Banton looks back fondly on a highlight of stay with Pilgrims
Jason Banton believes Plymouth Argyle can kick-start their season with a positive performance and result at Exeter City on Saturday.
Banton scored the winner at Home Park last term to secure a much-needed 1-0 win for the Pilgrims over their Devon derby rivals. The decisive strike on Easter Saturday was one of six goals the Londoner scored during a 14-match spell with Argyle while on loan from Crystal Palace.
The 20-year-old winger, who is now with Milton Keynes Dons on a six-month loan from Premier League Palace, will follow this weekend's event at St James' Park from afar.
He insisted the fact that hosts Exeter are sixth in League Two and Argyle have not scored in their last three outings will have no bearing, come kick-off time.
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"I'd heard that all derbies create a different atmosphere from regular league games, and now I believe it," Banton said yesterday.
"Although I'd been involved with Palace in south London derbies against Charlton and Millwall, I was just part of the squad and didn't get to play.
"Against Exeter, although we [Argyle] were facing them with a couple of good results to our name, I think Exeter were third or fourth in the league at the time and probably favourites. But, once you walk out from the tunnel on to the pitch and hear the noise of both sets of supporters, then you realise just how much it means to fans," he added.
"The 'Green Army', who were fantastic for the players last year, definitely lifted us and created a brilliant atmosphere. I know it's something I'll never forget in a hurry and although Saturday's game is at Exeter, I still believe it will be a great leveller.
"So I don't read too much into Argyle's and Exeter's recent form, because it's early in the season yet.
"I'm hoping that Argyle can kick-start their season against Exeter and go on from there to turn their fortunes around.
"For the fans, winning a local derby can help wipe the slate clean and as a player, you can take confidence.
"After all, on the day, it is still 11 versus 11 and, if you want it badly enough, as we did last season, then you've got as good a chance as any."
Banton still keeps in touch with his team-mates at Home Park and says he has a keen interest in their results. He said: "I speak to [coach] Gary Owers and [striker] Reuben Reid fairly regularly and Argyle's is one of the results I check for on match days."
Banton is enjoying life in League One with Milton Keynes Dons, and has already found the net more than once for his new club, who are sixth in the standings.
"It has been good for me so far at MK Dons and I've scored a couple of times this year, which is satisfying.
"I've been on the bench for the past couple of games, but I'm hoping to get a start on Saturday at Gillingham."