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VIDEO: Plymouth Argyle 1 Southend United 1: Match report

By HeraldSport  |  Posted: January 11, 2014

Southend's Will Atkinson tackles Argyle''s Lewis Alessandra

Comments (11)

ARGYLE had to settle for a draw against promotion-chasing Southend at Home Park on Saturday, despite taking a second half lead.

Midfielder Dominic Blizzard scored his first goal for the Pilgrims in the 65th minute with a shot from outside the penalty area.

However, Southend were soon on level terms as midfielder Kevan Hurst slotted home.

Argyle finished the game strongly, with striker Reuben Reid having a shot saved by ‘keeper Daniel Bentley after a surging run.

Then, in stoppage time, centre-back Curtis Nelson crashed the ball against the base of a post following a free-kick into the Southend box.

The draw stretched Argyle’s unbeaten run in League Two to five games and moved them one position up the table to 11th.

The inclusion of new signing Jason Banton was one of three changes from Argyle’s 2-2 draw away to Port Vale in the FA Cup third round last Sunday.

Banton replaced Tope Obadeyi, who had returned to Bury after a loan spell with the Pilgrims.

Luke McCormick took over from Argyle’s ‘cup keeper’ Jake Cole and Ben Purrington was at left-back instead of Durrell Berry.

Southend, with only one defeat in 13 games, were captained by Plymouth-born Ryan Leonard.

The former Argyle right-back led out the blues for the first time because John White was sidelined by a shoulder injury.

There were two other ex-Pilgrims players in their team – midfielders Will Atkinson and Conor Clifford.

Bentley was called into action in the fifth minute when a free-kick was curled into the penalty by Argyle captain Conor Hourihane.

No-one could get a touch on the ball and Bentley reacted smartly to push it away for a corner.

The Pilgrims were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out when a shot from Lewis Alessandra was blocked by the hand of Southend centre-back Luke Prosser.

Banton stepped up to take it, in front of the Devonport End, but blasted the ball into the defensive wall.

Alessandra and Reid led the attack for Argyle, with Banton on the left of midfield and Andres Gurrieri on the right.

Bentley made a superb save in the 17th minute, following a corner from Gurrieri.

Nelson got a shot on goal and Reid touched it on, only for Bentley to claw the ball away.

Southend threatened for the first time in the 21st minute, after Atkinson was fouled by Hourihane on the edge of the box.

Left-back Ben Coker curled the free-kick around the Argyle wall and Luke McCormick pushed the ball away for a corner, high at his near post.

Centre-back Neal Trotman had to come to the rescue for the Pilgrims in the 27th minute.

Hurst lobbed the ball over the onrushing McCormick and towards the unguarded goal but Trotman headed it behind for a corner.

The visitors had another chance in the 32nd minute when striker Barry Corr got on the end of an excellent cross from Hurst but sent his header wide.

Southend finished the first half strongly, with a low cross from Hurst just out of the reach of Corr at the far post.

A free-kick from Hurst was pushed away at full stretch by McCormick and from the corner Corr’s header was deflected wide by Trotman.

Argyle had struggled to create chances, with Banton isolated out on the left, and Southend were dominant in midfield.

The home team had the first chance of the second half as a shot from Reid was deflected onto the top of the side netting for a corner.

Reid then fired high and wide after a quickly taken corner, which followed a good tackle on Alessandra by centre-back Luke Prosser.

Atkinson blasted high over the bar from 20 yards for Southend as the game became increasingly scrappy.

The deadlock was broken, though, in the 65th minute when Blizzard put Argyle ahead.

Reid set up Blizzard for a shooting opportunity and the ball deflected off midfielder Michael Timlin and over Bentley into the net.

Argyle’s lead lasted only two minutes, though, as Hurst put Southend on level terms.

Hurst latched onto a first-time pass from substitute Cauley Woodrow and held off the challenge of Purrington before slotting past McCormick and into the net.

Southend were buoyed by that immediate response and McCormick had to make saves from Anthony Straker and Hurst.

Banton had a low cross-shot saved by Bentley in the 74th minute before Southend substitute Freddy Eastwood sent a 20-yard free-kick against the Argyle wall.

Banton was replaced by Nathan Thomas as the Pilgrims made their first substitution in the 80th minute.

Reid made a superb, surging run into the penalty area but his close range shot was blocked by Bentley.

Blizzard fired a 20-yard drive over the bar after he was set up by Gurrieri as he wasted a good chance to get his second goal of the game.

Southend substitute Marc Laird fired wide before Nelson almost put Argyle 2-1 up in the second minute of stoppage time.

The ball dropped to Nelson following a free-kick into the penalty area and his shot crashed against the base of the near post.

Southend were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out, deep into stoppage time, after a foul by Trotman on Woodrow.

The ball was touched off to Hurst and he crashed the ball wide of the left post. That was the final action of the contest.

ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Maxime Blanchard, Neal Trotman, Curtis Nelson, Ben Purrington; Andres Gurrieri, Dominic Blizzard, Conor Hourihane, Jason Banton (Nathan Thomas 80 mins); Lewis Alessandra, Reuben Reid.

Substitutes (not used): Jake Cole (gk), Durrell Berry, Guy Branston, Rommy Boco, Luke Young, Paul Wotton.

SOUTHEND: Daniel Bentley; Ryan Leonard, Mark Phillips, Luke Prosser, Ben Coker; Michael Timlin; Kevan Hurst, Will Atkinson, Conor Clifford (Cauley Woodrow 57 mins), Anthony Straker (Marc Laird 83 mins); Barry Corr (Freddy Eastwood 74 mins).

Substitutes (not used): Paul Smith (gk), Jack Payne, Adam Thompson, Bedsente Gomis.

REFEREE: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

ATTENDANCE: 7,088 (249 away)

GOALS – Argyle: Blizzard 65 mins; Southend: Hurst 67 mins

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  • 718004  |  January 13 2014, 8:52AM

    My mistake, Trots, thanks for making the point. It's January that I meant.

  • DavidofLancas  |  January 12 2014, 6:07PM

    February is the big month. I'm anticipating 13 points. There are four very winnable games and then a point at Fleetwood to round it off and then we'll see how the league table looks. It will be tough to get anything at Rochdale next week and I think we will do well to get a point from Newport. We just need to survive January without too much damage and we can really start to push then. The FA cup may become an unwelcome distraction but the money would be handy. I see Brighton could lose Bridcott and Buckley in the transfer window, in addition to Barnes, so who knows...? Finally, I echo the good wishes to Chris Hargreaves. He was a good servant to Argyle and seems a really decent bloke so good luck to him.

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  • trots  |  January 12 2014, 2:10PM

    I think January is tougher then February?

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  • 718004  |  January 12 2014, 1:42PM

    February is going to be a tough month for the greens, and to stand any chance of being there, or thereabouts at the end of the season we need to be in the same position or better come the end of the month. A tall order, but we mustn't take our foot off the pedal now. A few hellish tough games in front of us, but if we prevail I reckon we could make the play-offs. I feel we need a bit of airial threat upfront, but Morgan is improving by the day. I believe it's there for us to take.

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  • pilgrima38  |  January 12 2014, 12:48PM

    I doubt Lavery will be coming back any time soon though after his two well taken goals in Wenesday's 6 - Nil drubbing of Leeds yesterday. As you say though I think JS is pretty satisfied with his squad. Will be interesting to see if he swaps roles for Alessandra and Banton. If Banton gels with Reid that could be a great combination.

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  • eddie_taylor  |  January 12 2014, 12:06PM

    This is possibly the best 90 minute performance Argyle have had this term at HP and we are getting better; had lady luck been on our side it could have been 3 points in the bag, but I take the 1 we got. At least it demonstrated just how far we have come this seson. Fans are talking about Lavery and other players coming to the club, what might be etc. etc., but I think JS is satisfied with his squad and will now only sign a player or 2 if he thinks they will dramatically add to the the team. It was great to have had Lavery for a while, he was a breathe of fresh air and his presence will linger on for a while, especially in the team. As for new recruits, the bar has been raise which makes it more difficult for JS. Provided we can keep playing like we did again Southend, we should be in the mix come the end of term. Great result and performance, thanx team and keep this run going.

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  • DavidMason  |  January 12 2014, 11:35AM

    A good result against a team pushing for promotion, after the last two weeks they should make the goal posts two or three inches wider then we would get the decider!!!!!!!! but seriously it would have great if we could have got the three points still we'll take everything that's going, just think the position we were in in the last four seasons, I'd like to think those days are well and truly behind us now, it could still be us pushing for play off places yet. Now let's get Tuesday out of the way with a good win, good luck lads.

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  • trots  |  January 12 2014, 9:03AM

    Yes very encouraging against a side that'll be thereabouts at the end of the season. As for Lavery, pleased to see him get a couple of goals for Sheff Wed but just wondering whether the likelihood of him returning to us has been lowered due to this, I hope not. I'm quite a fan of Tope and noticed he came on for Bury in their 4-0 hammering more hopeful about him returning. Then I see that Paul Hayes, who didn't score for us in 6 games, gets a couple for Scunny!! I agree we do need another striker, and a Lavery type player as well and the sooner the better. With Rochdale, Cheltenham ( although hopefully Brighton instead), Newport and Mansfield coming up the sooner a player is brought in the better. I hoping Mr Sheridan has a few players in mind. Quietly pleased to see Chris Hargreaves make a positive start at Torquay yesterday, nice to see a popular ex player doing alright for himself.

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  • WILFWASTHEMAN  |  January 12 2014, 12:11AM

    I think this result shows that while the team has improved a great deal we still need a Lavery type striker to play alongside RR before we can realistically hope to achieve a play off place. However given where we were a couple of months ago we cannot be too disappointed by our curent league position and it is looking good for a top 10 finish.Very encouraging.

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  • DavidofLancas  |  January 11 2014, 9:20PM

    A good point, these are no mugs, although if we want automatic promotion we have to beat the likes of Southend. As I think we all expected Banton looks short of a few games but I'm sure he will prove an asset. I was disappointed we moved Alessandra from the left, where I think he has been playing his best football. Perhaps Banton would have more of a threat down the middle. I thought we missed the sharpness of Lavery today, but our loss was certainly Sheffield Wednesday's gain. I'd like to get Luke Young in to the side, not least for his free kick delivery, as I think we blew three or four good chances from set pieces today, where we failed to get a decent shot on target from any of them. Ben Purrington grows more assured with every game but Curtis Nelson had an unaccustomed loss of concentration in the second half and nearly cost us dearly a couple of times. He is usually so reliable. I'd like to see another striker brought in to give us a bit more depth in that department but there's no reason why we can't be a top ten side this season and that would be dramatic progress after the past six years. But we will do well to get anything at Rochdale next week. February is the month to cash in.

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