More to come from Jason Banton, says Plymouth Argyle boss John Sheridan
JASON BANTON has scored five goals in nine games for Plymouth Argyle – but manager John Sheridan still wants more from him.
The 21-year-old loanee from Crystal Palace is playing a key part for the Pilgrims as they fight against relegation.
Banton grabbed what proved to be the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory over Fleetwood Town at Home Park on Saturday.
He beat keeper Scott Davies with a low 20-yard shot after taking the ball away from midfielder Paul McKenna.
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Sheridan said: "When Jason is in that final third he's a big threat, but I think I can get more out of him.
"He might think he's doing his job because he has scored five goals.
"I'm going to keep on his case because if he wants to be a good player he has got to be non-stop all game, and not give cheap balls away.
"If he gets that into his game he can play at a high level."
Banton has now moved level with Paris Cowan-Hall and Conor Hourihane as Argyle's joint top scorer this season.
Sheridan continued: "He has got quick feet and I wouldn't like to play against him. He runs at you, but he has got to get things in his game which are going to make him a better player.
"It's not all about receiving the ball and then running at someone.
"It's about working hard to find space and playing one-touch and two-touch when you have to. It will make him a better player."
Banton's goal came in the 39th minute and sent Argyle into the interval with a 2-0 lead.
Defender Paul Wotton had opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 25th minute after a foul on Hourihane.
The Pilgrims captain was shoved by Fleetwood left-back Alan Goodall as he tried to get on the end of a cross.
Banton and striker Reuben Reid both wanted to take the penalty but eventually it was Wotton who assumed the responsibility.
As he has done so often in the past for Argyle, Wotton hammered the spot kick into the net.
That was his first goal since a 1-0 win against Shrewsbury Town at Home Park on March 17, 2012.
It also took Wotton's career goal tally for the Pilgrims to 65 in his 469th appearance.
Sheridan said: "I'm not bothered who takes it (the penalty). I think Wottsie is used to taking them here at this club.
"As long as it goes in the back of the net, it doesn't really worry me."
Fleetwood dominated the second half and reduced the deficit in the 75th minute with a goal from striker David Ball.
They applied further pressure after that but could not come up with an equaliser.
It was a tense finish to the match but Argyle held on for only their sixth home win in League Two this season.
Sheridan said: "The most important thing was getting the three points. I thought we worked our socks off.
"The only disappointing thing, I would say, is when you are winning a game 2-0 we shouldn't have made it as hard as we did.
"We should be controlling the game when we are 2-0 up. This is something I have got to try to get into them.
"We shouldn't be hanging on there at the end. I thought we were comfortable leading 2-0 at half-time.
"It was a really solid performance in the first half and to get 2-0 up, just see the game out and do the basics.
"Decisions we make end up causing problems and you are conceding free-kicks and corners.
"Big (Jon) Parkin is a handful for them. He's an experienced striker and you have to defend more than you should be."
The Herald had led calls for the Green Army to turn out in force for the crucial game against Fleetwood with an 'Argyle Needs You' campaign.
That led to an above-average gate of 6,776, which included only 62 Fleetwood fans in the Barn Park Stand.
Sheridan was thrilled with the support his team received, especially when they needed it most as they defended for long spells in the second half.
He said: "I tell you what, those supporters were unbelievable. This is not me trying to get on their side.
"They could see we were under pressure and they never shut up all game. I appreciate it and the players appreciate it."
Argyle moved up two positions, outside of the relegation zone, to 21st after the vital victory over Fleetwood.
However, the bottom five clubs are all on 40 points, while 19th placed York City are on 41.
Argyle continue their fight for survival with two away games this week, the first against Southend United on Tuesday.
Sheridan will take then the Pilgrims to his former club, Chesterfield, on Saturday.
"It's going to be tight. We have got two tough away games now, but they are ones which I think we can go and get something from."