Plymouth Argyle reject call from Portsmouth for Dockyard Derby date
PLYMOUTH Argyle rejected a call from Portsmouth to play their Capital One Cup first round tie at Home Park on Saturday, August 11.
Instead, the 'Dockyard Derby' will take place on Tuesday, August 14, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Argyle manager Carl Fletcher pushed hard for the fixture to be played then because it fitted in with his planning for the start of the new season.
His Portsmouth counterpart, Michael Appleton, however, had hoped it would take place on August 11, which is a blank date for both clubs.
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He suggested the Pilgrims thought playing the match in midweek would give them a competitive edge.
Argyle have confirmed admission prices for the Capital One Cup clash will be £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
The first 'Dockyard Derby' at Home Park in 14 years will be Argyle's opening game of the new season.
The 2012/13 Football League campaign does not start until Saturday, August 18 so it does not coincide with the Olympic Games in London. The Capital One Cup first round ties have been scheduled for the week commencing August 13.
But the Football League were prepared to allow matches to take place on August 11 as long as both clubs were in agreement.
Had Argyle played Portsmouth on the Saturday afternoon there might have been a better attendance, but August 14 was always the preferred option for Fletcher.
He told Herald Sport: "It's ideal really. It's good for us in terms of what we have planned out preparation-wise for pre-season."
Portsmouth, who were relegated from the Championship last term and have been in administration since February, must now make a midweek trip along the south coast to play Argyle.
Appleton said: "I had a conversation with Plymouth in terms of when they wanted the fixture to be played and they insisted it stays midweek.
"At the end of the day, they are the home team and it's in their hands, but it's a bit of a shame.
"Moving it back to that Saturday would be ideal from our point of view because it's a long trip, although I can see why they want it midweek.
"They know we will have to travel a long way so I have got an idea that comes into their thinking a little bit.
"Still, it is what it is. We were in their hands and this is their decision so we have just got to deal with it as best as we possibly can.
"I have just got to look at it and decide how we now handle this and whether we travel down on the day of the game or whatever."
Argyle's final warm-up match before the visit of Portsmouth will be a friendly against League One outfit Preston North End at Home Park on Wednesday, August 8.
The Pilgrims have also arranged away games against Yeovil Town (July 21), Truro City (July 24), Weston-super-Mare (July 27) and Tiverton Town (July 31).
Fletcher revealed a couple more friendlies could be added to that list.
He said: "We will be doing a lot of work on the training pitch in pre-season and have got some good local sides to play.
"Fingers crossed we get through pre-season smoothly, with no injuries or anything like that, and we get all the work done that we want to get done."
Argyle, Exeter and Torquay will be rivals in League Two next season, the first time they have been in the same division as each other since 2001/02.
That was when Paul Sturrock's Pilgrims topped the table with a record-setting 102 points.
Argyle are away to Torquay on September 8, and host the Gulls in the return match on Boxing Day.
The always fiercely-contested Devon derbies against Exeter will be at St James' Park on December 15 and at Home Park on Easter Saturday, March 30.
Fletcher said: "It's great for the fans we have got the local derbies. I think there will be real full attendances for the games.
"Where we are in the country, we are a long way from everyone else and it's nice for all the local clubs to be together and to compete with each other.
"I think this season we are at home on Boxing Day for the first time since I have been here.
"The game three days after (against Wycombe Wanderers) is also at home, which is a real bonus.
"It will be good for us, especially the players who have got families. You get to spend more time with your kids on Christmas Day."