Match Preview: Plymouth Argyle (A)
EFL League Two
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – KO 7.45pm
Team News: Sam Togwell returned to the matchday squad for Barnet’s goalless draw against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
Bira Dembele returns from suspension but Alie Sesay serves the second game of his three-match ban for a red card at Grimsby Town.
Meanwhile, Michael Gash (knee), James Pearson (knee), Shaun Batt (hamstring) and Gavin Hoyte (hamstring) are longer-term absentees.
Last Time We Met: The Pilgrims visited The Hive for the first time in March and returned to the West Country empty-handed following Andy Yiadom’s fine strike in the 69th minute.
The Bees, bolstered by January additions James Pearson, Sesay and Mark Randall, were proving hard to beat in the second half of the season and claimed a scalp as Argyle were downed 1-0.
The goal came when Luke Gambin sent John Akinde scampering away down the right and the big number nine cut inside before feeding Curtis Weston. He passed inside to Yiadom who span and fired beyond Luke McCormick.
Manager: Derek Adams, 41, is in his second season in charge at Home Park after succeeding John Sheridan in 2015.
The Glaswegian took Plymouth to the EFL League Two Play-Off Final at Wembley in his first season but lost out to AFC Wimbledon in the final.
A midfielder who spent the majority of his playing career in Scotland, Adams’ most successful spells came at Motherwell and Ross County.
It was with Ross County that Adams began his managerial career, returning to the club as player-coach in 2006. He became player-manager in November 2007 with his last appearance as a player coming a month earlier.
Adams’ first season in the hot seat ended with the Scottish Second Division title before stepping down in November 2010 to become assistant manager to Colin Calderwood at Hibernian.
His time in Edinburgh lasted seven months, though, and in May 2011 he returned to Ross County as manager, winning the Scottish First Division in 2012 to clinch a place in the Scottish Premier League – an achievement which saw him crowned PFA Scotland Manager of the Year.
A 40-match unbeaten run which had begun in Division One continued in the top flight with the Staggies, flirting with European football.
He resigned in August 2014 after delivering a second season in the SPL and was appointed Plymouth boss in June 2015.
Dangerman: Attacking midfielder Graham Carey, 27, has continued his fine form from last season and already has eight goals to his name in EFL League Two.
The Irishman followed Adams down from Ross County in 2015 and hit 12 goals as the Pilgrims reached the play-offs in his first season at the club.
Born in Blanchardstown, Carey played youth football for Shelbourne until 2005 when he moved to Scotland to join Celtic.
In six years with the Bhoys he found first-team opportunities limited and instead gained experience with Bohemians, St Mirren and Huddersfield Town before leaving Parkhead for good in 2011 to join St Mirren.
Two years with the Buddies preceded a move to Ross County in 2013. It was there that the left-footed playmaker and Adams struck up a partnership which has been repeated to devastating success in Devon.
Connections: Everton winger Yannick Bolasie spent two highly successful loan spells at Underhill during the 2009/10 season, scoring five times in 48 appearances in all competitions.
He returned to Home Park and thrived, prompting moves to Bristol City, Crystal Palace and, this summer, a £20m switch to Goodison Park.
Another winger who was popular at Underhill and also wore Plymouth green is Jason Puncheon.
He had a less successful time in Devon, making just five league starts following a £250,000 move from Barnet in June 2008.
However, the Croydon-born midfielder has since enjoyed something of a renaissance after a nomadic spell and is now a regular at Premier League Palace. He scored 15 times in 78 league outings as a Bee.
Former Player of the Year Jake Cole moved to Argyle after leaving Barnet in 2011. A fans’ favourite during two years at Underhill, the current Aldershot Town number one spent three years with Plymouth until 2014, making 103 appearances.
Conference champion Graham Stack, who left The Hive for Kerala Blasters this summer, made six appearances for the Pilgrims after joining on a free transfer in 2009.
He spent four years at Barnet between 2012 and 2016, turning out 129 times in all competitions and becoming a modern-day favourite.
Another brick in that Conference title-winning defence was Bondz N’Gala. The beefy centre-back remains as big a part of Martin Allen’s plans as ever and is closing in on a century of league starts in black and amber.
The 27-year-old made 37 appearances after joining on loan from West Ham United before signing permanently.
Going further back, attacking left-back Lee Hodges had two spells with Plymouth either side of a three-year stay at Underhill.
Hodges made seven appearances on loan at Home Park in 1993 before a free transfer to Barnet in May 1994. In just 94 league starts the Epping-born defender bagged a whopping 26 goals.
He later rejoined Plymouth, hitting a mere 11 from 162 league starts.
Last Time Out: EFL League Two leaders Plymouth were beaten for just the third time this season on Saturday as Grimsby Town left Home Park 3-0 winners.
The Pilgrims had several chances of their own before falling behind in the 44th minute when Danny Collins headed home James Berrett’s looping cross to the back post.
A second headed goal arrived in the 62nd minute when Omar Bogle climbed highest to nod over Luke McCormick’s shoulder following Danny Andrew’s inswinging free-kick.
Bogle complete the win four minutes from time when he tucked into an empty net after the ball ran loose with McCormick floored.
Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): McCormick; Miller, Songo’o, Bradley, Purrington; Donaldson, Fox, Carey, Tanner; Slew, Garita.
Ticket info: Ticket information for tomorrow’s game is available by clicking here.
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