Four points from two games over the Easter weekend, combined with our relegation rivals’ continuing inability to get results means that Plymouth Argyle are all but safe going into the last four fixtures of the season.
Over a thousand of us travelled to Hereford on Good Friday hoping to see Argyle put more points between themselves and the drop zone – the gap was then four points. I would be hard pushed to find a Bulls fan that could argue the fact that the Pilgrims dominated proceedings in the first half. Alex MacDonald, Maxime Blanchard and Warren Feeney all went close before Argyle’s opening goal was gift wrapped to them like an Easter egg by Hereford defender Stefan Stam.
The Dutchman totally fluffed his lines as a long Jake Cole punt down-field missed everybody and bounced towards the Hereford goalkeeper. The ever persistant Warren Feeney applied enough pressure on the defender to force the error. Stam had not realised his keeper had come to collect the ball, and his clumsy touch looped perfectly over the head of the hapless Cornell and into the net.
The Pilgrims should have built on the lead soon after as Nick Chadwick did all the hard work of beating his defender, but then firied wide with the goal gaping. Simon Walton then missed a guilt edged chance from the penalty spot after Warren Feeney was brought down in the area. His penalty rattled back off the post and ultimatly cost Argyle the three points in Herefordshire.
Hereford grew into the game from there on in, and the equaliser inevitably came early on in the second half. The Greens held on though and took a point back to Devon. Myself and many other travelling fans were dissapointed at the result as we could, and should have had the game put to bed by half time, however results went our way and we ended the day five points clear of the relegation zone with five games to play.
Fast forward to bank holiday Monday and a rain drenched Plymouth welcomed Aldershot Town to Home Park. The facts were simple; We could end the day eight points clear and be heading for safety, or only two points clear with a trip to leaders Swindon coming up next game.
A single Alex MacDonald goal, 14 minutes after the start of the game proved enough to give Argyle the three points on a day where results everywhere else went the Pilgrims’ way and the Greens ended the day in the best possible place they could have – eight points clear of the drop zone.
We were lucky, boy were we lucky. But as the rain swept sideways across the Home Park turf the Green Army witnessed an incredibly gritty performance from all the Argyle players that alone deserved the victory. Aldershot dominated virtually the entirety of the game and only some stunning saves from assistant player-manager Romain Larrieu and last ditch defending denied the Shots what would have been a deserved point.
Argyle manager Carl Fletcher even admitted after the game that we did no perform well at all, his exact words though?
“We’re pleased, we couldn’t kick it, we couldn’t pass it. We didn’t play well at all. But I just don’t care. “We got the result, that’s the main thing. It’s three points, another clean sheet.”
In one simple quote, Fletcher summed up the feelings of all connected with the club. At this point of the season, it is not about the performances, it is about the points, and the team just keep getting them now – we are now without defeat in six games now.
Although we are not mathmatically safe, it is hard to see two of the bottom three teams winning three out of their last four games and even if they did, I am not accounting for what points Argyle may accumulate between now and the end of the season. We have a visit to the County Ground to play league leaders Swindon next, and we should not fear them. We should go there and give it our all like we have done so often lately, and if we do that then there is every chance we can come away with something.
The end of the tunnel is fast approaching, and the light is Green. Bright Green.
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