|Plymouth Argyle 2 v 1 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 30th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Plymouth Argyle 2-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 30th Oct 2021 17:05
Goals either side of the break from Luke Jephcott and ex-Town loanee Conor Grant saw League One leaders Plymouth come from behind to beat the Blues 2-1 at Home Park. George Edmundson gave Town the lead in the 14th minute but Jephcott levelled a minute before the break and Grant five minutes after the restart, while the Blues missed a number of chances to get back on terms in the latter stages.
Luke Woolfenden and Hayden Coulson returned to the XI with Janoi Donacien and Wes Burns both missing out due to illness, while Sone Aluko was also absent having suffered what looked to be a broken nose in last Saturday’s 2-1 win against Fleetwood.
Woolfenden started at right-back with Coulson ahead of him on the right wing with Matt Penney continuing at left-back. Donacien and Burns had both travelled with the squad to the South-West on Thursday before being taken unwell.
Kayden Jackson, a scorer in last year’s corresponding fixture, was back on the bench alongside last week’s last-gasp winning goalscorer Bersant Celina.
For Plymouth, Adam Randell came in for the suspended Jordan Houghton in midfield, while Ryan Broom replaced Danny Mayor, sent off in the game between the teams in Devon last season, who dropped to the bench.
Former Town defender James Wilson was at the centre of the Pilgrims’ defence and one-time loanee Grant at left wing-back.
As the teams came out, both sets of fans at a sell-out 16,087 Home Park crowd including 1,513 Blues - Plymouth’s biggest attendance since 2008 - took part in a display paying tribute to Paul Mariner, a legend at the two clubs. Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s applause for the England striker, who died in July aged 68.
Town almost took the lead in the second minute. Following an Argyle corner, Lee Evans sent Coulson, playing his first game after his thigh injury, away on the left and the on-loan Middlesbrough man cut across to Macauley Bonne, whose attempt at stroking home was blocked by home skipper Joe Edwards.
From the resultant corner, the home side had a similarly clear-cut chance to go in front. Ryan Hardie out-fought Penney just inside the Town half and was through one-one-one with former Plymouth youngster Christian Walton. The Blues keeper stood firm and blocked with the loose ball cannoning out for a corner of Sam Morsy.
In the aftermath of that corner ex-Town loanee Grant struck a shot which smashed against Wilson. On nine, Jephcott flicked a header to Walton.
After a remarkably frenetic and open early period, the game eventually settled with Town seeing most of the ball.
And in the 14th minute, the Blues went in front. Penney won a corner on the left and the flag-kick eventually reached Bonne at the far post. Showing the sort of composure Town fans have become used to this season, the striker laid the ball back to Morsy, who looped a cross to the far post from where Edmundson nodded in his second goal of the season.
The Blues continued to take the game to the league leaders having gone in front but without being able to carve out another chance.
Goalscorer Edmundson was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 22nd minute for a foul on Edwards which was clumsy rather than malicious. Three minutes later, Conor Chaplin joined him in the book for catching Jephcott late as the striker broke on halfway.
Plymouth began to see most of the ball but with their final pass or cross all too often going astray or if not cut out by a Town defender. On 33 Edmundson did superbly to hold off Jephcott and see the ball out of play.
As the half moved into its final five minutes Town were well in control, passing the ball around confidently with the home crowd having been silenced although without creating an opportunity to double their lead.
However, in the 44th minute, the Pilgrims levelled out of nothing. Following a throw-in on the left, Randell crossed and Edwards nipped in front of the hesitant Penney to stab at goal. Walton did superbly to tip onto the bar but Jephcott tapped home at the far post.
Two minutes into injury time and seconds before the whistle, Edwards was sent away on the left, cut in and hit a shot which home keeper Michael Cooper saved down to his right.
Town will have left the field feeling that they should have still been in front. The Blues had got their noses in front via Edmundson’s goal and had been on top and being given little trouble by the Pilgrims as half-time approached.
However, Penney was on his heels as the cross came over with Edwards much sharper, while Walton was unfortunate to concede having saved the initial effort well.
A poor time for the Blues to concede in a game - after the frantic first few minutes - short on chances at both ends.
The Blues started the second half sloppily and in the 50th minute from the period’s first attack, the home side went in front.
Ex-Town loanee Grant exchanged passes with Brendan Galloway on the left of the box before hitting a low shot across Walton and into the corner of the net.
The home fans were in full voice after their side’s quick turnaround - two goals in six minutes ignoring half-time - and on the pitch the Pilgrims were looking a different team from before the break. On 52 Broom crossed low from the left and Hardie got the ball caught under his feet at the near post and it bounced out of play.
In the 55th minute, an Evans corner flew dangerously across the Plymouth six-yard box but without anyone getting a touch.
Town, however, had still to regain their composure from conceding so early in the half with too many passes going astray. On 56 Morsy was booked for a foul on Randell.
Just after the hour, Town swapped Coulson for Celina in what was presumably a pre-planned substitution given the Middlesbrough loanee’s recent spell out.
The change saw Edwards move to the right and in the 63rd minute the former West Brom winger cut in from that flank and hit a shot which looked on target until it was blocked.
Argyle came close to sealing the three points in the 64th minute when Hardie was played in on goal on the left of the box from where he struck a low shot which Walton somehow diverted wide with his foot. Hardie could have had a hat-trick given the chances he had had over the course of the afternoon.
Town were starting to threaten more in a game almost as open as it had been in the early stages with Celina quickly getting involved. On 65 the Kosovan fed in Penney, who did well to take the ball inside his man before hitting a right-foot shot which Cooper saved.
The Blues should have levelled in the 73rd minute when Celina crossed low from the left to the unmarked Edwards but the winger stabbed well wide when it looked easier to hit the target.
A minute later, Plymouth swapped Hardie, who will wonder how he hadn’t scored at least once, for Jordon Garrick.
The Pilgrims sub was booked within seconds of coming on for clashing with Toto Nsiala having tried to prevent the Blues from taking a free-kick after he had been caught offside. Nsiala joined him in the referee’s book, somewhat harshly.
Plymouth were looking as likely to add to their lead as Town were to equalise and on 77, following a break after a Town throw deep in the Argyle half, Broom curled a shot from distance which Walton claimed with ease.
Town swapped Chaplin for Joe Pigott on 79, then Rekeem Harper for Evans a minute later as they continued to look for an equaliser. In the 84th minute, without either side having threatened, Argyle swapped Broom for Mayor.
A minute later, the Blues should have been on terms. After good work from Edwards, Woolfenden crossed low and the ball reached Bonne, but the 10-goal striker shot straight at Cooper, who gratefully held on.
In the 87th minute Town had yet another chance to draw level. Harper was played on goal on the left of the box but Cooper saved and the ball struck Dan Scarr on the way out. Bonne claimed with a hand but referee Robert Lewis felt otherwise, hardly the first time one of his decisions had annoyed the Town players and fans.
Moments later, Bonne was tripped as he chased a lost cause down the right but again referee Lewis waved away his protests.
Neither side created an opportunity in injury time and there was a huge roar from the home support at the whistle as they maintained an unbeaten run which stretches back to an opening day of the season defeat at Rotherham.
Town were again guilty of allowing the opposition back into a game in which they were in full control. Having taken the lead, the Blues gave away a soft goal before half-time, then started the second period slowly, leading to Plymouth’s second.
However, in the latter stages, after the introduction of Celina and with Edwards looking more dangerous from the right, Town created more than enough chances to have claimed what would on balance would have been a fair result.
The Blues, beaten for the first time in six, are next in action at Wycombe, who drew 3-3 at Fleetwood today, on Tuesday evening.
Plymouth: Cooper, Wilson, Scarr, Broom (Mayor 84), Edwards (c), Hardie (Garrick 74), Grant, Randell, Galloway (Gillesphey 90), Camara, Jephcott. Unused: Burton, Agard, Law, Jenkins-Davies.
Town: Walton, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Nsiala, Penney, Coulson (Celina 61), Morsy (c), Evans (Harper 80), Chaplin (Pigott 79), Edwards, Bonne. Unused: Hladky, Burgess, El Mizouni, Jackson. Referee: Robert Lewis (Shrewsbury). Att: 16,087 (Town: 1,513).
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