Plymouth Argyle 1:1 Leicester City
In complete contrast to last Saturday’s demolition of Scunthorpe, City found themselves pleased to get out of Devon with a point and happy to hear the final whistle in this scrappy, turgid encounter.
Nigel Pearson named an unchanged side for a potentially tricky encounter with struggling Argyle and the game wasn’t very old before it became clear that the pitch would be the main talking point of the day; it was truly awful and City were reduced to the long ‘out ball’ over the heads of the midfield to a struggling Waghorn.
It wasn’t pretty and the only chance of note was a shot from Dyer that hit the post following a mazy run; but within two minutes City had the lead following a farcical moment in the Argyle defence. Another long ball was running harmlessly along the flank being watched by Kari Arnason who chose to play the ball back to David Stockdale. Unfortunately for the home side Arnason failed to look up first and then watched in horror as his back pass sailed in to an unguarded net past Stockdale who had come to meet the anticipated pass at the corner of the area. It was a lead that City scarcely deserved but we were happy to take it.
Before half time Argyle were level following a good move down the right flank that resulted in a long cross from Clark to the middle of the City penalty area where the impressive Craig Noone met the ball with a thumping header past Weale.
The second half saw Plymouth coping better with the conditions and playing with more purpose and they turned the heat up on City who defended desperately at times. Fallon has a header that hit the side netting, Weale spilled a free kick and Arnason, incredibly, put the rebound over the bar from two yards out.
In reply City’s best chance was a close-in header from Berner that seemed certain to go in but somehow went wide.
In the closing stages Argyle poured forward as first Joe Mason had a shot tipped on to the bar by Weale and then Berner made a goal line clearance on the post from a Fletcher shot as City failed to clear the ball from a set piece.
The final whistle brought relief for City who struggled to deal with the conditions. Critics might point to the game at Blackpool two weeks ago when both sides produced a superb game on a poor pitch so maybe City were simply having an off day today and we shouldn’t dwell too long on the pitch. Either way, we should be pleased with a point on a day when Plymouth will feel that they should have won.
Plymouth: Stockdale, Barker, Johnson, Johnson, Clark (Cooper 76), Fletcher, Duguid, Arnason, Noone, Mackie, Fallon (Mason 6). Subs Not Used: Judge, Sawyer, Summerfield, Bolasie, Larrieu.
Leicester: Weale, Brown, Berner, Hobbs, Morrison, King, Dyer, Oakley, Wellens, Gallagher (Solano 83), Waghorn (Kermorgant 67). Subs Not Used: Logan, Bruce, N’Guessan, Howard, Neilson.
Referee: R East (Wiltshire). Attendance: 11,581.