With all the hype that surrounded the lead up to Plymouth’s first round game in the FA Cup at home to Swindon Town, their first in seven years, you could have been mistaken Argyle were confident of winning the game.
Coming off the back of a superb 3-1 win against Bristol Rovers, where the young side looked confident and assured, and Swindon stumbling to Charlton Athletic in the league as well as having already beaten the Robins this season, it all looked in Plymouth’s favour.
But two of the buzz phrases that have plagued the Pilgrims all season, set-pieces and lack of discipline, continued to do so. Two set-pieces, two goals and a sending off in the first half meant the game was over before it had begun. Dean Parrett took the team tally to seven red cards this season. Two further goals after the interval to rub salt into the wounds and Argyle went down to their heaviest loss at home for 16 years.
It was a truly awful display by Plymouth, who weren’t even able to respond with any sort of consolation. And it was fair for the fans that had seen enough and left the stadium early.
And it was clear from Peter Reid that the game should have been there for his men’s taking.
"I did have a look at changing the team, but our performance in midweek (against Bristol Rovers) was great, so I stuck with it," he said.
"In hindsight, maybe I might have changed one or two. I just thought we were on a roll, but we weren't at the races. It was like men against boys out there, in terms of a physical contest. They were stronger than us, and they were a yard quicker than us."
So it will now be up to the manager and the players to re-group ready for Tuesday’s cup game against Exeter City. The Johnstone’s Trophy quarter final fixture isn’t just about the chance of winning something this season, but Reid’s men showing bouncebackability by convincingly beating our rivals, hopefully re-paying the faith of the Green Army that was lost on Saturday.
Prepare for the backlash come Tuesday evening at Home Park.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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