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League Two

Dean Smalley equaliser a relief to Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan

20 August 2014

Plymouth boss John Sheridan admitted he was relieved to earn a point following Deane Smalley's last-gasp leveller in the 1-1 draw with Stevenage.

Substitute Smalley scored a last-minute penalty deep into stoppage time to cancel out Connor Calcutt's 54th-minute opener.

Smalley - part of a triple change by Sheridan on the hour-mark - thumped home the spot kick, awarded for a handball by Bira Dembele during a frantic goalmouth scramble as Plymouth lofted the ball into the area.

Sheridan said: "I am making no excuses we didn't play well. I am delighted with a point, but I am not delighted with our performance.

"I just don't think the game really got going. They came to do a job on us, and they did that job, to be fair, so credit to them. It was a stop-start game.

"They are a good, workman-like side and they caused a threat. They get the ball forward early, in and around you.

"I do not think we really got going at all.

"I probably keep coming out here, saying the same things and repeating myself. We have just got to be careful, because it is all about consistency.

"Reuben Reid has been excellent for us in the last two or three games - if he played like that most weeks he would be playing in a higher league.

"He just was not on his game tonight. At this level, you just have to expect sometimes that you are not going to get an eight or nine out of 10 every week.

"The only good thing we got out of it is a point and we were never-say-die.

Stevenage boss Graham Westley was fuming with referee Kevin Johnson's performance as his side was denied a second win of the campaign.

He said: "I can't believe their last man stays on the pitch after a deliberate handball, I can't believe we haven't been given two penalties and I can't believe we have had a penalty given us against us. I am furious.

"I better not say too much because all we know in these situations you are obliged to keep your counsel."

Westley, however, was delighted with the way his players bounced back following a 2-0 defeat against Southend at the weekend.

He said: "I thought the players were tremendous tonight. It was a difficult result and performance to take on Saturday.

"I knew that along the way to building this new team there were going to be some difficult days and that was one of them. We didn't turn up.

"But tonight I thought it was a terrific away display and the response following Saturday's defeat was first class."

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