PIL­GRIMS ON MARCH AGAIN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By John Lyons

IF YOU’RE go­ing to win pro­mo­tion, then why not do it in style? Ply­mouth Ar­gyle cer­tainly did – ham­mer­ing New­port County 6-1 to get the party started at Home Park on Easter Mon­day. Matty Kennedy and Jake Jervis both struck twice, while the classy Gra­ham Carey and Ryan Tay­lor also struck as the Pil­grims ran riot. Aaron Wil­liams’ in­jury time strike saved a lit­tle pride for the rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Ex­iles. But this was Ply­mouth’s day as they joined the al­ready-pro­moted Don­caster Rovers in earn­ing their pas­sage to the third tier.

The Pil­grims suf­fer­ered back-to-back rel­e­ga­tions in 2009-10 and 2010-11 to drop down to the Foot­ball League’s low­est tier.

Re­build­ing

Af­ter trou­bled times on and off the pitch in re­cent years, they’ve picked up in the last cou­ple of years.

They looked good bets for pro­mo­tion last term, but it wasn’t to be as they slipped to fifth

place by the sea­son’s end and then lost 2-0 to AFC Wim­ble­don in the League Two play-off fi­nal at Wem­b­ley.

Ar­gyle boss Derek Adams car­ried out a mas­sive re­build­ing job over the sum­mer. The Pil­grims had only four play­ers signed on by mid-June, but then the man­ager got busy and brought in 14 play­ers.

Mid­fielder Carey, who has been so in­flu­en­tial this term, has praised Adams for mould­ing a new-look squad that could ul­ti­mately take the fi­nal step and achieve pro­mo­tion.

The 27-year-old said: “I don’t think I can put into words what he’s done – to have four play­ers at the start of the sea­son, and to bring in the squad that he’s brought in, is tes­ta­ment to him.

“It took us a while to get over that de­feat at Wem­b­ley but I think the re­cruit­ment from the man­ager and the club has been first class.”

Op­por­tu­nity

As for Adams, he’s now set his sights on try­ing to over­haul Don­caster to pinch the League Two ti­tle.

“We’ve achieved our goal of get­ting au­to­matic pro­mo­tion and, with three games to go, we have still got an op­por­tu­nity of win­ning the ti­tle,” said the 41-year-old ahead of yes­ter­day’s trip to play-off chas­ing Colch­ester.

“That’s our main fo­cus be­tween now and the end of the sea­son. We will prob­a­bly have to win the three games to give us any chance of win­ning it.”

The for­mer Ross County boss is keen to re­tain Carey’s ser­vices next sea­son – he is out of con­tract this sum­mer – as he plots a chal­lenge in the third tier next sea­son.

There will no doubt be some wheel­ing and deal­ing to come, but the Scot be­lieves the Pil­grims need to be care­ful how they spend their money.

He added: “We’ve got to live within our means. That is what this foot­ball club has tried to achieve af­ter go­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion (in the past).

“Pre­vi­ous boards and man­agers have wasted a lot of money and we can’t af­ford to get our­selves into that sit­u­a­tion again.”

But that can wait for an­other day as ju­bi­lant Ply­mouth en­joy that sweet taste of pro­mo­tion suc­cess.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

PARTY TIME: Ply­mouth savour pro­mo­tion to League One. Insets, from left to right, Matty Kennedy cel­e­brates scor­ing the first, Jake Jervis en­joys num­ber two, Kennedy scores the fifth and boss Derek Adams takes the ac­claim

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