Plymouth Argyle vs ASFC

League Two
Score: 0 - 0

Match Report

A first clean sheet of the season gave Stanley a deserved point from the trip to Home Park.

The home side had early chances early on with Reuben Reid and ex-Red Rommy Boco going close but the visitors had the best of the second half with Will Hatfield and Luke Joyce testing Luke McCormick.

Plymouth started the brightest with Marvin Morgan surviving free kick appeals against him to get beyond Tom Aldred in the first minute but his shot was turned behind for a corner by Stanley keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Moments later the former Red Boco almost came back to haunt his former employers with a shot that beat Bettinelli and clipped the outside of the post.

John Sheridan must have been pleased with the start his side made but their lack of cutting edge was proving to be a problem and once Lewis Alessandra had threaded in Reuben Reid only to see the striker poke the ball wide with Bettinelli rushing out the home supporters were already on edge.

Having weathered the early storm Stanley settled and saw Shay McCartan just off target with a striker before  a rasper from Kayode Odejayi from the edge of the D met with the same fate.

At half time James Beattie’s side must have been pleased with the stalemate but their second half display might have made them wonder if they could have bagged all three points.

Reid and Conor Hourihane were both off target in the early exchanges but Stanley began to grow as a force and Will Hatfield saw a shot deflected wide before Guy Branston was pressed into evasive action to thwart McCartan.

Every passing goalless minute increased the exasperation of the Home Park crowd and their mood would have been blacker still had either Peter Murphy’s appeal for a handball or Hatfield going down in the box resulted in a penalty.

As it was the Reds were making a good fist of making something happen from open play, with lively sub James Gray teeing up Hatfield to poke a low shot goalwards and force a parry from Luke McCormick before laying the ball off for Luke Joyce to try from range and again find the goalkeeper’s gloves.

It was the home side who looked the more relieved to see four minutes of stoppage time come towards and end but even then Gray was close to racing onto a through ball and giving them a late shock – fortunately for Argyle McCormick was quickly off his line.

The final whistle brought Stanley’s first away point and clean sheet of the season – but more importantly lots of encouragement from what was a wholehearted, professional and gutsy performance.

Attendance: 6180

 Match Reaction