Football - Sheridan hails skipper Hourihane

Plymouth boss John Sheridan praised skipper Conor Hourihane for his part in Reuben Reid's winner as Argyle beat West Country rivals Bristol Rovers 1-0 in front of 8,631 at Home Park.

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Football - Sheridan hails skipper Hourihane
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Plymouth skipper Conor Hourihane earned the praise of his manager after a late derby win over Bristol Rovers

Reid headed home Hourihane's 82nd-minute free-kick to ensure Rovers tasted derby defeat for the second time in four days following their midweek reverse at Bristol City.

Sheridan said: "I think the delivery made it. It was a great ball in from Conor and Reuben was in the right place at the right time and after the goal you could see our confidence."

Argyle had come close to opening their account when defender Neal Trotman's 64th-minute header was cleared off the line, before Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall denied Marvin Morgan at the far post following another superb Hourihane set-piece delivery.

Sheridan said: "The most pleasing thing was the result. It was important we got three points. We've got two home games and we are looking to get maximum points from them.

"I don't think we played well in the first half. I said to the players they need to get out there and hit the ground running, especially at home, because we know the crowd will get behind us but I thought we were a bit flat first half, a bit direct.

"I would like us to start playing from the back and I said to them at half-time 'don't be frightened to throw it out to the full backs every now and then' because it can create and it stretches the game. I told them to express themselves a little bit more.

"I thought we played with a lot better tempo in the second half, we had the enthusiasm and will to win and the crowd got behind us. I think we deserved to win the game after the second half but I thought they were the better team in the first."

Philosophical Rovers boss John Ward was left to bemoan a lack of cutting edge in the final third as his side tasted defeat.

He said: "It was frustrating. Even at half-time I said to the boys 'I hope we have not lost the opportunity to win the game'.

"We fizzled out in the top third of the pitch and we haven't worked their 'keeper enough times for me to sit here and claim we could get a draw.

"At this moment in time there are not enough goals in my team and we need to work hard to improve in that part of the pitch.

"They have won the game and I am fine with that and I am not making any excuses and I want to stress that. I am not shouting and screaming but I still expect a bit more from the team in the top half of the pitch.

"We were a bit naive in some of our play, it was a little bit of hopeful football rather than building with a bit of a base so we have got to try and improve on that as well.

"We have given away five or six free-kicks in that area, hoped we'd clear it and on the one occasion we didn't we have lost the game."

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