Argyle’s game against Crawley Town will be remembered slightly unfortunately for Argyle, who rightly will feel as if they should have come away from The Broadfield Stadium with three points on the board. An early goal from Grego-Cox put Crawley ahead, but Argyle battled hard and after creating a number of good opportunities were able to overturn the score to lead 2-1 thanks to a 6 minute brace from Joe Edwards.
However, a challenge from Callum McFadzean in the 85th minute brought down previous goalscorer Grego-Cox, and Crawley’s Palmer stuck the ball past Argyle’s Palmer to level the scores, with nobody really threatening either goal after that. The draw left Argyle 12th in League 2, three points outside the play-offs but now 9 away from early pace-setters and Devon rivals Exeter City.
Alex Palmer, GK – 6
A solid enough performance from the West Brom loanee, who was relatively untroubled in the Argyle goal for the majority of the game. There was nothing he could have done about the penalty albeit there is a possibility he may have done better with Crawley’s first goal, although he is far from the main culprit for the goal. Palmer covered the back 3 well and claimed crosses well, with good distribution to either full back throughout the game.
Josh Grant, CB – 6
One of two Grant’s who started for Argyle, Josh had a relatively good game albeit was largely untroubled throughout. He will face criticism for Crawley’s first goal, when a cross came from his side that he could have dealt better with but on the whole can be satisfied with his performance. His distribution was a particular highlight, looking comfortable on the ball and bringing it out from the back well. Played the last 5 minutes at RWB after Edwards move inside.
Will Aimson, CB – 7
On his full league debut for the club, Aimson looked like the sort of authoritative centre back that the team have been missing. A much more dominant force in both boxes, he should have definitely had one goal early in the second half when he blasted the ball straight at the Crawley keeper Glenn Morris. In fact, he could have scored in the first half when Morris made another smart stop to keep him out after Joel Grant had held the ball up and laid it off to him. It is certainly promising that Argyle finally have a defender who looks a threat attacking set-pieces.
Gary Sawyer, CB – 6
A competent enough performance from the Argyle captain after his recall to the starting line-up. Retained the ball well enough and was comfortable in building from the back, but there are still questions over whether he wins enough to be able to play at centre back in a team that wants to gain automatic promotion from League 2.
Jose Baxter, CDM – 7
Baxter grew as the game went on and was a key factor in Argyle’s dominance on the ball throughout. Not surprisingly, when the Pilgrims were up against it in the early stages and in the last 10 minutes up until he was substituted, he struggled to make an impact. In games where the side can dominate the ball for large periods as was the case this evening he will be a key player but where the team in green are more up against it, Joe Edwards is a much safer option in that role.
Joe Edwards, RWB – 8, Player of the Match
Edwards is in a slightly difficult position at Argyle, where it seems he may well be Ryan Lowe’s first choice option at both CDM and RWB. Against Crawley he had a good 85 minutes of football at RWB before moving inside when Baxter went off. Of course, his performance will mostly be remembered for two excellently taken goals but for the most part he was good in possession and provided an efficient outlet on the right hand side.
Antoni Sarcevic, CM – 8
A very good performance from Sarcevic, despite previous concerns about how he can play the role in Lowe’s system. Tonight his distribution was much improved, finding Edwards on the outside of him often as well as utilising Byron Moore through the channels. In classic Sarcevic fashion, he was brilliant driving with the ball. In a game where he was presented with space in front of him on a number of occasions he can be especially ruthless, and was a key player in nearly every opportunity Argyle could create on the counter.
Danny Mayor, CM – 7
Mayor is still finding his feet at Argyle, and is under so much more pressure at the club than other new surroundings what with the weight of expectation put on him by his manager and due to his reputation because of his previous form at Bury. There were glimpses of brilliance from him tonight, his turn in his own half that started the move for Argyle’s second goal was exceptional and he showed just how good he is. Not everything comes off for him, but the best players don’t do everything perfectly all of the time. Flashes of brilliance do come and one certainly did tonight in the way he setup Edwards’ second goal.
Callum McFadzean, LWB – 6
Despite crossing that was somewhat hit and miss (not for the first game), he was still able to come up with the ball that Edwards could head home to level the game at 1-1. However, caught the wrong side of Grego-Cox going into the last 5 minutes he gave away a penalty that has ultimately cost Argyle the 3 points in a game that they fully deserved to win. Frustrating, but he remains a key and constant threat down the left hand side of the pitch. It is no wonder teams look to overload that side where it is clear Argyle threaten most.
Byron Moore, ST – 7
A good performance from Moore, who provides Argyle with an option that thus far other strikers this season do not in the way that he runs channels. He looks very capable of stretching teams and was found a number of times down the right hand side, advancing Argyle higher up the pitch in the process. Although his end product is not always as good as you would like, he is a very useful player who is good enough to cause lots of players problems in League 2.
Joel Grant, ST – 6
A respectable game from Joel Grant on his return to the team after a spell out with injury. His energy and tenacity is a useful attribute to have, it is always good to have a player who will run all day long but actually has the ability to go with it. He is very tidy on the ball and combines well with the players around him. He faded as the game went on which isn’t especially surprising given what we can all assume is a lack of match fitness after a good few weeks out from the side.
Dom Telford, ST – 6
Only a 20 minute cameo from Telford this week as another player who is only recently returning to full fitness. Another who combines well on the ball albeit he didn’t make a huge impact on the game in the time he was on the pitch. Winning a free-kick on the edge of the box that he himself then blasted straight into the wall will probably go down as one of the few moments of note from his time in the game.
Scott Wootton, CB – N/A
Unfortunate for Wootton who, only came on with 6 minutes to go and Argyle went on to concede a penalty just a single minute later. It was nothing to do with him of course and he made no real contribution – good or bad – after he came on.
Zak Rudden, ST – N/A
All but no time at all to influence the game, he ran around a bit and looked busy enough but it would be unfair to judge a player who came on with just one minute of the 90 left to play.