PILGRIMS INTO POLE POSITION
DEREK Adams toasted his side’s efforts at the half-way point of the season as Plymouth rocketed back to the top thanks to a hard-fought win.
The Pilgrims ended 2016 where they started it after goals from Oscar Threlkeld and Craig Tanner saw the Devon side leapfrog Doncaster at the summit.
Plymouth made the early running last year before an endof-season slump saw them drop into the play-off places.
But Adams insists the Pilgrims look in good shape to banish that heartache.
He said: “Every game in this league is difficult to win. But to win 15 games from 23 is a very good record.
“This was another hardfought win and I am delighted with the run we are on.
“We have got good competition for places and it is another clean sheet.
“In the first half we were very dominant but we didn’t move the ball quick enough. But we took our goals really well in the second half.
“We have got little time to prepare for Barnet on Monday. So it is a quick turnaround.”
Arnold Garita’s physical presence was the home side’s most potent weapon in the first half and the on-loan striker outmuscled Mark Connolly before testing Glenn Morris with a low drive.
But Crawley grew in confidence and James Collins wasted a chance when through.
Plymouth improved after the break and Graham Carey brought a save out of Morris.
And they made the breakthrough on 69 minutes when David Fox’s cross was deflected into the path of Threlkeld, who tucked the ball into the corner.
Crawley were screaming for a penalty two minutes later as Enzio Boldewijn went down under a challenge by Sonny Bradley.
And their frustrations grew when referee Brendan Malone only showed Connor Smith a yellow card when he wrestled Boldewijn to the floor.
Plymouth keeper Luke McCormick pulled off a stunning save to deny Jordan Roberts an equaliser in stoppage time before Tanner then fired past Morris to seal it.
Crawley boss Dermot Drummy was forced to stay at home due to illness so assistant manager Matt Gray took charge.
He said: “Dermot hasn’t been feeling well and he took a turn for the worse over Christmas. Hopefully he will be better for the Yeovil game on Monday.
“We looked really solid and worked hard to get back into our shape.
“When I saw James (Collins) run through, you expect him to score.
“Nine times out of ten he does score, but he lifted it and it went over. “There were some surprising decisions from the officials. If one or two of those had gone for us we might have got something out of the game.”
PLYMOUTH PILE: Argyle players toast the goal scored by Oscar Threlkeld with the fans ON THE UP: Graham Carey of Plymouth Argyle leads the charge