article is an extract from Harley Lawer's excellent book: "Argyle
Classics" published by Green Books, Plymouth (ISBN: 0951381709), and
is reproduced with his kind permission.
A few mistimed
cues and late entrances weren't embarrassing enough to prevent Dave Smith's
show-stoppers from turning on a Royal Command performance of sufficient
quality to send the Second Division leaders tumbling.
may have been forgotten at critical moments and there was some awkward
prompting as the midfield and attack struggled to get their popular act
But no one was
asking for their money back at the finish. Over 17,000 Argyle fans (allowing
for just 200 from Oldham) were leaping in the air and laughing at the dancing
figure of Smith celebrating another box office hit.
Most of the
entertainment value was packed into the goals that took Argyle one big step
closer to the top of the Second Division.
reflected great credit on their creators and scorers. It would be difficult to
highlight one at the expense of the other two. The trio together were a rich
package worthy of a team seeking the prize of First Division soccer.
One of Argyle's
greatest strengths is the ability of more than one player to snatch important
goals. And here we had three shining examples with John Clayton, Adrian
Burrows and Tommy Tynan each striking with superb timing and accuracy.
Oldham's creaking defence reeling after only 10 minutes. Argyle hadn't aimed a
single shot until Tynan and Kevin Hodges exposed Andy Linighan on the right
cross arrived in the middle Linighan failed again to clear the danger.
Clayton, seizing his chance, rifled the ball home from an angle that should
have made it more difficult than his precise finishing shot suggested.
celebrated his rare appearance by heading a second from Russell Coughlin's
cross. So far there hadn't been a single threat from Oldham and little
evidence either of why they had scored 17 goals and won six matches away from
But they weren't
ready to look a gift horse in the mouth, as Geoff Crudgington and two
defenders discovered when they failed to cut out a 35th minute centre from
Tommy Wright. Mike Milligan helped himself with a simple header .
The Argyle crowd
is so committed to their team these days, however, that they rarely vented
their frustration. Often they applauded the errors in the hope of encouraging
the guilty to do better next time!
finally materialised with a goal in the 71st minute. Clayton's long centre
was flicked over the top of the nearest defender by Hodges for Tynan to
finish off in great style with a plunging header.
Crudgington; Nisbet, L. Cooper, Goodyear, Burrows, Matthews, Hodges, Coughlin
(Rowbotham), Tynan, Clayton, Summerfield.
Goram; Irwin, Donachie (Callaghan), Hoolickin, Linighan, Williams, Palmer,
Henry, Wright, Futcher, Milligan.
Scorers: Argyle -
Clayton, Burrows, Tynan; Oldham - Milligan, Futcher.
Referee: Mr. R. Groves (Weston-super-Mare).