Carver revels in late fightback

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Football News

Assistant head coach John Carver was "ecstatic" after Plymouth took a valuable stride in their relegation battle with a thrilling 2-1 win at Doncaster.

The Pilgrims were seemingly dead and buried, along with their Coca-Cola Championship survival hopes, when James Coppinger capped 58 minutes of Doncaster dominance with the opener. But teenage substitute Joe Mason levelled in the 67th minute before Bradley Wright-Phillips headed an unlikely winner seconds into stoppage time.

Argyle are now just three points behind fourth-bottom Watford and Carver said: "Everyone is ecstatic. The way the game started we were a bit concerned. They looked good. But we got in at 0-0, which was good, and then conceded that goal. A lot of teams can feel sorry for themselves in that position. But the guys are committed to the cause, played some good football and got back in there."

Indeed, Rovers looked the stronger side in an entertaining first half. Coppinger had the first meaningful shot after 17 minutes, a low drive which Argyle stopper David Stockdale did well to block at his near post.

James Hayter then headed wide for the hosts and John Oster volleyed over.

Plymouth started the second half well, Chris Clark slicing wide, while Jay Emmanuel-Thomas twice caused problems at the other end.

A few moments later, Hayter created the opener, bursting into the box and feeding Coppinger, who, having won a 50-50 with Onismor Bhasera, volleyed the loose ball across Stockdale.

Carver said: "I thought it might have been offside, but I didn't have a great view."

Mason's leveller, after 67 minutes, came after Neil Sullivan had spilled Damien Johnson's low drive. He had been on the pitch just five minutes and Carver was impressed by the 18-year-old's impact.

"Joe has natural instincts, gets into the right areas and you can see that," he said. "We looked at how we could bring more energy to the team and Joe was the obvious choice. He gave us the injection we needed."

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James Coppinger
Doncaster Rovers
Joe Mason
John Oster
James Hayter
David Stockdale
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Neil Sullivan
Damien Johnson
Plymouth Argyle
Bradley Wright-Phillips
Chris Clark

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