Goalscoring touch eludes Ryan Hardie on his 100th Plymouth Argyle appearance

Striker Ryan Hardie admitted it was not his day in front of goal when Plymouth Argyle lost 1-0 to title-chasing Rotherham United at Home Park.

However, the 24-year-old still described it as ‘a proud day’ for him and his family as he made his 100th appearance for the Pilgrims.

Hardie joined Argyle in January 2020 and spent a year with them on loan from Blackpool before making his move a permanent one.

Read more: Steven Schumacher upbeat despite Argyle defeat by Rotherham

He has gone on to score 28 goals in all competitions, and had the chances against Rotherham to have added another couple to his tally.

Argyle dropped out of the League One play-off places from fifth to seventh after a second successive defeat but five of their next six games are at the Theatre of Greens so there is the opportunity to pick up a good haul of points from them.

Hardie tweeted after the Rotherham game: “What a proud day for me and my family! 100 games in the space of a few seasons for @only1argyle.

“They’ve flown in and hopefully many more to come! Unfortunately not my day in front of goal today but they will come. Thanks for the support again! Time to start another run.”

Hardie could have opened the scoring for Argyle in the 51st minute against Rotherham when he broke clear of the visitors’ defence.

However, he opted not to try a shot of his own and instead attempted to play the ball across to his strike partner Jordon Garrick, but put it too far in front of him.

Later, after Michael Smith had put Rotherham ahead in the 63rd minute with a clinical finish, Hardie fired wide from a good position.

Then in the closing stages, Hardie broke clear again and this time decided to shoot rather than square the ball to skipper Joe Edwards but his attempt was touched wide by Rotherham goalkeeper Josh Vickers for a corner.

Given the clearcut chances they had, the least Argyle deserved was a point from their encounter with the table-toppers.

Edwards offered his support for Hardie, who has netted 15 times in all competitions for the Pilgrims this season and been one of the main reasons for their play-off push.

“He has been fantastic for us,” said Edwards. “He caused them havoc all day. It was just that final little bit that didn’t quite come off for him.

“We have seen him do that time and time again and he puts them away. Ry gives us that threat behind, which I thought he did all day, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to play against him again in that form.”

On the late chance when Hardie could have set him up to equalise, Edwards said: “We spoke about it after the game.

“He felt at the time that their player almost came with me, but listen it’s fine margins in football. If he puts it away we wouldn’t be speaking about it.”

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