Plymouth Argyle held to a goal-less draw by Dagenham
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0 DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE 0
SHOT-SHY Argyle were held to a goal-less draw at Home Park for the second consecutive Saturday, this time by Dagenham and Redbridge.
The Pilgrims were playing their third game under the management of John Sheridan and have picked up five points in that period.
However, all of the matches have been at Home Park so Sheridan would have hoped for more than that.
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The closest Argyle came to scoring was in the 33rd minute when on-loan Ipswich Town striker Ronan Murray shot against the crossbar.
It was another performance where the Pilgrims' collective lack of confidence was evident.
Five of the six signings made by Sheridan since he was appointed as manager were in the starting line-up.
The one exception was Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu, who was still ruled out by an ankle injury.
There was a debut for Sheridan's latest recruit Jason Banton, a 21-year-old winger from Crystal Palace.
Banton completed a one-month loan move to the Pilgrims on Thursday.
Goalkeeper Jake Cole made his first start for almost three months because of a hamstring injury to Rene Gilmartin.
Curtis Nelson was sidelined by injury so the centre-back pairing was Guy Branston and Anthony Charles.
Dagenham included new signing Ben Strevens, a powerful striker starting his second spell with the club, in their team.
There was a scrappy start to the match, but the visitors had two good chances in the first 20 minutes.
Both of them fell to midfielder Luke Howell, who headed wide from six yards out after a cross from left-back Femi Ilesanmi.
Then Howell's fierce, rising strike was pushed away by Cole as it flew towards the top of the net.
Strevens volleyed over the bar from 18 yards before Murray almost put Argyle into the lead in the 33rd minute.
Murray got on the end of a cross from Banton and his close range shot smacked against the bar.
Dagenham striker Sam Williams fired wide after cutting inside Charles before Argyle had a couple of good opportunities as half-time approached.
Striker Reuben Reid was off target with a glancing header and Banton's powerful shot was beaten away by 'keeper Chris Lewington as it remained 0-0 until the interval.
Argyle had a couple more chances at the start of the second half, first when Conor Hourihane had a shot blocked by Lewington.
Then, moments later, Lewington made a superb stop to keep out a header from Reid after a corner taken by Murray.
Argyle could not maintain that momentum, however, and both sides struggled to play with any fluency.
Passes were misplaced with regularity and a stalemate ensued, with neither 'keeper called into any action.
Banton was replaced by substitute Andres Gurrieri on the left side of midfield in the 78th minute.
Matt Lecointe was sent on for Murray soon afterwards but Argyle could still not come up with any attacking inspiration.
Argyle's third and final substitution saw apprentice Tyler Harvey take over in attack from Reid.
Lecointe fired wide from 18 yards out in stoppage time as the game ended in a goal-less stalemate.
ARGYLE: Jake Cole; Durrell Berry, Anthony Charles, Guy Branston, Paris Cowan-Hall, Luke Young, Conor Hourihane, Jason Banton (Andres Gurrieri 78 mins); Ronan Murray (Matt Lecointe 80 mins), Reuben Reid (Tyler Harvey 85 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Maxime Blanchard, Ollie Chenoweth (gk), Paul Wotton, Jamie Lowry.
DAGENHAM: Chris Lewington; Abu Ogogo, Scott Doe, Luke Wilkinson, Femi Ilesanmi; Medy Elito, Luke Howell, Matt Saunders (Gavin Hoyte 67 mins), Billy Bingham (Brian Woodall 89 mins); Sam Williams, Ben Strevens.
Substitutes (not used): Jake Reed, Kevin Maher, Jake Caprice, Louis Dennis, Jordan Seabright (gk).
REFEREE: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)
ATTENDANCE: 6,234 (84 away)