Curtis Nelson could lord it again in striking role for Plymouth Argyle
CURTIS NELSON could be a 'good option' as a stand-in striker in future matches, Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher has admitted.
Fletcher made the comment after Nelson scored his first goal for the Pilgrims in their 3-2 victory over Northampton Town at Home Park on Saturday.
Nelson, 19, usually plays as a central defender, although he started this season at right-back because of an injury to Durrell Berry.
Berry returned to the first team on Saturday, which led to Nelson dropping down to the substitutes' bench.
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But Nelson was called upon by Fletcher in the 67th minute after an injury to striker Rhys Griffiths, who had put Argyle 2-1 up earlier in the second half.
Nelson had been on the pitch for only seven minutes before he extended the Pilgrims' lead with a firm header from a cross into the penalty area by left-back Robbie Williams.
He soared above defender David Artell and powered the ball into the net for his first goal for Argyle in his 64th appearance.
Nelson had only played as a striker once before, when he was pushed forward from centre-back in the closing stages of the Capital One Cup second round tie at Burnley last Tuesday as the Pilgrims chased an equaliser.
Fletcher thought Nelson's goal against Northampton showed he could be a threat in similar situations in the future.
"It's a good option for us to have," said the Pilgrims boss.
"We did it against Burnley when we put him up front for the last 10 minutes. He's a handful – he's big and strong and has got a great leap.
"He might not always go out there and score, but the defenders' concentration might be focused on him and it might be someone else who gets the chance. It's a good option to have."
Nelson's dramatic impact on Saturday showed why it is important for any substitute to be ready to be called upon during a game.
Fletcher said: "That's why you have a squad. You can only pick 11 players, and some weeks you are playing and some weeks you are not.
"The way football is, you just never know when you are going to be needed.
"Football changes so quickly, from one to week to another and even during games, so every player in the squad has got to be prepared to play, like on Saturday, and have an impact on the game."
Meanwhile, Argyle forward Isaac Vassell scored on his debut for Bideford when they won 2-1 at home to Chesham United in the Southern League Premier Division on Saturday.
The 18-year-old has signed for the north Devon club until December 1.
Newly-promoted Bideford had not picked up a point from their previous four league games this season.