Mathews arrives to help ease injury crisis as Carey crucially regains his goalscoring form

“GC!10 is back” exclaimed my Plymouth Argyle-loving friend on Twitter just after half an hour of Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers.

I am sure that was a sentiment that crossed the lips of many members of the Green Army that evening as Graham Carey fired in a stunning long-range goal for the second match running to help the Pilgrims get some reward for another battling Tuesday night effort up in Lancashire, coming hard on the heels of their ultimately unsuccessful recent 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic just up the road from Ewood Park.

Prior to last Saturday, last season’s 14-goal man had only failed to find the target once this season, and that was from the penalty spot.

But those two wonderful strikes later against leaders Shrewsbury Town and Blackburn, and everything feels alright with the world again.

Even though it left the Pilgrims still without a win in 12 league games, I am sure most Argyle fans would have bitten your hand off if you had offered them two points from those two tough-looking fixtures beforehand, with the Greens lying bottom of the Sky Bet One table.

It certainly gave them something to build on heading into yesterday’s match at AFC Wimbledon their play-off final conquerors at Wembley Stadium in May 2016.

Of course, that point at Blackburn did not come without drama well, you wouldn’t expect anything else with the Pilgrims this season! with goalkeeper Kyle Letheren forced to go off at half-time with a torn thigh muscle, to be replaced by highly promising 18-year-old Michael Cooper making his debut.

The youngster did not let anyone down, pulling off some impressive saves to survive Blackburn’s on- slaught and earn Derek Adams’ men

a precious point. Letheren himself had only joined Argyle fairly recently as a free agent, as cover for in- jured goalkeeping duo Luke McCormick and Robbert Te Loeke.

It was asking a bit much to expect Cooper to don the gloves again for yesterday’s trip to the Dons, so Argyle manager Adams was given per- mission to make an emergency loan signing on Friday to bring in 23- year-old Norwich City goalkeeper Remi Mathews, who boasts experience with Burton Albion and Doncaster Rovers in Sky Bet One and Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Premiership, and he was thrown straight in for his debut at Kingsmeadow.

Mathews could still be between the sticks when Argyle play at home again, against Rochdale on Saturday (3.00 pm), when former Pilgrims defender Keith Hill who has managed nearly 500 games in two spells at Spotland brings his side to Home Park. They have also been strug- gling recently, and went into yesterday’s home game with Bristol

Rovers without a win in six matches. Hill said in the lead-up to the Rovers fixture that he had to ensure the mindset of his players did not get any worse.

Dale were a point outside the League One relegation places after their 2-2 draw against Northampton Town on Tuesday.

Hill’s side had led through Ian Henderson’s brace but David Buchanan scored a dramatic 78th- minute leveller.

“You cannot allow the psychology at the club to get any worse,” he said. “And you can’t use a stick, you have to encourage players to hear one voice, which is mine. I’ve got to

lead and support them.
“I’m a fan of the players, I’ve recruited them, I’m a fan of the way we try and play but human beings react strangely.

“We’ve got to rise above strange behaviour and decisions and stick to task, which is what we try and do.”

Despite winning only two out of 14 league games so far this season before yesterday, Hill said he was still passionate about managing the side, and added: “I enjoy this job and I want to continue enjoying this job.

“I’ve got memories all over my house about this football club and my family are supporters of this club.

“I get great support from the chairman and the board of directors and the players; it’s a hard time and everybody realises that, but we’ll come through it.”

l Plymouth Argyle Cornish Supporters Association are holding a so- cial evening with players from the Pilgrims’ 2016-17 promotion team, including Sonny Bradley, on Tuesday at 7.30 pm. It is taking place at Launceston FC on the Pennygillam Industrial Estate. Former Plymouth Argyle physio Paul Maxwell will be the guest speaker at the Senior Greens’ meet- ing in the Taverners Suite at Home Park, Plymouth, on Thursday (2.00 pm). All are welcome and further de- tails are available from Sylvia Warren on Plymouth (01752) 336 386.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.