Plymouth Argyle may have been relegated, but there are a number of goals we can look back on fondly in a season of ultimate disappointment. We’ve taken a look at the top ten.
10 – Freddie Ladapo vs Gillingham (H)
Freddie Ladapo would end up with 19 goals for Argyle in all competitions across 2018/19. One of his best came early on when Gillingham visited Home Park. A decent Argyle move saw Ladapo receive the ball from Graham Carey, but he still had plenty to do. The striker worked the ball onto his right foot, gave himself some room, and curled it excellently into the top corner to give Argyle the lead. A superb, skilful finish.
9 – Freddie Ladapo vs Wimbledon (H)
This goal has Ladapo’s name on it, but it was all about Graham Carey. Argyle were locked in a stalemate with their relegation rivals deep into the second half when they won a corner. From there, Lameiras played the ball short to Carey, who swiftly turned and launched a delightful cross to the back post. The supreme technique on the cross meant the ball may have been going in anyway, but it didn’t matter. Ladapo was there to nod the ball home and secure Argyle’s first league win of the season.
8 – Graham Carey vs Doncaster (H)
This one was a superb finish. One may question whether Carey would have taken the shot on had there been more riding on it, though we suspect he would (more on that shortly). Regardless, however, nothing can be taken away from the quality of the strike. Deep into stoppage time and already 3-1 down, Carey decided to take matters into his own hands. The Irishman received a pass from Ladapo and slammed the ball past Marko Marosi from what appeared to be an impossible angle. Sadly, it was too late to turn the game around.
7 – Graham Carey vs Scunthorpe (H)
Would Carey have taken that shot on with more riding on it? We believe so. Our evidence? This goal. In a remarkably similar situation, Carey received the ball out wide following a pass, this time from Ruben Lameiras. With seemingly not a lot on, Carey slid in and pulled out another superb finish from the tightest of angles. We’ve ranked this goal higher than his Doncaster effort for its significance – but for a late Southend winner against Sunderland, Carey’s strike would have kept Argyle in League One.
6 – Ruben Lameiras vs Doncaster (H)
The second goal from this game to feature, Ruben Lameiras’ equaliser against Doncaster was his first goal of the season. He would of course go on to score many vital goals across the campaign. Here, he picked the ball up out wide with relatively little going on ahead of him. However, following a smart one-two with Ashley Smith-Brown, Lameiras caressed the ball first time into the top corner. Lameiras scored many similar looking goals across the campaign, but this was probably the pick of those.
5 – Freddie Ladapo vs Burton (H)
Ladapo’s opening goal against Burton perfectly demonstrated exactly what the striker is good at. After receiving a pass from Carey, Ladapo had the ball out wide, and had plenty to do. He troubled the visitors’ defence, quite simply, by running at them. After beating one man, Ladapo launched a delicious shot into the far corner of the net. He would score again later in the encounter, but poor set piece defending would see Argyle go down 3-2.
4 – Joel Grant vs Luton (A)
This goal often gets forgotten. It’s not hard to see why – Argyle were 5-0 down at the time, and members of the Green Army would be forgiven for wanting to wipe the entire game from memory. However, the goal in its own right was excellent. After picking the ball up from Ruben Lameiras, Joel Grant cut inside from the left and slammed it into the top corner from 25 yards. James Shea was left motionless. It was scant consolation for what had gone on beforehand, but it was nice.
3 – Ruben Lameiras vs Oxford (H)
Argyle started 2019 with a bang with a comprehensive win over Oxford. They were already two goals clear when Ruben Lameiras put the game beyond doubt with a superb solo effort. Picking the ball up on halfway, Lameiras ran at the Oxford defence and beat three men before steering a shot into the far corner. It was part of a superb run of goalscoring form for Lameiras which nearly kept Argyle alive.
2 – Graham Carey vs Portsmouth (H)
Going into February, Graham Carey had only scored two goals from direct free kicks in his Argyle career. Descriptions of him being a dead ball specialist, therefore, felt unusual. However, against dockyard rivals Portsmouth, Carey showed exactly what he has in his locker from such situations. Lining up around 25 yards from goal, Carey whipped the ball over the wall and out of the reach of Craig MacGillivray in the Portsmouth goal. It really was superbly done.
1 – David Fox vs Wimbledon (A)
We expect this will come as a surprise to very few people. As we’ve seen, Argyle scored a few stunners across the season, but none came close to David Fox’s effort on Boxing Day. Receiving the ball in the middle of the park from Gary Sawyer (this would be his only assist of the season), Fox punted the ball towards goal from all of 40 yards. It was so sweetly struck, it flew argover Tom King directly into the back of the net. A clear goal of the season winner, and it’s such a shame this goal is not why we remember this game.