A Fan's View: Plymouth 0 Albion 1
By Site Editor
Updated Monday, 8th February 2010
Mickd gives his verdict on Albion's win at Home Park
For the second time in a week, following the Baggies involved the "arduous task" of a trip to the seaside.........it's a dirty job but someone has to do it as I tried to explain to my wife.
Being fortunate enough to have a little place of my own near Newquay (I take private bookings for those interested!) I was able to travel to Cornwall on Friday and then make a short 50 mile trip to Plymouth on the Saturday. It was great to visit a new ground for myself and the only downsides were the terrible pitch and the worst designed car park of all time, which was a nightmare to escape from after the match.
Surprises a plenty as our great leader RDM rang the changes and changed both fullbacks with Mattock and Zuiverloon replacing Jara and the injured Cech; Koren was replaced by Cox as we appeared to be reverting to 4-4-2 which concerned me I must admit as we'd been more solid with the 4-5-1 recently.
Meite was in for Olsson..........bloody hell I thought, this could be a very long afternoon!
Ex-Bluenose Damien Johnson was making his debut for Argyle so there was bound to be some tasty challenges from him I thought to myself...........I wasn't wrong!
One of our new posters, ardbaggie62, had mentioned that his lad was Albion's mascot for the day so I kept a keen eye out for our future talent in the pre-match warm up.
The lad looked the business in his red away kit and it was good to see that he was wearing the short sleeved version, nothing "mamby pamby" about this lad I thought and no gloves either......could this be the centre-half we've been looking for? We should be okay around season 2021/2022 I reckon.
The lad showed a nice use of the reverse pass "giving the eyes" to the Plymouth mascots then sending his pass to another mascot in the opposite direction but after his second misplaced pass there was a waving of the arms in frustration..........a bit of Chris Brunt about this chap I began to think!
I looked out for ardbaggie62 when junior was delivered back to his family but lost him in the crowd so I hope he enjoyed his day.
I thought we settled pretty well although the pitch was like a paddy field and fluid passing football was virtually impossible.
Albion tried to move the ball around and Dorrans’ quick feet, alertness and energy was at the heart of everything that was good about Albion, and Thomas was a willing outlet for any forward thrusts that we tried to make but the ball was not sticking as well upfront as it had at Blackpool - although Bednar was working as hard as ever.
Simon Cox surprised most of us I think by taking up a very deep role and was playing as a fifth midfielder most of the time and although working hard the game passed him by in the first half and Koren would have been a better bet in my opinion, although possibly RDM was punishing him for a lack of tackling away at Blackpool.
Plymouth offered little once they got to our box and Meite looked composed alongside a dominant Tamas who indeed looked a class above most other player's on the pitch.
Our opponents were up for the fight and put in a great effort but relied almost totally on the long ball which certainly wasn't easy on the eye.
Mattock and Zuiverloon were not as comfortable as our centre-halves and Mattock in particular was struggling. His early distribution was poor and his crossing from good positions was dire which helped to make sure that we too produced little in the way of chances. Mattock was also lucky not to see red for a terrible lunge tackle at one of our opponents.
A stalemate first half that I heard described as "garbage" whilst on the concourse at half-time, not quite that bad I thought but certainly not a classic.
Both sets of fans on good form but my favourite moment of the day was the Argyle lot chanting to one of our overweight fans: "One more pasty and you're dead; one more pasty and you're dead!"
Second period was very similar to the first with Albion producing occasional moves that were pleasant on the eye and Thomas was a constant threat but was getting zero protection from a poor ref as he was being kicked from pillar to post before finally being assaulted by Damian Johnson when about to advance into the area.........I didn't even see a yellow card for Johnson yet it looked a sending off to us at the back of the stand.
The die was cast but more of this later.
A deep cross by Thomas was fought brilliantly for by Bednar at the back post in a tussle with their two centre-halves and I would ask all supporters to look at just how much sheer effort and willpower went into Roman's desire to get a small piece on that ball as he laid it back beautifully for Cox to sweetly volley home past a "rooted" home keeper with a Kevin Phillip's type finished based on awareness of space and pure anticipation.....a class finish.
Albion in the ascendancy and Luke Moore, who was now on as sub, was upended in the area for a clear penalty so that would soon by 2-0 nil then with Dorrans lining up to take it!
Doh! Dorrans changes from his usual side and the keeper makes an easy save.........batten down the hatches, here comes the bombardment!
Argyle are reinvigorated by the penalty miss and launch a series of assaults with long and deep crosses which in the past have caused us great trouble but this time step forward Gabriel Tamas and Meite who were both terrific. Tamas was unbelievably cool under pressure and in tight corners produced a master class in defending.
Back to the JT situation.
Following Johnson's assault, Thomas lost his cool and launched a horrible two footed tackle at an Argyle player and was deservedly was sent off which was a direct result of yet another ref who understands the rules but doesn't actually understand the game of football. In his stupidity in letting off Johnson, almost cost a player a broken leg and cost JT a sending off.
After match comments in the local media down here about "how unlucky" Argyle were and how they'd "outplayed" us rang hollow with me to be honest. Plenty of effort and no class around the midfield or the penalty box from our opponents whereas we were always breaking at speed and playing our way around the pitch, and if we'd got less than the win, it would have felt unfair to me.
Special mention to Dorrans and Mulumbu for sterling work and invention especially from Dozza but perhaps Tamas just shaded the man of the match award.
Note to Plymouth.....sort out that bloody car park!