Date: 17th September 2008 at 9:07am
Written by:

If only we could`ve played like men possessed for the whole ninety minutes not the last ten, I feel sure we`d of gotten a more than deserved draw at the very least. As is it was, the first half was torrid, the second half marginally better and the final ten minutes a frantic combination of bad luck and bad finishing. We really deserved what we got.

Plymouth, not doing too well themselves were buoyed by their opener which came when Jim Paterson got down the left to cross for Fallon who set up Karl Duguid. Watford might as well have made Duguid a freeman of their half as he had nearly enough room to drive a flock of sheep through with the ball which curled sumptuously in the right hand corner.

Little came from Watford and although Romain Larrieu did drop a relatively simple cross nearing the end of the first half, there was no-one ready to pounce, no-one had taken a gamble in following the ‘keeper. If they had of, a simple equaliser would`ve been their reward.

Half-time: 0-1

The only first half positive was the removal of Tamas Priskin who did actually make a surprise tackle in the first half and did any work [not any good, mind], out wide.

His replacement, Will Hoskins continued that trend, but then did at least get in the middle to put himself about, chase causes about to be lost and so on.

The Pilgrims snatched their second for a half-baked penalty appeal which apparently was awarded for a handball by Jay DeMerit which I failed to see. Luke Summerfield stepped up to make it 2-0 and that could`ve been that.

It would have been three but Paul Gallagher`s fine flicked header bounced off bar and line before Bromby cleared.

However, Watford finally got kick-started with this latest setback and John Eustace screamed a couple just wide of Larrieu`s post before Will Hoskins just failed to connect with Leigh Bromby`s searching header.

The goal came from a corner which fell all the way across to Smith who drove it back along the floor, into the centre and the path of O`Toole to bundle home.

Hoskins did have the ball in the net before the end, but after being set through by Eustace, the youngsters neat finish was ruled out for offside by the official on the far side. Watford had been battering Argyle with a series of volleys from in and around the area after a half cleared corner. Ainsworth`s the most on target, but one just eventually bounced up for Larrieu to claim with ease.

Full-time: 1-2

Two defeats on the bounce, and little essence of penetrative football played in the last 180 minutes with just one goal scored. Indeed three our our last four have come from the youngster John-Joe O`Toole who I`m afraid did little else to impress other than snatch the goal. He`s the closest thing we`ve had to Scott Fitzgerald, but now we`re crying out for a Marlon, someone to take the bull by the horns on the edge of the area and crack the ball home as he memorably did against Argyle in 2005. Tommy would do it but he`s to selfless so in the mean time, there`s a worry of where the goals are going to come from.

Plymouth Argyle
Larrieu; Seip, Doumbe, Cathcart, Clark; Mackie, Summerfield, Duguid (c), Paterson (Barker); Gallagher (Folly) and Fallon.

Referee: Mr C Penton

Player Ratings

Mart Poom – 5
Kicking poor and communication with teammates worse.

Lloyd Doyley – 5
Subbed for Mariappa after injury, saved him blushes later.

Jay DeMerit (c) – 5
Gave away penalty and launched ball whenever he could.

Leigh Bromby – 6
Made up for defensive partner.

Jon Harley – 6
Solid and industrious.

Lee Williamson – 6
Worked hard and rarely gave ball away.

John Eustace – 6
Made some important tackles but too slow getting back.

John-Joe O’Toole – 5
Virtually absent other than goal.

Tommy Smith – 6
Tried his hardest and service good, but a victim of poor finishing by teammates.

Tamas Priskin – 5
No worse than others but never does work in the middle, in the box.

Jobi McAnuff – 5
Scarcely saw the ball.

Aidy Mariappa – 7
Came on second half and was solid.

Lionel Ainsworth – 4
Didn’t make one run.
Had ball in net, but ruled out, put himself about.