PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 2 YORK CITY 0
ARGYLE raised spirits at Home Park with a much-needed victory over York City this afternoon, writes Chris Errington.
It was their first win in 10 games, since they beat Rochdale 3-1 on October 20, also in front of their own fans.
York were, by some distance the worst team, seen at Home Park this season.
They had only one shot on target as Argyle kept their first clean sheet in 19 matches, since a 0-0 draw away to Torquay United on September 8.
The Pilgrims were good value for their victory though as they dictated the play from start to finish.
They took the lead in the 44th minute with an own goal from York left-back Jamal Fyfield and had to wait until the 89th minute to wrap up their win.
That was when substitute Nick Chadwick headed home from close range.
The Pilgrims stayed in 20th position in League Two but their confidence will have been boosted ahead of their Devon derby at Exeter City next Saturday.
Argyle were captained by defender Darren Purse on his return from a three-match suspension.
Purse, who has been transfer-listed by the Pilgrims for financial reasons, was paired at centre-back with Maxime Blanchard.
Curtis Nelson moved to right-back in the absence of Durrell Berry, who was banned.
Berry had been sent-off for two bookable offences in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Oxford United at Home Park on Tuesday.
Argyle's team for the visit of York also teenage included midfielder Luke Young, who had been sidelined for three matches by a shoulder injury.
However, the Pilgrims were without Alex MacDonald after the end of his loan spell from Burnley.
Paris Cowan-Hall had a tremendous chance to put the home side into a 17th minute lead.
York defender Chris Doig tried to play the ball back to his keeper Michael Ingham and Cowan-Hall intercepted.
He deftly flicked the ball over Ingham but, with the goal at his mercy, rushed his shot and it went wide of the left post.
Argyle had loud appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Tim Robinson in the 23rd minute after a raised boot challenge on Cowan-Hall by Doig.
The Pilgrims dominated the possession without creating too many clearcut chances.
Young curled a 25-yard free-kick over the crossbar in front of the Devonport End after Cowan-Hall was tripped by Daniel Parslow.
The deadlock was broken in the 44th minute, though, as Argyle's endeavour earned its reward.
Young fired a corner to the far post and, amid a cluster of bodies, the ball ended up in the net off Fyfield.
Although Argyle had not scored it, it was their first goal in four games.
York threatened only once in the first half, and that was early as the 10th minute when midfielder Paddy McLaughlin fired narrowly wide from 25 yards.
It continued to be a game without much goalmouth action at the start of the second period.
Argyle's Andres Gurrieri sliced a shot wide in the 56th minute after a good run into the penalty area.
Gurrieri worked hard playing 'in the hole' behind striker Rhys Griffiths and his use of the ball was also good.
Griffiths had a great opportunity to put Argyle 2-0 up in the 64th minute when he blasted a 20-yard shot high over the bar from a central position.
The Pilgrims had a lot of the ball but lacked a cutting edge in the attacking third of the pitch.
Gurrieri, the pick of Argyle's players, had a fierce 20-yarder pushed over the bar by Ingham in the 71st minute.
Ingham then saved a deflected shot from Cowan-Hall low at his near post.
Jamie Lowry was sent on as an 82nd minute substitute for Gurrieri in a move designed to shore up the Pilgrims' midfield for the closing stages.
York had posed no threat at all and Argyle doubled their lead in the 89th minute.
Young had a powerful right-foot shot parried away by Ingham and Chadwick headed into an empty net from close range.
His introduction as a 73rd minute substitute for Griffiths had been greeted with boos from some supporters.
He turned that into cheers, though, with his second goal of the season as Argyle secured an important victory.
ARGYLE: Rene Gilmartin; Curtis Nelson, Darren Purse, Maxime Blanchard, Onismor Bhasera; Luke Young, Mark Molesley, Conor Hourihane, Paris Cowan-Hall (Joe Lennox 90 +4 mins) ; Andres Gurrieri (Jamie Lowry 82 mins); Rhys Griffiths (Nick Chadwick 73 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Jake Cole, Warren Feeney, Jamie Richards, Tyler Harvey.
YORK: Michael Ingham; Daniel Parslow, Chris Smith, Chris Doig (Danny Blanchett 69 mins), Jamal Fyfield; Scott Kerr, Michael Potts (Jamie Reed 58 mins), Paddy McLaughlin (Jon Challinor 58 mins); Matty Blair, Jason Walker, Ashley Chambers.
Substitutes (not used): Paul Musselwhite (gk), David McGurk, Tom Allan, Alex Rodman.
REFEREE: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)
ATTENDANCE: 5,881 (188 away)
GOALS – Argyle: Fyfield (og) 44 mins, Chadwick 89 mins; York: None