Plymouth Argyle completed a perfect November with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bradford City. The Bantams were sitting 3rd in League Two prior to the game, but came up short at Home Park, with the Greens’ first half performance just about enough to secure the victory.
Alex Palmer – 6
It was a nothing game really for the West Bromwich Albion loanee. He didn’t have any major saves to make, and didn’t make any major errors leading to chances like his opposite number. A six feels like it’ll do for him. His kicking was a little off, with a few either going out of play or scuffed towards the opposition. He’s also racking up the bookings like confetti, with another for running down the clock today following his yellow for the same reason against Forest Green last week.
Scott Wootton – 7
It wasn’t necessarily the performance of a colossus from Wootton, like we saw last week against Forest Green, but it didn’t need to be. Wootton did what he had to today; let’s not forget, Argyle were playing against a Bradford side flying high in the league and looking for their tenth win of the season. Wootton did well to limit their chances, and offered a calming influence to the defence as a whole. Who’d have thought we’d be saying that before the season started?
Niall Canavan – 6
Whilst the Irishman wasn’t necessarily perfect today, he certainly did enough of what we’ve become familiar with to impress. Generally, he seemed to be his comfortable self in the air, although some of his headers did make their way back into the danger area, keeping Argyle under the cosh on occasions. A little unlucky to concede an own goal, but luckily it didn’t cost his side in the end.
Gary Sawyer – 7
Argyle’s captain has always been considered a ‘solid 7/10’ player since he made his way back to Home Park back in 2015. Last season, he struggled at left back to live up to that consistency, but this year he’s certainly showing signs of making that left centre back position his own. With three, he made more tackles than any other player in green, and is a solid piece of the defensive jigsaw on current form.
Josh Grant – 6
An interesting one. Sure, Josh has seemed like a player reborn in recent weeks since his switch in position to defensive midfield. And whilst he didn’t do too much wrong there this afternoon, he didn’t quite reach the heights of his performances at Bolton and Forest Green in recent weeks. He seemed to return to his old shaky self in the air on occasions, and whilst he wasn’t totally overpowered, the 21-year-old still needs to work on bits and pieces of his game.
Joe Edwards – 7
Edwards’ performance today was showered with plenty of notable moments, both good and bad. I’d still maintain that he offers more to this side in a defensive midfield role, but with Josh Grant impressing we’ll probably have to wait a while before we see him there again. Edwards took his goal very well, effectively starting and finishing the move himself after pressing Bantams ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell into a poor clearance. That being said, only Palmer and Canavan had lower pass completion rates than Edwards out of the Argyle starting XI. A seven will have to suffice.
Antoni Sarcevic – 8, player of the match
Effervescent would be the word I’d use to describe Sarcevic’s performance today. He was all over the place, regularly troubling the visitors’ defence with his powerful dribbling. In truth, it was a quintessential Sarcevic performance, despite Lowe’s system perhaps not lending itself to that. He was superb in setting up the opening goal, and whilst he did lose possession more than anybody else on the field (7 times), that’s perhaps an indication of just how involved he was.
Danny Mayor – 8
Sometimes with Mayor, I fear we’re reaching the stage where a lot of his positive influence is lost because it’s simply expected, in the similar manner to what we saw with Graham Carey last season. Not to the same level, I should say, but the signs are there. Mayor has still completed more dribbles of anybody in League Two, and his pass completion rate today was a stupendous 93%, wiping the floor with anybody else on the field.
Callum McFadzean – 7
There wasn’t really anything ‘new’ to mention about McFadzean’s performance. Rather, there was plenty on show that we’ve become used to over the last few months. He linked up well with Mayor, of course, and got into a few good positions in behind the defence. His end product was perhaps lacking today, but he was still a vital part of the Argyle attack.
Joel Grant – 7
Plenty of nice touches on show, and whilst the goals may have dried up a little in recent weeks, he’s still been able to demonstrate what a danger he is to opposition defences. He was marvellous in setting up the second goal, combining beautifully with Edwards after Argyle turned over possession in the final third. The only concern may be that he was a little quiet in certain areas; he only managed to get one shot away, which isn’t exactly perfect for a Ryan Lowe striker.
Byron Moore – 7
See above. Byron Moore’s overall performance was very similar to that of his strike partner, with the only difference being that he did manage to find the net with his early effort. It got Argyle off to the perfect start, and whilst Moore too was a little quiet on occasions, it was hardly a bad performance by any means.
Dom Telford – 7
Arrived on the field with twenty minutes to go, and did what he needed to do. He really is surprisingly good at holding up the ball, considering his stature. A run in the team from the start surely beckons as he continues to build his fitness.
Ryan Taylor – 6
Came on very late, and in truth did very little.