Plymouth Argyle's mean streak impresses Nick Chadwick
STRIKER Nick Chadwick thought Plymouth Argyle's mental toughness shone through in rain-lashed Lancashire on Saturday.
The Pilgrims had to dig deep in terrible conditions to fight out a 1-1 draw against Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground.
Onismor Bhasera gave Argyle the lead in the 26th minute, only for former England striker James Beattie to equalise early in the second half.
Substitute Warren Feeney then had a penalty saved by Accrington goalkeeper Paul Rachubka in the closing stages.
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There was still time before full-time, though, for Rachubka to be sent-off for retaliating to a sliding challenge on him from Chadwick.
The Argyle striker told Herald Sport: "The game had a little bit of everything. With the weather, we always knew it was going to be a scrap and that's what it turned out to be.
"It was just unfortunate after being ahead and getting the penalty we didn't take all three points.
"In a way, I think it's a good thing we are probably a little bit disappointed. Maybe at the start of the season we might have not got anything out of that game.
"It was an awful pitch, awful conditions and a long journey. It had all the hallmarks of a home win.
"But I think we are a lot tougher mentally now. You can tell we are coming off the back of some half decent results.
"We are getting things out of games and I think that mentality is a good thing."
Bhasera followed up to score from close range after a free-kick from left-back Robbie Williams hit the right post.
Williams returned to the starting line-up for the first time since recovering from a stomach injury.
Chadwick said: "It was a great free-kick from Willo. I think he brings not only that quality, but a bit of experience back into the team as well.
"He will get better the more games he plays. It was nice to have him back out there.
"He's another experienced player for us and he has got great quality with his left foot, and all credit to Baz (Bhasera) for getting his goal."
Beattie equalised in the 52nd minute with a fierce, close-range shot after a miscued clearance from Argyle captain Darren Purse.
Chadwick said: "It was a scrappy game and being 1-0 up at half-time, having not played particularly well, everything was going well.
"Even once they scored, I thought we then got back in control of the game and there was probably only going to be one team that was going to win it at the end.
"Unfortunately, we just couldn't convert another chance," added the 30-year-old.
Chadwick had been keen to take the penalty which was awarded for a foul on Argyle substitute Paris Cowan-Hall by Accrington left-back Michael Liddle.
However, it was taken by Feeney, who twice scored from the spot in the 3-2 win away to Morecambe in September, and his weak shot was saved by Rachubka.
Chadwick said: "He (Feeney) wanted to step up and take it, and he had scored two, late penalties at Morecambe, so he deserved the chance to take another one.
"Unfortunately, the 'keeper has made a good save. That's football.
"No-one is pointing any fingers at Feeno. He was the man to step up and take it, and had he scored two penalties at Morecambe we wouldn't have got three points there.
"Unfortunately, he missed. I don't think he will be on the next one."
Argyle went close to grabbing a second goal in the 86th minute with a looping header from Purse which bounced off the crossbar.
Chadwick said: "I was right behind it. It looked as though as it was going to go in but it just hit the crossbar."
Rachubka was sent off in the 89th minute after he could not hold onto a shot from Cowan-Hall and Chadwick slid in to try to get on the end of the rebound.
The Accrington 'keeper managed to push the ball away at the second attempt as Chadwick made contact with him.
Then, with the pair sat on the ground, Rachubka put his forehead onto Chadwick's and that led to players from both side rushing to the scene.
Chadwick was booked by referee Mick Russell for his initial challenge while Rachubka was red-carded for violent conduct.
"I thought I was going to score us a winner, but their 'keeper did really well to get up and finger tip it away," said Chadwick.
"Then, for some reason, he got a little bit angry that I wanted to go and try to score.
"He put his head into mine and he probably regrets it. It was handbags really. The referee booked me for my slide, but he said to me he knew I had to go and try to win the ball."