Matthews put in yet another accomplished performance in goal with two excellent saves, one in each half. He could also not be blamed for Oldham’s goal which was an unfortunate error from Yann Songo’o. Only his kicking, which was slightly more erratic than usual, prevents him from getting an 8.
Oscar Threlkeld- 7
Threlkeld has received some justified criticism in recent weeks for being too much of an overcommitment merchant, throwing his head and body in the way of everything but without showing the necessary intelligence and subtlety to thrive in League One. In this match however, he well and truly defied all of this with a performance that showed a knowledge of where and when to make runs as well as the energy and passion that is always on display.
Songo’o has had an excellent season on the whole but it was a somewhat shaky return to the team at centre-back in a game where a fair amount of errors were made. The own goal was misdirected but a bigger error was in stoppage time where he charged out and completely missed the ball, leaving a large gap behind him for the Oldham attacker to run into. Luckily, he was bailed out by a Sonny Bradley tackle.
. As well as saving Songo’o’s bacon, it was a good game in general from the big centre-back who was in need of one following a poor match against Wigan last week. He showed sensible positioning and strength in the ariel battles that were vital as the crosses and long-balls began to come in later in the game.
An uncharacteristically poor game was had by Sawyer, usually so reliable. He did not get forward and provide good crosses into the box as he has shown he can do in previous games; Oldham also had far more luck in getting the ball into the box from his side than they did from Threlkeld’s.
His defensive work was questionable in the later stages stages in the game, being overwhelmed and seemingly overtired following an Oldham bombardment in the second half. His passing range however was as good as ever and in spite of his physical weaknesses, he rarely looks like losing the ball when he has it.
Antoni Sarcevic-7 MOTM
. Ever since his 2018 return to the team, this player has has been a real revelation. An all rounder, Sarcevic is equally good at chasing down the ball and leading the press as he is at picking out a smart pass. He tired a little as the game went on but he had a very good game and added a goal to his tally, which was much needed due to poor finishing in recent games. He’s gone from being first on many fans’ release lists to being a real favourite again.
Another funny game was has by Jamie Ness who is firmly nailing down his reputation as a curate’s egg midfielder. He can have moments of real brilliance where he picks out a 25 yard pass perfectly yet he can also have moments where he wilts under pressure and loses the ball in crucial areas. He is a good back-up option but Derek Adams needs to sign another central midfielder before Wednesday’s deadline.
Ruben Lameiras- 7
Lameiras is arguably the only player whose return to the team has been even more of a rise from the virtual dead as Sarcevic’s. He started and ended the move excellently for the second goal, by pinging a great crossfield ball out to Carey before running into the box to get on the end of the delivery. In addition to this, his defensive work which has always been a weak area was noticeably better.
A mixed bag of a game from Argyle’s talisman. On one hand, he made a goal each for Sarcevic and Lameiras so some will say his rating should be higher. However, at other times, he was uncharacteristically wasteful with the ball which brings his mark down.
He had a hard battle all game with Oldham defender Anthony Gerrard who seemed to rile him up on a couple of occasions. However, the big striker rose to the challenge and was as much of a handful as he always is. Another good game and we maintain our record of losing only once in our ten games since he got back into the first team on a regular basis.
Back in the team for the first time since mid-December, he did the job he was tasked with on stretching the play and wasting a bit of time.
He was only on for a minute but showed a good little bit of timewasting with Ryan Taylor in the corner flag.