|Plymouth Argyle 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 5th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 5th Dec 2020 17:01
Two goals in two minutes from Jon Nolan and Kayden Jackson saw Town come from behind to beat Plymouth Argyle 2-1 at Home Park following Pilgrims winger Danny Mayor’s red card. Luke Jephcott’s 14th minute goal had given Argyle a 1-0 half-time lead but after one-time Town target Mayor had picked up his second yellow card on 70, Nolan and Jackson netted in the 73rd and 74th minutes to hand manager Paul Lambert a victory in his 100th game in charge of the Blues, who are up to third.
Town boss Paul Lambert made three changes with Alan Judge, Brett McGavin and Jackson coming into the side.
McGavin took over from Andre Dozzell, banned for one game having reached five bookings, in the holding midfield role with Judge ahead of him alongside Nolan.
Jack Lankester moved to the right of the front three with Keanan Bennetts, who has been suffering with a hamstring problem, dropping to the bench.
Jackson was the lone central striker with Aaron Drinan, who started at Oxford on Tuesday, not in the matchday 18.
Emyr Huws returned to the bench after a back problem along with Toto Nsiala, who has had a hamstring injury, and young defender Corrie Ndaba.
For Plymouth, defenders Will Aimson and Jerome Opoku came back into the side, as did midfielders Panutche Camara and Mayor, who turned down the chance to join the Blues in the summer of 2019 to sign for the Pilgrims.
Scott Wootton, Niall Canavan and Ben Reeves dropped to the bench, while George Cooper missed out on a place in the 18.
Former Blues loanee Conor Grant started in midfield and ex-Town striker Frank Nouble was up front.
The teams were playing in front of fans for the first time since March 7th with 1,808 Argyle season ticket holders present at Home Park.
Town started brightly with Armando Dobra sending over a low cross from the right which was turned behind by a defender. From the corner, ex-Blues striker Nouble slid in to make a fine challenge on Judge inside the box.
There was a scare for the Blues in the sixth minute after Stephen Ward was caught in possession on the Town left. A cross from the right flicked off a defender behind Nouble and Mayor saw a shot blocked.
A minute later at the other end, Town were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty when Opoku upended Lankester inside the box. However, referee Ollie Yates waved the protests away, seemingly indicating that Lankester had dived. Once again the Blues appeared to have been the victims of a bad big decision.
The game had started in an end-to-end open manner with chances at both ends. On 10 the Pilgrims might have gone ahead when Grant crossed from the right and Kell Watts headed well over.
But the returning, socially-distanced home fans dotted around the ground only had to wait another four minutes for their side to take the lead.
Ex-Town loanee Grant crossed from the left from Nouble’s lay-off and Jephcott got in front of Mark McGuinness and flicked goalwards. The ball struck the underside of the bar and, according to the linesman, went over the line. Ward protested and replays suggested the ball may not have crossed but to no avail.
The Blues should have got back on terms in the 22nd minute when a deflected Lankester pass sent Jackson away on goal. However, the striker took too long over taking his shot and Aimson slid in superbly to dispossess him.
The game continued to be an open affair but with Argyle looking more dangerous. On 34 Mayor cut in from the left and hit a powerful shot which flew across the face of goal and wide.
In the final scheduled minute of the half, Nouble flicked on a long kick from keeper Michael Cooper and Cornell had to come off his line to claim ahead of Jephcott.
Moments later, Dobra forced Cooper into his first save of the game but it was a regulation take for the Argyle glovesman and looked to be going wide in any case.
As has become familiar, Town had had plenty of possession and although they were less ponderous in their approach than has often been the case, they had created fewer of the chances than the home side.
Having said that, they were very unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Lankester was fouled, while Jackson ought to have got his shot away when he had his chance.
But Plymouth had looked more threatening with their goal, which may or may not have crossed the line, the outstanding opening created by either side.
Five minutes after the restart McGavin was booked for a foul on Camara, then Mayor joined him in being shown a yellow card for time-wasting as he prepared to take a corner.
On 55 Cooper was fored to turn a McGavin corner form his right over his bar. From the resultant flag-kick on the other side, the ball was eventually played out to McGavin by Jackson and the midfielder hit a powerful effort straight at Cooper who held confidently.
But overall, Town were hardly looking like getting back on terms with more of the action in and around a penalty area at the other end. In the 58th minute Tyrese Fornah hit a shot through to Cornell from distance.
Two minutes later, after the Blues had broken forward quickly, Jackson flicked a Dobra cross from the left goalwards at the near post but it hit a defender and went behind.
Town made a double change in the 65th minute with Bennetts and Oli Hawkins taking over from McGavin and Lankester and moved to a 4-4-1-1 system. Three minutes later, Argyle swapped goalscorer Jephcott for Ryan Hardie.
In the 70th minute the Pilgrims were reduced to 10 men when Mayor - already booked for time-wasting at a corner - deliberately tripped Dobra on halfway and was shown a second yellow and then a red card. Nouble was subsequently cautioned for protesting.
It took Town only three minutes after the dismissal to get back on terms. Bennetts fed Ward overlapping on the left and the Irishman crossed to Nolan just inside the area from where the Liverpudlian chested down and shot low into the corner of the net.
Having scored their first goal in four games, it took Town only a minute to net another.
Again it came from a Ward cross from the left, this time from not far inside the Plymouth half. Hawkins chested it down and Jackson hit a low left-footed shot across Cooper and into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Plymouth switched skipper Joe Edwards and Nouble for Byron Moore and Ben Reeves in the 78th minute as the 10 men went about getting back on terms.
On 84 Watts went very close to levelling with a powerful shot from distance which flew only narrowly over Cornell’s cross bar. In the final minute Dom Telford took over from Fornah for the Pilgrims.
In four minutes of injury time, there was a falling out between Cornell and McGuinness after the defender had ignored a call from the keeper leaving him in no-man’s land as sub Telford hooked well over the bar. Referee Yates yellow-carded Cornell following the incident.
Soon after Yates confirmed that the 1,808 Plymouth fans would leave Home Park for the first time in nine months having seen their side defeated.
No doubt about the turning point in the game. Before Mayor’s red card a Blues’ revival hadn’t looked particularly likely.
Mayor seemed to immediately realise his error after tripping Dobra having picked up a cheap yellow card earlier in the half for time-wasting.
Town certainly made the most of their one-man advantage with Nolan - now the Blues' joint-top scorer on five alongside Gwion Edwards - and Jackson taking their chances clinically - the only opportunities following the red card - with Ward playing a role in both and Hawkins the second.
The Blues’ first win in four will relieve some pressure of manager Lambert, whose record in his 100 games in charge reads won 32, drew 25, lost 43.
Town are up to third in the table ahead of next week’s home game against fourth-placed Portsmouth in front of 2,000 Blues supporters.
Plymouth: M Cooper, Aimson, Opoku, Watts, Fornah (Telford 90), Edwards (c) (Moore 78), Camara, Mayor, Grant, Nouble (Reeves 78), Jephcott (Hardie 68). Unused: McCormick, Wootton, Canavan.
Town: Cornell, Chambers (c), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward, McGavin (Bennetts 65), Nolan, Dobra, Lankester (Hawkins 65), Judge, Jackson. Unused: Holy, Nsiala, Ndaba, Huws, Gibbs. Referee: Ollie Yates (Staffordshire). Att: 1,808.
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