Another win for Plymouth Argyle as the greens climb to 6th in League Two, the highest they’ve been since the opening weeks of the season. In truth, the 3-1 victory over Scunthorpe did flatter us slightly and we sat too deep but our superior quality won out in the end and three deserved points were taken home to Devon.

Alex Palmer, GK – 8

Another confident and domineering performance from the Argyle keeper saw him largely to thank for another good defensive display by the team at large. He communicates well with his defenders, audibly telling them where to be and organising his back line. He made several solid stops and made himself big when the hosts had opportunities. His only weak area, as has occasionally been the case, was his kicking, which was often off target throughout the game

Scott Wootton, RCB – 6

Despite a general improvement throughout this season, Wootton did not quite perform to his highest possible level today. His heading was mostly fine but there were a couple of occasions where he either lost track of his man or let himself be outpaced. He should probably do better for Scunthorpe’s only goal, losing Kevin Van Veen. Still, it’s good to see our tried and trusted back three partnership together again.

Niall Canavan, CB – 9, Player of the match

Two words: simply phenomenal. As well as being dominant in the air, Canavan was super efficient as the last line of defence when Scunthorpe attacked along the ground (as they did towards the end of the game). Last ditch tackles and blocks were executed to perfection and he began to play the ball out well from the back, especially in the first half.  Canavan was once again a defensive colossus who is surely in contention for player of the season.

Gary Sawyer, LCB  – 7

A reliably solid return to the team from the skipper. What else would you expect from him? A reliable and efficient performance in which he regularly stood up his man well and stopped crosses down his left hand side. He didn’t influence the attacking side of the game as much as he might have done but it was a still a very capable performance by and large.

Tyreeq Bakinson, DM – 7

This was a good and assured debut from the Bristol City loanee, who fans will hope can follow in the footsteps of Zak Vyner, Bobby Reid and Joe Bryan, who all featured amongst our best loanees in the last decade. Bakinson had the positive knack, (like Josh Grant who he may well end up replacing) of not needing to make a crunching challenge because he put himself in the right place to receive the ball. He showed glimpses of the bursting runs forward that he was famed for at Newport but these were a little limited, perhaps due to low match fitness. Still, he played a good part in grinding out the win at the end and has probably made the slot his own for now

Joe Edwards, RWB – 7

Edwards’ spell as Argyle’s ‘makeshift man’ continued with his move back to right wing back to start the game. In truth, he’s perfectly capable in both of his main roles without being our best option in either. It was another solid display today where he defended very well, marking his man competently enough to prevent a much significant threat from dribbles or crosses down Argyle’s right. He got in a good position to add a fourth goal on the break late on but couldn’t quite find the finish

Antoni Sarcevic, CM – 6

It was one of those days where it didn’t quite seem to pay off for Sarcevic, and in spite of his good season for us, he’s had a few of them over the Christmas period. He tried to add a touch of flair to the game on multiple occasions but in truth, that’s not his speciality and it didn’t really work out. His defensive work was encouraging, as it always is, but in truth he wasn’t really involved in our best attacking/creative moments.

Danny Mayor, CM – 6

If it didn’t work out for Sarcevic, the same has to be said of his central midfield partner, really. Mayor showed some good moments for sure. There were some tidy passes and it was his shot that rebounded for Jephcott to score his third. However, he often dribbled himself into blind alleys and ended up surrendering possession which killed the momentum of some good team moves.

George Cooper, LWB – 8

Ok: sell off the silverware. Tighten the expenses budgets. Do whatever it takes barring outright bankruptcy in order to get this chap signed on the dotted line. He is a prodigiously talented player for league two level and this was on show today throughout. He put two superb balls into the box for the first two goals, assisting two of the goals with superbly hit crosses to the feet of the goalscorers. He also managed to add a bit more wing play to his game, getting himself up and down the touchline a little more as well as his usual technique of cutting inside.

Luke Jephcott, ST – 8

When the teamsheet was announced for the game, many fans did something of a double take. It went as a slightly unnoticed piece of news when Jephcott was recalled from his loan at Truro in midweek to supposedly compete in the first team. Most people at expected him to warm the bench at best in reality. Ryan Lowe was as good as his word though, giving him a chance in the first team. Jephcott took his chance with both hands and looked every inch the answer to our scoring problems. He buzzed around the defence, constantly looking for opportunities: in short, doing exactly what Lowe wants his strikers to do. He got two poachers goals, as well as showing good passing when he got the chance to pick out other players. He could have done better in the air but it’s a fine return to first team action.

Byron Moore, ST – 8

Moore has proved to be a bit of a jack of all trades in recent weeks, doing a very tidy job at both right wing back and up front. Moved back up front today, he began to strike up a lively partnership with youngster Jephcott. He tended to drop deeper to collect the ball whilst Jephcott stayed more advanced, and he did it very well. He was switched on to passes and was always running to stretch the defence even if he didn’t have the ball. The strike partnership looked a natural fit and may be here to stay.

Substitutes

Joel Grant, ST – 5

We seem to be seeing a bit of a recurring trend with the Jamaican striker from the bench. He often comes on and doesn’t really do a lot, his introduction coinciding with us becoming under the cosh. Maybe he’s one of those strikers who just needs to start. Maybe we just need to stop playing long balls up to him. Either way, he didn’t do a great deal at Glanford Park.

Billy Clarke, ST-  N/A

A classic neat and tidy Billy Clarke performance. without him ever really standing out, he held the ball up fine when coming off the subs bench.

Conor Grant, LWB – N/A

Grant was only on the pitch for a short length of time but his introduction was a positive one. He helped us keep the ball and got us up the pitch on the break to test them on the counter.

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