Plymouth three points adrift after defeat to Crewe

Despite the great news that Nick Chadwick and Darren Purse have signed permanent contracts at Home Park, it was Crewe that took three points at the Alexandra Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The home side had the better start, Luke Murphy’s double strike in the 20th and 44th minute, both goals from the edge of the 18 yard box, condemned Argyle to a 2 – 0 half time deficit. But all credit to Argyle, in the second half they came out fighting, Simon Walton pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 50th minute after Warren Feeney was fouled by Adam Dugdale. But you got the feeling it wasn’t to be three minutes later when Durrell Berry conceded a penalty, fouling Ajay Leitch-Smith, Crewe’s Ashley Westwood made no mistake extending the home sides lead!

Matt Lecointe reduced the deficit to one goal again in the 65th minute from close range to give the Pilgrims hope of coming away with a point but the visitors couldn’t make the breakthrough. The Pilgrims more than held their own in this game as the stats testify, so I can’t criticise my home town team for their performance, except for the slight lack of discipline that caused Conor Hourihane to be sent off in the dying moments, which means a one match ban for Hourihane.

Argyle fall three points adrift of the League Two strugglers as Northampton won today and most of the teams above the bottom two have a game in hand. At this point Argyle need to win all their home games to fight their way off the bottom of the league. It’s far from over but I think Argyle need a 50% win ratio to assure football league survival, manager Carl Fletcher needs to improve discipline in his squad and needs to strengthen his defence if there is any money in the coffers.

Moving onto Liverpool briefly, the Reds bounced back from their 3 – 0 defeat to Manchester City with a 5 – 1 FA Cup third round victory over League One side Oldham Athletic at Anfield. But the Reds were given a scare when Robbie Simpson’s 30 yard strike gave the visitors an unexpected lead in the 28th minute. This shock goal seemed to kickstart the Reds into action, Craig Bellamy equalising two minutes later, Steven Gerrard put the home side into the lead just before half time from the penalty spot. Jonjo Shelvey made it 3 – 1 in the 68th minute, Andy Carroll, the £35m man scoring only his fifth goal in 22 matches for Liverpool in the 89th minute before Stewart Downing scored Liverpool’s fifth goal of the game deep into added time and the Reds march into round four!

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