Monday, January 04, 2010

Cup bore draw

Plymouth Argyle 0 - 0 Newcastle Utd

Right, I'll keep this brief. Not as brief as ITV's highlight, but certainly a lot shorter than the 800 mile round trip which everyone involved in supporting or playing for either club will have to undergo now that a replay has been scheduled.

On a pretty claggy pitch, Argle showed the improvements they've made under recently appointed coach Paul Mariner, and displayed an increased defensive fortitude to that found when we entertained Paul Sturrock's team a few months ago.

With Chris Hughton once again shuffling the pack, leaving Nolan and Steven Taylor at home altogether, and giving the likes of Kadar, Krul and Ranger the chance to start, this could never be described as our strongest XI. Equally though, there were enough players either in the starting line-up, or who appeared from the bench, who might have had enough quality to ensure our place in the Fourth Round.

However, it wasn't to be. As ITV picked up, our best chance fell to Nicky Butt, whose chipped shot from distance was only just tipped on to the bar by the home side's keeper Romain Larrieu. Fabrice Pancrate had earlier struck the woodwork himself, Ameobi netting the follow-up but foiled by the linesman's flag.

With Tim Krul untested at the other end, this game, like that against Derby, proved to be one where we couldn't quite find the spark to unlock a stubborn defence. (Something which alleged target Jermaine Beckford managed against a certain team from Manchester on Sunday.)

With our focus being very clearly on the league this season, a replay is perhaps an unwelcome addition to the fixture list. However, if we continue to use these games to bring on our promising youngsters, then there is definitely a benefit to be had by making Plymouth drag themselves all the way to Newcastle for a midweek evening kick-off in a next week.

Other report: BBC


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