Matt Macey – 8
Despite the loss, Macey had another stellar performance. The on-loan Arsenal stopper is still yet to concede from open play this season, three of the four goals conceded coming from the spot and the other from a direct free kick. He had little to do in the first half, and when Coventry threatened with two efforts from Tony Andreu, he dealt well with the danger, catching one and stopping the other with his feet from close range. Macey guessed the right way for Coventry’s penalty but found himself unable to prevent Bakayogo’s effort from creeping into the bottom right corner. As Argyle were left a little outstretched following the red card, Macey saw a lot more of the ball in the second half but comfortably dealt with a number of shots safely, pushing them behind for Coventry corners. His command of the Argyle area, especially from corners was top quality again and Macey is going forward this season.
Tafari Moore – 7
Moore had a good performance against Coventry, and got better and better throughout. Seemed to struggle with Hiwula initially as Coventry flooded players forward and Argyle sat back but as Argyle got a foothold into the game, Moore nullified the Coventry wingers effect as the game went on. Moore was excellent in his link up play with Carey on the right hand side. Numerous chances came from the right flank and especially as Argyle pushed for an equaliser late into the second half. Competes with tonnes of energy and seems happy to get up and down his flank helping out both in attack and defence whenever he is needed.
Scott Wootton – 6
Had little to do against a relatively poor Coventry attack, and managed to shut down the usually busy Bakayogo besides the penalty effort. The defence became overstretched as the game went on, with Coventry attackers attempting more clear cut efforts at goal, but this more due to the red card and a lack of bodies as opposed to Wootton’s performance.
Niall Canavan – 6
Like Wootton, Canavan had little to do against Coventry but most danger was dealt with competently. Neither Argyle centre-half seemed overly proficient with the ball at their feet when the game began, opting to play the long ball more often than not. However when called upon, Canavan showed that he was able to pass the ball around with some conviction and this should get better with time, especially as the defence plays more games together; an important ability for Adams’s usual more possession based tactics.
Ashley Smith-Brown – 6
Smith-Brown had a steady game at the weekend, continuing an impressive start to his Argyle career. Showed a few defensive lapses as he found himself out of position on a number of occasions, but often recovered well. He was always looking to get forward and drive the attack with crisp passing and clever movement, providing a constant threat from the left hand side, especially in the first half. Sometimes made the wrong decision when it came to the final ball, with a couple of misplaced crosses towards the end of the game. It can not be understated how good his first touch and control of the football is, and seems so comfortable on the ball, happy to play out from the back, a crucial skill in today’s game.
Yann Songo’o – 5
Yann Songo’o has made a habit of being a rather inconsistent player. For everything great he does, there’s often something to counterbalance it and this was the case against Coventry. Defensively he was solid, maybe diving in a little too much at times but for the most part he performed well on that side of the ball. The issues arise as he filled in the position usually occupied by David Fox and the creative deficiencies are evident. His defensive energy and relentlessness is helpful but he gave the ball away far too often with wayward passes and allowed Coventry chances to break forward and attack quickly.
Jamie Ness – 4
Jamie Ness had arguably one of his worst performances in a green shirt against Coventry. Seemed a step behind throughout, with a number of misplaced passes, despite his decent defensive shift. Needlessly picked up a yellow card in the first half, trying and failing to stop a Coventry counter attack. Some may judge his second yellow card a little harsh but it seemed that he moved his hand towards the ball in a deliberate manner, and received his marching orders from referee, Darren Drysdale. Even though he may not have had the best game, his absence was definitely felt following his departure and Argyle likely would have got something from the game, had he remained on the pitch.
Conor Grant – 5
Grant had a largely ineffectual performance against Coventry and seemed to phase out of the game as it went on. Defensively sound, he popped up with a number of crucial tackles and interceptions, but offensively seemed to get less the ball than he would have liked. Grant seems to be a player who thrives with the ball at his feet but seems a little lost without it, more filling space than creating it. He was replaced by Lameiras at half time. The talent is definitely there but needs to find a way to utilise it to more success.
Joel Grant – 5
Joel Grant seemed to take his time getting into the game against Coventry. He had a number of good moments but the game seemed to pass him by for large portions. He found himself at the back at the beginning of the game as Argyle sat back and allowed Coventry to push forward, especially overloading the flanks. Going forward, he found himself in good positions but failed to make anything from them more often than not. He managed to control a long ball from the back and find himself through on goal by failed to convert. His best moment came as he laid the ball off cleverly for Carey, who’s shot failed to hit the target. He was replaced by Taylor not long into the second half.
Graham Carey – 5
Carey has had a somewhat lacklustre start to the season, and that was evident on Saturday. Carey started brightly, working well on the right flank with Moore, creating a few half chances which were rather poorly handled by the players waiting in the middle. He popped up on the left and took a pass from Grant, Carey’s shot narrowly missing the bottom left corner. His game changed around the forty minute mark where he clumsily brought down Jordy Hiwula in the box and conceded another penalty and yellow card. Carey seemed to lose his cool a little and could have seen another card for a couple of rash tackles after he judged that he was unlawfully dispossessed. However, following the red card he seemed to calm down and regain focus. He maintained high energy throughout the game, fulfilling his defensive duties; the talent is still clearly there and it is only a matter of time before he starts finding the back of the net again.
Freddie Ladapo – 5
Ladapo was given the start ahead of Taylor and failed to make a strong impact in the game. He won a couple of headers and fifty-fifties but paled in comparison to Taylor’s aerial ability when he was brought on to partner Ladapo up top. He missed a vital chance in the second half where the ball dropped perfectly for him just inside the penalty area but appeared to open up his foot a little too much and side-footed it wide. On a more positive note Ladapo seemed to play better as a two man strike partnership as opposed to playing on his own, thriving off the knockdowns and hold-up play from Taylor. His physical presence still proved to be a handful for the Coventry defenders at times but nothing really came off for him and he had a rather uneventful game.
Ruben Lameiras – 7
Ruben clearly had a point to prove against his former team, and maybe also against Adams for leaving him out of the starting eleven. He was brought on at half time and immediately made a positive impact, causing havoc among the Coventry back line with nifty turns and his clever movement. Lameiras had Argyles best chance of the afternoon, his low deflected effort forcing a spectacular save out of Coventry goalkeeper Liam O’Brien. His directness and willingness to drive at defenders was definitely missing in Argyles first half performance.
Ryan Taylor – 7
Another strange selection choice leaving Taylor on the bench, as usually he would be the first name on the team sheet besides anyone with the initials GC. Was brought on early in the second half and made an immediate impact, providing a target, showcasing his terrific hold-up play. Taylor went down not three minutes into his substitute appearance with what seemed like an ankle problem, but kept playing and he looked unbothered by it for the remainder of the game. Taylor was unlucky not to win a penalty late in the second half, when he was brought down by a Coventry defender only for the referee to reprimand the Argyle forward and give him a yellow card as well.
David Fox – 6
An unfamiliar sight seeing Fox start on the bench but was brought on with 20 minutes to go as the team pushed forward for an equaliser. His creative talents instigated some good chances and allowed Argyle to push further up the pitch, controlling possession of the ball but he was unable to carve out the equaliser that Argyles second half performance definitely deserved.
Subs Not Used Kyle Letheren; Gary Sawyer; Ryan Edwards; Gregg Wylde