Time for Plymouth Argyle to show character after Dorchester defeat
PLYMOUTH Argyle have been licking their wounds after their FA Cup exit against part-timers Dorchester Town.
Manager Carl Fletcher and his players now face a stern test of their character with a couple of important League Two games coming up at Home Park this week.
The Pilgrims take on eighth-placed Burton Albion tomorrow (7.45pm) before table-topping Gillingham are the visitors on Saturday (3pm).
Argyle will be without midfielder Conor Hourihane against Burton because he must serve a one-match suspension.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The 21-year-old was controversially sent-off in only the ninth minute of the FA Cup first round clash at Dorchester on Sunday.
Argyle are also set to still be without captain and centre-back Darren Purse because of a toe injury.
Fletcher admitted the dismissal of Hourihane was no excuse for their defeat by Dorchester, which came in the full glare of ESPN's TV cameras.
He said: "Our decision making and our quality when we were in possession wasn't right.
"That was obviously disappointing, but we have got a big week ahead of us.
"We have got two tough games at home. We will lick our wounds and get on with it."
Hourihane was sent-off for a second bookable offence, when he took a free-kick before referee Lee Collins had blown his whistle.
The Pilgrims were outnumbered for the rest of the match, and were beaten by a 49th minute goal from Dorchester's on-loan Exeter City midfielder Jake Gosling, a former Argyle centre of excellence prospect.
Fletcher said: "The players really worked hard and it was always going to be an uphill struggle (after the red card to Hourihane).
"I always want better, but we can't get too down about it. We worked hard, and put a shift in, in tough conditions.
"I thought Andres (Gurrieri) was immense with the ground he covered and when he got on the ball he kept it well for us."
Argyle are in 18th position in League Two as they prepare to take on Burton, who were almost victims of a FA Cup upset themselves on Sunday.
Burton drew 3-3 at home to Altrincham, but only after trailing 2-0 at one stage and then grabbing a last-gasp equaliser.
There were a lot of weary Argyle players after the FA Cup tie at Dorchester, which took place on a rain-soaked, heavy pitch, and with the visitors being one man short for most of the contest.
Fletcher said: "We are going to have to make sure we get them as fresh as possible for tomorrow."
Midfielder Jamie Lowry made only his second start for Argyle against Dorchester after recovering from a long-term ankle injury.
He was picked to partner Hourihane in the centre of midfield, with Luke Young on the substitutes' bench.
Fletcher decided not to start with Young because he had four bookings for the season – one away from an automatic one-match ban.
Now, after Hourihane's dismissal at Dorchester, Young will almost certainly play alongside Lowry against Burton.
Fletcher said: "It was only Jamie's second game on Sunday and he's going to have to play again tomorrow."
Argyle had won three consecutive matches in all competitions up until their away league game against Cheltenham Town on October 23.
They were unfortunate to lose 2-1 at Whaddon Road, but were beaten 1-0 away by Rotherham United four days later before their FA Cup humbling by Dorchester.
Fletcher said: "We played really well against Cheltenham and possibly should have won, and at least got a draw.
"We knew it was going to be tough away to Rotherham, and then we lost on Sunday. Before you know it, it's three defeats away from home.
"I think you have got to keep a perspective on things and look at each game individually."