A very disappointing first showing by Plymouth Argyle at Truro City’s Treyew Road. Ryan Lowe’s first game in charge ended in a 1-0 defeat, and few emerged with positive words to say about them.
31. Michael Cooper – 6
The young keeper wasn’t tested much but he largely did what he had to do fairly well. He was quick with his distribution and kept up those standards, only letting himself down slightly with one scuffed kick.
28. Michael Peck – 6
Didn’t do a lot wrong, didn’t do a lot right. Hardly tested and didn’t excel in distribution whilst not being terrible either. A long way to go before this first-year professional could be a first-team regular, but baby steps eh.
25. Scott Wootton – 5
If we forgot why he wasn’t good enough to play for last season’s flawed defence, tonight reminded us. He didn’t win enough headers – there’s a shock – and a lapse in concentration cost us the goal. Otherwise, positioned himself fairly well, but that’s nowhere near enough to make up for his huge deficits that should disqualify him from being a starting centre-back.
14. Niall Canavan – 7
The defender generally sniffed out danger efficiently and was pretty good at building possession from the back. The most impressive defender on show and one of the best performers on the night, though that’s not saying much!
20. Adam Randell – 6
He showed some good signs of being able to pass the ball well but not a lot of being able to impose himself on a physical midfield. He’s young though and there is potential. The kind of player who would benefit from a year of building his strength and stamina before he can take a proper crack at making an impact on the team.
2. Joe Riley – 6
The defender got up and down well and showed signs that he can execute the wing back role by getting some good crosses into the box. Importantly, he showed that he can get on the end of chances in the box, a requirement for Lowe’s wing-backs, though his finishing will have to improve. Demonstrated that he’s a viable back-up for the position at the very least. It’s only Truro but he was one of the brighter sparks despite the missed chances.
7. Antoni Sarcevic – 6
Lots of endeavour but his touch was just a little too heavy to succeed in that attacking midfield role. Realistically, Sarcevic is going to need to improve a lot in possession if he’s going to be able to undertake the demands of the position. Perhaps he should be used more as one of Lowe’s wingers-cum-wing-backs in the season proper, in a role that would better suit his skillset.
10. Danny Mayor – 7
It wasn’t his day in terms of end product, but you can so clearly see there is a player of some quality in there. He had some great turns and dribbles on his right foot and when it clicks he’ll be a gem.
23. Ashley Smith-Brown – 5
Very mediocre in truth. A lot of his touches and passed went awry and he was often caught out in his positioning. Unlike Riley, he’ll now have to fight to demonstrate his worth in Lowe’s wing-back position.
24. Luke Jephcott – 5
Did he even touch the ball? He can’t be given too harsh of a rating being hauled off after 30 minutes, but his impact was minimal. Will need to determine early on if he’s going to feature up-front or from the wing, as both are potential options for the young Welshman. Did nothing to convince tonight.
9. Ryan Taylor – 6
He put himself about well and looked a lot more energetic than some of his critics may have expected. But his first touch was often that of a pin-ball. Must sharpen up in the coming games if he is to even get a quarter of the twenty goals Lowe suggested he could score this season.
18. Calum Dyson – 4
Turns out he does exist. Subbed on and off again with less than thirty minutes playing time. First touch was extremely heavy. Seemingly lots of work needed to turn him into a player with the quality to get into this team. He’d probably benefit from moving on.
13. Jordan Holmes – 4
Didn’t cover himself in glory for the goal and didn’t have much else to do at all. By default, his rating can’t be too high. For a trialist, he needed to do much more to win a contract. The race against time just stepped up a gear for the young Australian.
3. Gary Sawyer – 6
Had a chance to get the first goal of pre-season for the second year in a row but screwed his shot well wide and over the bar on the half-volley. On the whole, he didn’t do a great deal in a period where Argyle mostly had control of the midfield. Ordinary at best, passive at worst.
22. Tafari Moore – 5
He’s a trier, no doubting that. But his end product was too flawed and his decision making too hasty. There are big question marks over whether he’s capable of being a good starter or even a reserve in League Two. Surely set to lose the battle against Joe Riley to be the back-up at right wing-back. An exit – temporary or permanent – is beckoning unless something changes.
8. Joe Edwards – 7
Like Conor Grant, he seemed very composed on the ball and was one of the few players who really and truly looked for space rather than looking for simple passes to feet. His set-piece deliveries weren’t as good as Grant’s on the whole but he looked comfortable with the ball.
16. Joel Grant – 5
He has a lot of strengths, and it’s true that he did adapt his game to move into a more central role last season, but he didn’t seem suited to this one. His passing isn’t crisp enough and his dribbling too uncontrolled. He didn’t get much time on the ball nor do much with it. When the season rolls around, he’s surely another one who would do better as one of Lowe’s wingers-cum-wing-backs rather than in the central-midfield/attacking-midfield position.
15. Conor Grant – 7
He’s one of the ones who did play well. His set piece delivery was good, he looked lively and always tried to move the ball quickly and into space. Not perfect but he seems one of the ones most suited to ‘Loweball’ than anyone else. Certainly nudged ahead of the rest of the pack to partner Danny Mayor based on this showing.
27. Ryan Law – 7
He looked the only player really and truly unafraid to take people on. End product does need work but he had a perfectly decent half on the whole. Perhaps Lowe’s attacking system could get the best out of the wing back? The only one of the eight reserves on show to make a positive impact, and maybe he could provide competition for Smith-Brown as the season progresses.
29. Alex Fletcher – 4
Whilst many are excited to see Fletcher get his chance this term, he didn’t impress tonight. He had little end product and didn’t even seem to offer his usual huff and puff. For a player who is in the last chance saloon at Home Park, this was a big miss. He needs to use this pre-season to force himself into first-team reckoning, but he didn’t even come close to doing that.
19. Klaidi Lolos – 6
He did show a few bright sparks of proactive movement and came close to goal when he hit the bar from distance. Overall though, he didn’t exactly look like a player bursting at the seams to step up to first team level. Time is on his side though, so this was a positive night for him overall.
30. Tom Purrington – 6
Aiming to be a midfielder in the long run, Purrington came on in central-defence tonight due to Aimson’s absence. He seemed solid enough but in truth had little to do as the Greens were scarcely tested in the final quarter. Practically a spectator.
26. Cameron Sangster – 5
He had a few short passes but like, Randell, didn’t impose himself on the game. Of his passes, he didn’t manage enough truly clever ones to earn a 6. Still recovering from a huge injury last season so these would have been welcome minutes for the youngster.