Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Fan's view: Peter Fielding on Plymouth 3 Cheltenham 0

26 October 2014

Plymouth Argyle 3 Cheltenham Town 0

Having secured two excellent victories against Northampton Town and Cambridge United in the space of four days, Mark Yates men came crashing horribly back to earth with a frankly embarrassing defeat against Plymouth Argyle.

The Robins were outclassed from the first minute to the last, in a game that revealed a host of footballing shortcomings and tactical errors, as 196 Town fans endured an abhorrent 90 minutes.

Unfortunate to lose John Marquis through suspension, Yates' move to recall Byron Harrison seemed understandable, though his decision to replace central midfielder Joe Hanks with out-of-position winger Omari Sterling-James appeared dubious.

As an impressive Argyle side, who now haven't conceded in more than eight hours, matched the Robins' 3-5-2 formation, it soon became clear that there was only going to be one winner.

By the 22nd minute, the hosts were unsurprisingly in front, as the clinical Rueben Reid seized on some haphazard defending to smash home the opener.

The key for Cheltenham was not to concede another before half-time. Although again on the receiving end of some decidedly inconsistent refereeing, Yates' men failed to adhere to this simple principle, as Peter Hartley headed home with ease in stoppage time.

With the game all but over, Yates had nothing to lose in utilising his substitutes, yet obstinately stuck with the 11 who looked incapable of scoring one, let alone two.

Eventually the mercurial Eusebio Bancessi was introduced, yet he had no impact at all, as Byron Harrison and Terry Gornell found themselves completely isolated in attack. They were so isolated, in fact, that the Robins didn't manage a single shot on target in the whole game.

At the back, Cheltenham were even worse, as Lewis Alessandra waltzed through the back three, which was by now in disarray, to make the score 3-0.

Throughout the game, wing-back Lee Vaughan looked the only attacking outlet for the Robins, with it quite clear from the stands that the personnel on the pitch did not suit the formation.

Still Yates resisted any changes, as a helpless away following watched on with dismay. Eventually, five minutes from time, Andy Haworth and Joe Hanks were brought on, however this was simply too little too late.

The only praise Mark Yates' men deserve is for apologising to the 196 travelling fans, as a hopeless performance sees them slide to tenth in the League Two table. Another changing room inquest appears inevitable after what was an inept display.

The Cheltenham Town performance was nothing short of calamitous, as the Robins' recent good form was abruptly halted, and their inability to score goals once again on show.

After a difficult week, however, in which the Robins have picked up six out of a possible nine points, supporters cannot be overly disappointed.

The Home Park debacle must not be repeated, with it now vital that Yates and his men respond positively in Saturday's home game against York City.

Advertisement block