Two of the high flying teams in Sky Bet League Two met on Saturday, as Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle shared the spoils, a result that let Northampton Town capitalise and go top.
Billy Bodin headed through Luke McCormick’s hands to put the home side ahead with 11 minutes to go, with former Pilgrim Jermaine Easter setting him up.
However the lead didn’t last long enough, with Josh Simpson striking from 20 yards to earn Argyle a point.
In an interesting match it was the visitors who had the better of the attempts, with 14 to Rovers’ 11, but couldn’t convert these to trouble Steve Mildenhall as they only had two on target, one of them the goal.
Whilst in the circumstances Derek Adams may see this as a point gained, Argyle have four points in their last three, and only narrowly beat Stevenage last time out.
FootballLeagueWorld writer Ryan Evans identifies THREE things we learned from this encounter…..
1) Careless Argyle
Back in November, Derek Adams publicly criticised his team, saying they need to be ‘more ruthless’. At the time that didn’t matter, their defence was extremely sound, and they were dominating games so much they could afford to miss chances.
However, a shot accuracy of a little over 14% is not the stuff befitting of champions elect, and their strikers will need to improve if they are to win the league.
And the problems were reciprocated at the other end, they have conceded yet another soft goal, making it eleven in their last ten. They have conceded 14 in the first 18 matches of the season.
Their back line has changed little all season, and Gary Sawyer, Curtis Nelson, Carl McHugh and Kelvin Mellor will have to find their early season form if they are to stay in the top two.
2) It’s time to take Bristol Rovers seriously
Although it wasn’t a vintage Plymouth performance, Bristol Rovers were excellent.
They had more shots on target than the visitors and more possession, and would have taken all three points if Mildenhall wasn’t unsighted by defenders in his line of vision from Simpson’s shot.
The point means they have lost one in their last ten, and are up to fourth, just four points behind Oxford in third. However, Darrell Clarke’s side haven’t scored as many as their promotion rivals, so that could be an area they will focus on and bring in a new face before the end of the transfer window.
3) Greg Wylde shines again
The Englishman had an attempt tipped onto the bar early on, and was a constant source of problems for the Rovers defence.
Wylde and Sawyer on the left hand side has turned into an important part of Argyle’s play of late, with Wylde’s pace and drive exposing the opposition.
This vane of form is one that seemed to start after he was named man of the match against Yeovil on Boxing Day.
If Argyle do go on to get promotion this season, Wylde is definitely one they will thank.
Plymouth fans, what do you think? How important has Wylde been to your season? Bristol Rovers fans, can your side push on now? Let us know below!