Fleetwood 2-1 Argyle
It was a disappointing afternoon for Argyle at Highbury, as Fleetwood claimed a 2-1 victory. An abysmal refereeing performance aside, Argyle never quite got going, and Fleetwood scored late to seal victory. Here are how the players performed:
Michael Cooper, 5:
Not massively troubled bar the goals. Couldn’t do much about the first but decided to go with those who said don’t stop the second, palming a pretty tame shot right into the six-yard box for an easy finish. Could have equalised at the death after coming for a corner, but downgrading a keeper for a miskick in front of the opposing goal would be harsh.
Joe Edwards, 5:
At some point, energy and effort—which Edwards always gives in spades—aren’t quite enough. Got up and down the touchline characteristically well but didn’t leave an imprint on the game.
James Wilson, 5:
Some typically assured moments, but he was never going back again for Fleetwood’s winner, letting one of their players break beyond him in the buildup. Not his finest game in an Argyle shirt.
Dan Scarr, 6:
The chain across Argyle’s normally tightly-locked-up defence, Scarr showed all his last-ditch instincts in a first half where he was truly Argyle’s last line. Typically solid in the second half but didn’t play too far above average as the whole team laboured.
Macauley Gillesphey, 6:
Solid enough, but like Scarr didn’t do enough to drive the team forward from the back in the second half.
Bali Mumba, 5:
Full of energy and showed some skilful touches in the first half—and did well to win the penalty—but his end product was too often lacking, and he played some sloppy passes. Booked in the second half, then ploughed into an opponent breaking down Fleetwood’s right. Lucky not to go for it, but went his own way as Schuey subbed him off straight after.
Adam Randell, 7:
One of the more positive performances of the afternoon as he sprayed some nice passes around and generally looked assured on the ball. Had dreams of scoring a free kick like at Sheffield Wednesday last season, but it was deflected behind.
Matt Butcher, 6:
Neat and tidy, and slotted in competently at left-wing back after Mumba was subbed. Didn’t rise beyond the average, but was mostly let down by those behind and in front of him.
Finn Azaz, 7, Man of the Match:
Argyle’s most dangerous player while on the pitch, showing some nice touches, testing the keeper from range, and fizzing in at least one dangerous cross as he sprinkled some Premier League gold dust. Who manager Steven Schumacher subbed off first, somewhat bafflingly. Argyle never looked so dangerous again.
Danny Mayor, 6:
Oh, Danny—so talented and yet so frustrating at times. Was typically lively and full of intent, but his end product was typically lacking. If he’s going to play this far forward in a system with one striker, he’s going to need to take more shots and create more opportunities.
Ryan Hardie, 6:
Ran the channels efficiently and put the penalty away calmly, with the away fans responding by singing his song. Burdened the Fleetwood defence with his energy but tired as the game went on. Subbed for Ennis.
His introduction for Azaz was the game’s decisive moment—and not in a good way. Where Azaz looked constantly sharp, Whittaker looked off the pace, getting to too many forward balls second. And, news of his arrival being exciting as it was, he looks a shadow of Jordan Garrick’s threat on current form.
\Let Argyle down badly on the final day of last season and picked up where he left off here, cowering in midfield when Argyle needed a lion. I don’t want to know what he was doing as he let a Fleetwood player dance beyond him for the winner.
Fine off the bench, but never posed a threat. (If you were expecting to see You Make Loving Fun here, congratulations—you were sharper than Argyle today.)