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Plymouth Argyle on a downer ahead of York City match
PLUMMETING Plymouth Argyle will play host to York City tomorrow having lost eight of their last nine games.
The Devon club’s latest defeat saw them go out on penalties at home to Oxford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.
Runaway League Two leaders Gillingham surprisingly remain the only team that have not beaten Argyle during their sorry run of form, following last month’s 2-2 draw between the two teams at Home Park.
Plymouth will also be looking to avoid a fourth successive League game without a goal, having gone down to Chesterfield (1-0), Bradford (1-0) and Fleetwood (3-0) in their last three outings.
Furthermore, Carl Fletcher’s men have now gone 18 games without a clean sheet since early September and have not managed a single League shut-out at home all season.
Only fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers (19) have shipped more goals at home, meanwhile, than the 17 Plymouth have conceded in League Two.
Recent results have also placed 32-year-old rookie boss Fletcher under pressure during his first full season as manager, with some fans calling for his head and plans afoot to appoint a director of football to provide him with support.
Fletcher has used 27 different players this season and will need to make changes to the team that has started the last two matches.
On-loan striker Alex MacDonald has returned to Burnley after the end of his three-month spell at Home Park but departs having only netted twice in 16 games this season, including Argyle’s goal against Oxford on Tuesday with the scores 1-1 at the end of normal time.
Right-back Durrell Berry was also sent off in that match for two bookable offences so will be suspended tomorrow.
Berry’s absence is likely to lead to a recall for skipper Darren Purse even though he has been placed on the transfer list having just completed a three-match ban.
The decision to try to offload the 35-year-old defender, who played Premier League football for Birmingham and West Brom, has been reportedly made for financial reasons due to disappointing crowd numbers at Home Park.
But Purse is poised to return at the heart of Argyle’s defence with Curtis Nelson shifting to right-back.
Experienced strikers Warren Feeney and Guy Madjo have both been out of favour in recent times but MacDonald’s departure could mean another opportunity for the latter, who is on loan from Aldershot.
Former Woking winger Paris Cowan-Hall is the top scorer this term with only four goals and only two of his efforts have come in the League, while he has netted only once in his last eight outings.
At the other end of the pitch, Fletcher could opt to change ’keeper with Rene Gilmartin being replaced by Jack Cole, who started the season as first choice.
Left-back Robbie Williams will play no part, however, as he continues to struggle with a stomach injury.
Plymouth: (probable) Cole, Nelson, Purse, Blanchard, Bhasera, Cowan-Hall, Hourihane, Molesley, Gurrieri, Griffiths, Madjo.
How it was back then
City team (v Plymouth on March 5, 2002): Fettis, Hocking, Parkin, Basham, Hobson (Wise), Potter, Richardson, Bullock, Brass, Nogan, Mathie.
Number One UK selling single on the day: Anything Is Possible (Will Young).
It also happened on this day: It is announced that Scotland’s Olympic bronze medallist skier Alain Baxter has failed a drugs test due to traces of banned substance Methamphetamine.