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SEASON 2013-14

npower Football League Two

 Final Points: 60  Position: 10

Player of the Year: Reuben Reid

 Young Player: Curtis Nelson

THE SEASON IN PICTURES

Telling the story of the season, a selection of 100 photos from over 5,700 in this year's match pages.

After five consecutive battles against relegation, the summer of 2013 saw major changes yet again at Home Park, although thankfully the upheaval was confined to the dressing room. The result was eight debuts by the end of the season's first month, and returning openers for two more: Reuben Reid's third spell at the club was to be his best, and Luke McCormick's homecoming was, thankfully, without too much fuss.  Off the pitch, hopes were high for the start of the Higher Home Park development, including the rise of the fourth-ever stand on Home Park's south side.

John Sheridan's first full season in charge saw three defeats in the first week, including broken ribs for Paul Wotton, although the League Cup exit at Championship side Birmingham City was a close affair. Then came a run of three wins in five, but hopes were quickly dashed by a sequence of eight games without a win and a place in the bottom six. Confidence on the pitch was low once again, as were spirits off it. Was this to be yet another season in a scrap for survival?

Neal Trotman's last-gasp winner at Mansfield at the end of October was perhaps the turning point of the campaign. The losing streak was broken; three league wins in four signalled a slow and somewhat hesitant climb up the table and a productive Christmas saw Argyle looking at the possibilities above rather than below. 20 points from 12 games in February and March, including an astonishing 4-0 victory at eventual play-off winners Fleetwood Town, projected the Pilgrims to a play-off place, but it was all to no avail. A thoroughly disappointing final six weeks - 6 points from a possible 27 - left the manager openly criticising his players for a lack of pride and belief, and promising big changes ahead.

Amongst the disappointments of the season: the campaign-ending injury to Luke McCormick at the beginning of February (and the abuse he had to endure from some opposition supporters); the team's baffling tendency to step back from opportunity; and home form, which lived up to the frustration of recent seasons.

On the plus side: captain Conor Hourihane managed an impressive 53 starts (just one missed, through suspension) and Reuben Reid made an appearance in every game. Reid scored 21 goals, including the Pilgrims' first senior hat-trick for seven years, making him Argyle's first striker to beat the 20 mark since Tommy Tynan in 1988-89.  Then there was the loyalty and optimism of the travelling Green Army, which continued to astonish, and for the first time in a very long time there was apparent harmony in the boardroom and just one manager in charge for the whole the season.

In many ways the season ended as it began. On the pitch, instead of the opener's five debuts it was five farewells in the closing game, an entertaining 3-3 draw with Portsmouth in front of an impressive 18,000 at Fratton Park to secure a comfortable 10th place. Three days later, the retained list confirmed the release of seven, including former player-of-the-season Maxime Blanchard; Jake Cole, who played a huge part in he club's fight for survival; and perhaps the unluckiest of them all, Luke Young, with over 100 appearances for the club and still just 21.

Summer arrived again and the manager's main challenge was a significant turn-over of staff. Off the pitch, grandstand number three remained erect. Groundhog Summer? Perhaps, and for some, big questions remain, whilst for others there is a solid base upon which to build. Will 2014-15 be a landmark season for the Pilgrims or just another in a long line? Time will tell.

Arrivals: (came & went in italics)
Lewis Alessandra
Jason Banton
Hamza Bencherif
Andre Blackman
Dominic Blizzard
Rommy Boco
Paul Hayes
Caolan Lavery
Luke McCormick
Marvin Morgan
Tope Obadeyi (twice)
Matt Parsons
Jamie Reckord
Reuben Reid
Enoch Showunmi
Nathan Thomas
Neal Trotman.

Youth debuts: Ben Purrington.

 

Departures: (came & went in italics)
Hamza Bencherif
Andre Blackman
Maxime Blanchard
Rommy Boco
Guy Branston
Nick Chadwick
Jake Cole
Warren Feeney
Paul Hayes
Caolan Lavery
Tope Obadeyi (twice)
Matt Parsons
Jamie Reckord
Reuben Reid
Enoch Showunmi
Neal Trotman
Isaac Vassell
Luke Young.

SAVED FROM THE CHOP

Click on the icons below for photos, commentary clips and full match details of the games against
3-Cheltenham (A), 14-Mansfield (A), 22-Oxford (A), 32-Fleetwood (A), 33-Morecambe (H), 37-Chesterfield (H),
46-Portsmouth (A), FAC1R-Lincoln (H), FAC3-Port Vale (A).

Football League Two 2013-14

starting appearance   appearing substitute   goals   cautioned   sent off




Click on name
for pen picture





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L1J1J2C1C1
C2C3
C3
1J Cole 271000
2D Berry 336108
3A Blackman 63100
4M Blanchard 403115
5G Branston 121006
6C Hourihane 530908
7L Alessandra 4631202
8R Boco 268202
9R Reid 5222105
10M Morgan 1211102
11D Blizzard 247101
13C Lavery 44303
14L Young 2415401
15P Wotton 123004
16N Trotman 480215
17C Nelson 511214
18T Harvey 321101
19P Hayes 52000
19N Thomas 210001
20J Banton 112100
20H Bencherif 63100
21M Lecointe 00000
22J Richards 01000
23L McCormick 271001
24I Vassell 11000
25B Purrington 122102
26T Obadeyi 55100
26M Parsons 100000
27A Gurrieri 2313312
28T Obadeyi 25000
28J Reckord 151000
29N Chadwick 00000
29E Showunmi 25000
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