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Fletcher hails impact of his double substitution

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 17, 2012

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A double substitution in the second half gave Plymouth Argyle the impetus to draw the Devon derby against Exeter at St James' Park, according to manager Carl Fletcher.

The Pilgrims were trailing 1-0 when Fletcher sent on Nick Chadwick and Warren Feeney in the 66th minute, with Rhys Griffiths and Conor Hourihane making way for them.

The equaliser came in the 72nd minute as winger Joe Lennox fired into the net off the inside of a post.

Fletcher had pointed out to his players at half-time, when they were losing 1-0, it was important not to push forward too much and risk conceding a second goal.

He said: "You don't want to go too gung-ho too early on. If you go out and try to get an equaliser straight away, it could be 2-0 before you know it and that's game over.

"We had to keep our shape and try to work things. We got the ball down in the second half and we were on top. We made a couple of substitutions when we needed a goal and it gave us a bit of impetus."

Exeter had been in seventh spot in npower League Two, 13 positions and 12 points better off than Argyle. So, in the circumstances, Fletcher was pleased to leave St James' Park with a draw.

Fletcher said: "Exeter are in the play-off positions and are there on merit. They are a good side, so we knew it was going to be tough.

"It was disappointing to go a goal down. I thought we were in control of the game.

"We set up well. I think they [Exeter] changed their formation a couple of times in the first half to combat us.

"I think the goal was a little bit against the run of play," continued the Pilgrims' boss.

"In the second half, we came out on the front foot and put them under a lot of pressure, and got the goal we deserved.

"We rode our luck a little bit, and [Exeter top scorer] Jamie Cureton didn't have his finishing boots on, which we are delighted about.

"I think in the grand scheme of things, an away point in a derby game on the back of a home win last week [2-0 against York City], it's a good day."

Argyle ended the game with ten players after Blanchard was sent off in the 88th minute for a second bookable offence.

He said: "We didn't mark properly at the throw-in and he [John O'Flynn] got through too easily, and Max has taken one for the team.

"I can't argue with it. It's a yellow card, but it's better to take the yellow card than have them go through and score a goal."

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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