home I think we should ask to play all our games away, seriously what a fab result seeing we traveled all those miles in four days Fleetwood must have wondered what hit them. Well done to everyone concerned, J.S must have said something stirring to get the lads in the frame of mind they are in, they just keep plugging away till they score, they must be one of the fittest teams in the league, well done lads, just keep up the good work,

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  • DavidofLancas  |  February 26 2014, 9:51AM

    I'm with you about Sheridan Mike! I'm sure only Trots believes he is the second coming! A decent manager would probably have had us secure in an automatic place but let's not be churlish we are now possible contenders so for all my ceaseless criticism of him somebody is doing something right down there...although I think it's inspite of him rather than because of him! Don't bother with your thumbs down guys, I know we'll never agree on this one!

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  • MikeSpiligan  |  February 26 2014, 9:43AM

    THE WOTTON EFFECT....... The Hoe cafe style main stand made me feel well at home..... Isn't it funny how everything seems to fall into place for some games and the wheels fall off for others.... I'm not saying that including Wotton in the starting eleven for the past two away games has been the reason for two well fought wins but PW is the sort of player we need on the pitch to wind the rest up and keep them on their toes... in other words, a player with a bit of fight in him...... I'm not getting carried away with this win, a fine as it was, I look forward to what can be produced at home on saturday..... As for Sherridan... he must be scratching his head and wondering what has gone right for him in the last few days...... Does anyone remember that ad where the Pizza falls out of nowhere in the restaurant kitchen ? That's what Sherridan must be thinking at the moment.. "that's handy harry, pop it in the oven" I wonder where we could be if we had had someone at the rudder who could have got the best out of this team from the beginning of the season ? Let's wait with collective bated to see if we go back into our shells at home in a couple of days time....

    Rate   -4
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