Irvine left to rue missed chances

04 February 2009 08:08
Jon Parkin equalised for North End before the break after Jamie Mackie had fired Argyle into a 13th-minute lead.[LNB]But for all their pressure the hosts could not find a winner in the second half, with Plymouth stopper Romain Larrieu pulling off a succession of fine saves.[LNB]"We did enough to win the game," Irvine said. "There were an awful lot of attempts on goal, over 40 crosses and I don't know how many corners.[LNB]"But a combination of us not being clinical enough in front of goal, them defending really well to their credit and the goalkeeper being outstanding, it stopped us from winning a game we should have won.[LNB]"I thought we had got it. It wasn't for the want of trying.[LNB]"For periods of the game we were very good, we just didn't convert pressure and the chances into goals we needed.[LNB]"We are going along and winning as many points as we possibly can. It would probably be a bit unrealistic to think about the top two from where we have been.[LNB]"I was quite happy with a point at the weekend (when Preston drew 0-0 with Sheffield United) because we had to dig very deep for that, but I am bitterly disappointed tonight."[LNB]Preston have now gone eight games at home without defeat, but that run had been in danger when Plymouth took a shock lead,[LNB]Paul Gallagher's corner came off Preston defender Youl Mawene before Mackie fired home from inside the six-yard box.[LNB]Preston drew level before the break when Ross Wallace pumped a long pass forward and Parkin knocked the ball home.[LNB]Parkin might have had a hat-trick but for the heroics of Larrieu, who turned one effort on to the right post in added time.[LNB]But manager Paul Sturrock was pleased his team had finally scored an away goal, having gone six games without a goal on the road in the league.[LNB]He said: "There aren't going to be many teams coming here who will get anything against a side like Preston.[LNB]"Getting that away goal has been like a monkey on our shoulders. We have hit the bar, had efforts cleared off the line and goals disallowed.[LNB]"It was nice to just get one tonight and hopefully we will just kick on now.[LNB]"We have to go and do the business at home now. If we start getting wins at home we'll climb up the table."[LNB]Sturrock also had words of praise for goalscorer Mackie, saying he had "a great engine" and was a "handful".[LNB]He added: "The last two pairs of centre-backs he has played against will swear by that. He certainly puts himself about."[LNB]On his goalkeeper Larrieu, Sturrock said: "He has been in that form since coming back into the team.[LNB]"We have stuck by him and he has repaid us tenfold. He is a top quality goalkeeper, 32 now, and he is just maturing as a goalkeeper as well."[LNB]There was some bad news for Plymouth, though, with defender David McNamee taken to hospital after being stretched off with a cheekbone injury.[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk