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'We had a game-plan and I thought we stuck at it really well' – Fletcher

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

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Manager Carl Fletcher could not hide his disappointment after Plymouth Argyle conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 against Gillingham at Home Park on Saturday.

The struggling Pilgrims had seemed set for victory over the npower League Two leaders, after Luke Young put them 2-1 up in the 80th minute.

Time was running out for Gillingham when former Argyle defender Adam Barrett headed home to rescue a point for the visitors.

Fletcher said: "It's really gutting. I think it will probably take me until Sunday or Monday to get over the disappointment.

"We deserved to win, as a team, for our efforts and the way we played. I think we can take a lot of confidence from the way we performed."

Argyle ended a sequence of four successive defeats in all competitions with the draw against Gillingham. That was no consolation, though, to Fletcher, and he said: "We should have won the game. It's as simple as that.

"We switched off a couple of times – once in the first half and also in the second half – and it cost us.

"It's disappointing but my lads were brilliant, absolutely brilliant. They worked hard for one another.

"Gillingham are top of the table and have been steamrollering anyone they have come up against. We showed a lot of heart and a lot of desire, and a lot of quality as well."

Young has started 14 of Argyle's 16 League games this season and, at the age of 19, is starting to fulfil his potential. He fired the Pilgrims into a 2-1 lead with a fierce shot after a good lay-off from substitute Nick Chadwick.

Fletcher said: "I'm pleased for Luke. We had him on the left side [of midfield] and we had him on the right side. Because he's out there playing week in, week out, everyone thinks he's older than he is, but he's still only 19. He works hard and he's coming on, which is great."

Fletcher continued: "We had a game-plan and I thought we stuck at it really well. Even when we went 2-1 up towards the end of the game, we weren't under any real pressure. We kept the ball in their half and were then just unfortunate with the goal that came.

"I thought the effort we put in, as a group of players and as a group of men, was really pleasing to see. We played well with the ball and we looked fairly solid without it for the majority of the game."

Rene Gilmartin made his League debut for Argyle against Gillingham after taking over from Jake Cole in the starting line-up. Fletcher admitted he had thought long and hard about the switch. "I spoke to Jake in the week and said: 'I don't know if it's the right decision or not, but I'm going with my gut instinct.' I think sometimes you just have to do that," he said.

Maxime Blanchard was also left out of the starting line-up. Fletcher added: "We haven't had a clean-sheet in 14 games now, so we needed to change something. I thought we coped with a very difficult strikeforce but, after Gillingham got their two equalisers, we looked a little bit shaky, which we will be trying to work on."

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