Captain Purse proud of the way Argyle battle back for a draw
CAPTAIN Darren Purse was proud of the way Argyle battled back from a half-time deficit to draw 1-1 against Exeter at St James' Park.
Winger Joe Lennox scored in the 72nd minute to cancel out a deflected shot from City midfielder Liam Sercombe in the first half.
Sercombe let fly from 25 yards out and the ball deflected off Purse's centre-back partner Maxime Blanchard and into the net.
Purse thought Argyle deserved to take all three points after their strong second half showing.
The 35-year-old told Herald Sport: "We were a bit aggrieved with the goal we conceded. It took a massive deflection and ended up in the bottom corner of the net.
"It was their first shot on target apart from the free-kick they had as well.
"We came out for the second half and dominated the game, although they did have a couple of half chances towards the end.
"We played well and I think it was a performance that probably deserved to win the game."
Lennox's equalising goal – the first in his professional career for the 21-year-old former Bristol City winger – came after a period of pressure from Argyle.
Purse said: "For the first 20-25 minutes of the second half we really got at them (Exeter).
"When you are 1-0 down you do press and you do leave yourself open, but we were getting good balls in the box and creating chances.
"It was good encouraging play and the lads were taking the bull by the horns really.
"We could have sat back and tried to hit them on the break but we really pressed on and won the ball back in their half of the pitch.
"They didn't get out of their half and we thoroughly deserved the goal we got."
Purse continued: "It was a great time for Joe to get the first goal of his career. He will go down in Plymouth Argyle folklore now.
"He's a good young player. He makes mistakes, like most young lads do, but he's a winger and he can get away with it.
"When he pops up with goals like that you have to pat him on the back and say 'well done' because it was a great strike."
Blanchard was sent off in the 88th minute for a second bookable offence, after a foul on John O'Flynn.
The Exeter striker headed the ball past Blanchard, and with right-back Curtis Nelson and Purse out of the play the French centre-back stopped him in his tracks.
"It wasn't his fault," said Purse. "There were a couple of mistakes before it.
"Nelse lost the first header and I got sucked out to try to win the second header, so he has been sent off more for other people's mistakes.
"He had to do it. It's one of those things and we managed to hold on for him.
"Down to 10 men you are always going to get that bit of pressure on you, especially when you are away from home.
"But the way we stopped the game when we needed to was very professional. We played the percentages.
"We turned them round and Chaddy (substitute Nick Chadwick) did well up there on his own, and that's what you have got to do.
"It's great seeing the young lads we have got in the side learning how to kill off games.
"We have probably been a bit naive at times this season but it's nice when you come to a place like Exeter and you can grind it out when you do go down to 10 men."