That was a disappointing game. The first half was fairly even, though we had the better chances, and should have had a penalty (that's a fact, not an embittered loser's opinion). However, the second half was men against boys. Particularly disappointing as we needed the win - a draw would have suited Argyle ok and kept us at arm's length. But they probably deserved the 3 points overall, despite only having the one shot on target all match.
Without Brannagan we do not have the midfielders to compete against the best in this league - Kane and McGuane are decent players, but are not solid enough without an enforcer alongside them. Without Baldock we do not have a reliable forward to bring on when Taylor isn't firing - criticising Winnall seems like bullying, so bad are his sporadic performances, so I'll leave it there. Without decent fullbacks we are forced to play three at the back - which works well against lesser teams, but Plymouth never let our wingbacks get forwards at all. Sykes, who has been our stand-out performer whenever I've seen Us play recently, never had a sniff, and was pretty culpable for the only goal. Why not play to his strengths instead of shoe-horning him into an unfamiliar formation? Our good moments all came from very quick breaks when we hardly had time to think about what we were doing - as soon as we hesitated or turned back to retain possession, we looked devoid of ideas. Our substitutions made things worse, not better.
Credit to Argyle though, who looked very accomplished if not flamboyant - let's not forget that they had key players out too, and had a 15-year old on the bench. They, and the Dongs, are pretty much guaranteed play-offs at worst. They can do us a favour and take points off our other rivals now please. I have a nasty suspicion the season is going to fizzle out from here on in though. Of the four teams fighting for the other two spots, our form is the worst, and we have a hard run-in. Three points tomorrow is pretty much essential (realistically, if not mathematically).
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