Argyle 1 Morecambe 0: Match report
LEST Graham Carey’s 13th goal of the season – after a midweek point courtesy of Argyle’s No.13 – leads you to think that this was a fortunate win for the Pilgrims, do not believe it for a moment.
Luck had nothing to do with the important victory: skill, character, discipline and a cussed will simply not to be beaten did.
Derek Adams had endorsed the performance from his side four days earlier which had paved the way to an excellent 1-1 draw at Wycombe Wanderers by selecting the same starting 11.
Nathan Blissett, who scored the Argyle leveller at Adams' Park, 93 seconds after coming on as a substitute, again had to be content with a place on the bench, as did two experienced players returning from injury, Gary Sawyer and Ryan Taylor.
The fullness of the options open to the Pilgrims' manager meant that Craig Tanner, Nauris Bulvitis, Connor Smith and Arnie Garita were not even in the Argyle match-day squad – or, at least, if they were, it was in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League match-day squad at St Blazey.
Morecambe changed things up after their 1-0 home defeat by Newport County in midweek and recalled five players, including former Pilgrim Lee Molyneux.
Judging from the amount of players that Morecambe committed when they went forward and the commensurate space they left in behind, the visitors had left their bus outside, and Argyle clearly liked that attitude.
More than once in the opening stages, they engineered quick breaks, using the ever-willing Jimmy Spencer as pivot, with the best ending with Jake Jervis obliging Shrimps goalkeeper Barry Roche to make a save.
Carey had already had a couple digs from range – one a left-footed curler form a free-kick on the right, the other a right-footed zinger from a central position – when Matty Kennedy rolled the ball into his path just outside the left-hand side of the penalty-area D.
Without breaking stride, Argyle’s leading scorer added to his tally with a left-footed clip of the ball that took it away from the stranded Roche and into the far corner of the goal.
With Kennedy and Jervis terrorising Morecambe out wide, ably supported by Oscar Threlkeld and Gary Miller, and Carey and Antoni Sarcevic string-pulling in central midfield, life was easy for the Pilgrims, maybe a little too easy, a little too reminiscent of the dominance they had enjoyed against Leyton Orient. We all know what happened then.
Such was Argyle’s supremacy that both full-backs were far enough upfield to come close to adding to Carey’s opener; Miller had a shot that almost surprised Roche, not to mention most of Home Park, while Threlkeld sent a loopy header just over the crossbar.
Spencer, too, had a near-thing that was laced with an element of surprise, sneaking round the back of the Morecambe defence to get a touch on Carey’s free-kick that should not have got anywhere near him. The angle defeated him, though, and his shot riffled the side-netting.
The slimness of the half-time margin did not reflect the Pilgrims’ ascendency, which was better reflected in the stats that do not matter: 62% possession, to 38%, and 13 shots, to one.
Read the fll report here.