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Plymouth Argyle 0-2 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 2nd Mar 2024 17:04

Town climbed back to second in the Championship after a Brendan Galloway own goal and Kieffer Moore’s fifth for the club saw the Blues to a 2-0 victory over Plymouth at Home Park. After a scruffy but hard-fought first half, Town stepped up their performance in the second half and Galloway deflected a Conor Chaplin strike past his own keeper in the 63rd minute, then Moore sealed the three points - and five Championship wins in a row for the first time since October 2003 - 11 minutes later.

Boss Kieran McKenna was forced into three changes from the team which beat Birmingham 3-0 last week with Massimo Luongo joining Nathan Broadhead and Wes Burns in missing out.

Luongo was ill, while Broadhead (thigh) and Burns (calf) suffered knocks against the Midlanders.

Lewis Travis replaced the Australian international in central midfield with Omari Hutchinson and Jeremy Sarmiento coming in on the right and left respectively. Conor Chaplin was OK to start despite suffering a gash to his leg last week.

Elsewhere, Axel Tuanzebe kept his place at right-back with Harry Clarke, celebrating his 23rd birthday, on the bench, alongside Jack Taylor, back after his quad injury. Plymouth were unchanged from their 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough last weekend.

In very wet conditions with rain continuing to fall heavily and buoyed by news of Leeds having drawn 1-1 at Huddersfield in the lunchtime kick-off, Town started on the front foot and threatened to create an opportunity in the second minute when Tuanzebe won the ball on the right and fed Chaplin, who turned away from his man in the area and briefly looked to be in space before he was dispossessed.

However, it was the Pilgrims who forced the first save of the game in the fifth minute, Vaclav Hladky doing well to push out Morgan Whittaker’s dangerous, curling cross-shot from the right which was on target.

The loose ball ran to Darko Gyabi, who struck a shot from the edge of the area which flew only just wide.

Argyle continued to press and Hladky came out of his goal to the Town left and initially looked in some trouble having been beaten to the ball by Ryan Hardie before eventually dispossessing the striker with the assistance of Tuanzebe. Moments later, the Czech keeper conceded a corner when he passed straight out of play, much to the delight of the home support.

After the home side’s threatening spell, the Blues began to take more control - although with the heavy and cut up pitch and Plymouth’s determined pressing deep into the Town area not making passing out from the back easy - and in the 15th minute went close for the first time.

Moore, born in Torquay just up the road from Plymouth, flicked a header from Hutchinson’s right-wing cross and home keeper Conor Hazard did well to bundle the wet ball behind down to his right.

The game swung back towards Plymouth but without any further penalty area concerns for the Blues, then just before the half-hour Sarmiento sent Hutchinson away with a cross-field pass but the on-loan Chelsea man’s shot from an angle inside the area was blocked.

Two minutes later, Moore appeared to have played Hutchinson in on the right again but the linesman on the far side waved for a harsh foul against the Town wideman with defender Brendan Galloway having gone to ground very easily with the Jamaica international otherwise away on goal.

On 36, Hardie curled a shot over the bar from just outside the area after an initial strike following a corner had been blocked.

Town had Luke Woolfenden to thank for not being behind a minute later. Whittaker floated a ball across from the right to the left of the box and Mickel Miller shot across Hladky, however, Woolfenden had read the situation and blocked.

In the 39th minute, after some neater passing in the build-up, Moore couldn’t find a way past the final two defenders and the ball ricocheted off his shins to Hazard.

Soon after, Hutchinson was again harshly penalised when chasing a ball along with Galloway before Sarmiento overhit a pass for the Chelsea loanee to run onto with a ball into space for the Town number 20 the Blues’ biggest threat.

Plymouth were, however, presenting more of a danger at the other end, continuing to force errors from the Blues in the final third with their persistent pressing.

Town ended the half in the Pilgrims’ final third with Tuanzebe winning a corner but which came to nothing.

Overall, it had been a scruffy half with Plymouth having looked the more dangerous, having had the better chances and would have been in front but for Woolfenden’s vital interception.

Town had had spells in control but the Pilgrims - and the conditions - had made it hard work for them to play out from the back, while too many passes had gone astray.

Nevertheless, Hutchinson had looked a threat all half when played in on the right and Moore went close with his header.

Soon after the restart, with the sun now shining and the rain having departed, Hutchinson overhit a cross from the right beyond the far post, then Whittaker tried an audacious chip from 40-plus yards but sent the ball over Hladky’s goal with the keeper appearing untroubled in any case.

But, as the hour approached, Town began to look the more threatening side. Hutchinson sent over a dangerous ball from the right, which was cut out just ahead of Moore.

Then, on 57, Leif Davis stood up a cross from the left which Moore nodded down to keeper Hazard. Soon after, Tuanzebe won a corner with a strike from an angle on the right which was diverted behind.

Two minutes later, Sarmiento was booked for catching the stooping ?? in the face with a boot as he sought to hook on on halfway.

Town continued to take the game to the home side, whose second half performance was lacking some of the energy of their first-period display, perhaps unsurprisingly on the heavy pitch.

And on 61, Moore might have given the Blues the lead. Hutchinson’s cross from the right was pushed out by the keeper, Chaplin nodded goalwards and the Wales international flicked over the bar.

But the Town fans behind the goal didn’t have to wait too much longer to see their side go on front.

Skipper Sam Morsy brought the ball forward and fed Chaplin to his left. The ball got rather stuck under the forward’s feet but he dug it out and hit a shot which was on its way wide until it struck Galloway, changed direction 90 degrees and beat the wrong-footed Hazard to his right.

Chaplin celebrated what he thought was his 12th goal of the season delightedly in front of the 1,700 supporters and his teammates, however, it seems likely to go down as a Galloway own goal.

Plymouth made their first changes soon after the goal with Matthew Sorinola and captain Jordan Houghton replaced by Joe Edwards and Adam Forshaw.

After Chaplin tried to catch Hazard off his line with an effort from not far inside the Plymouth half, the keeper claiming to the right of his goal but with the ball having the right trajectory, Town swapped Sarmiento for Marcus Harness.

Chaplin was booked on 71 for a foul on Galloway on halfway, then the Argyle defender joined him for a studs-high lunge just outside the area.

The forward took the free-kick himself but the ball deflected wide off the wall. However, following the subsequent corner, the Blues doubled their lead.

After the flag-kick had initially been cleared to the edge of the box by Hazard’s punch, Davis crossed deep from the right to Cameron Burgess, who just about kept the ball in and nodded back to Chaplin, who headed on to Moore and the Wales international smashed a powerful low volley past Hazard and into the net to send the Town fans behind the goal wild once again.

Moore’s fifth goal in six starts and one sub appearance since his loan move from AFC Bournemouth had given the Blues some breathing space, however, Town were taking no chances and Travis was booked for delaying a restart. Moments earlier, the home side had swapped Mustapha Bundu for Darko Gyabi.

Argyle went very close to pulling a goal back in the 79th minute when Miller was sent away in space on the left by Bundu, although with the Plymouth sub appearing to have fouled Tuanzebe, and burst into the area before hitting a low shot which Hladky pushed onto his right post. The ball ricocheted across the face and Whittaker subsequently shot well over.

As the game moved into its scheduled final 10 minutes, the Blues made a double change, Clarke and Ali Al-Hamadi taking over from Chaplin and Moore. Argyle switched Galloway and Adam Randell for Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine.

Plymouth were beginning to look like a beaten side and in the 84th minute Al-Hamadi was sent away on the left, cut in but scuffed his shot well wide. Earlier in the move, Harness had been clear on goal had the former Portsmouth man been spotted.

With the game now in the third of five minutes of injury time, Town swapped the dogged Travis for Dominic Ball.

Town saw out the remaining minutes with little fanfare to seal a hard-battled victory over a side who had become something of a bogey team in recent years, particularly at Home Park where performances haven’t always been reflected in the result.

After a first half in which the Pilgrims just about had the better of it, the Blues improved after the break with the home side’s display not having the same intensity in the second period and Town able to show greater control.

The first goal may have had an element of fortune about it but the Blues had started to look more and more threatening at that stage and the second was deserved when it came.

Leeds drawing at Huddersfield got the afternoon off to the ideal start - Town are now two points ahead of the Whites and second - and results elsewhere continued to go the Blues’ way with leaders Leicester now only three points ahead of Town having lost 2-1 at home to QPR, while Southampton in fourth claimed a last-gasp 4-3 victory at Birmingham.

Town, who last achieved five wins in a row in the Championship under Joe Royle in October 2003, are next in action at Portman Road on Tuesday when they host Bristol City, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Cardiff City today.

Plymouth Argyle: Hazard, Houghton (c) (Forshaw 65), Pleguezeulo, Haride, Whittaker, Miller, Gibson, Gyabi (Bundu, 75), Randell (Devine 81), Galloway (Phillips 81), Sorinola (Edwards 81). Unused: Cooper, Mumba, Sousa, Waine.

Town: Hladky, Tuanzebe, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Travis (Ball 93), Hutchinson, Chaplin (Clarke 80), Sarmiento (Harness 68), Moore (Al-Hamadi 80). Unused: Walton, Edmundson, Taylor, Humphreys, Jackson. Referee: Josh Smith (Lincolnshire). Att: 16,871 (Town: 1,735).

Photo: Matchday Images

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ImAbeliever added 17:06 - Mar 2
Shunting up nicely at the top. I believe.

BlueBlueBlood added 17:08 - Mar 2
We aren't going anywhere, what a result, what a weekend. Let's take the roof off on Tuesday and give these boys everything and Moore!

MVBlue added 17:08 - Mar 2
Dreamland. That makes up for last years game at theirs. Well done Mckenna and Keiffer Moore.

Macedonian_Gerrard added 17:09 - Mar 2
we couldn't, could we......

Townancountry added 17:09 - Mar 2
Massive result, get in there !

Lukeybluey added 17:10 - Mar 2
COYB's get right in there!

Help added 17:10 - Mar 2
OGAAT. Fantastic result.

Bluebacker added 17:11 - Mar 2
5 wins in a row. Leicester and Leeds drop points. Lots of teams struggle to get points at Plymouth and we go and do it without Burns and Broadhead, in rainy and windy conditions, and even when we weren't playing our best. Shame Southampton scored late but all in all you couldn't ask for much more from. Proud of the guys today. Well done Town.

Broadbent23 added 17:13 - Mar 2
Good vibrations. What a superb result, I thought it maybe a banana skin. I believe nerves have set off the ex prem sides. One game at a time. Not sure who will be MOM, but surely there will be a few names. Well done lads. Believe.

Gforce added 17:14 - Mar 2
Terrific performance, especially second half and a well deserved win in the end.
We are right back in this now,only 3 points from the top.
Congratulations to the boys on a brilliant hard fought performance.
Eleven cup finals to go,come on you blue boys,you CAN DO IT !!!

Karlosfandangal added 17:15 - Mar 2
I quote

We will struggle to get top 2 so third or fourth will be nicely

Well done for proving me wrong Town

Can we really do this

Bert added 17:15 - Mar 2
Almost a perfect set of results. Never easy at Plymouth but we dug out a victory when Sky’s favourites are wobbling !!!!!

Bert added 17:15 - Mar 2
Almost a perfect set of results. Never easy at Plymouth but we dug out a victory when Sky’s favourites are wobbling !!!!!

Saxonblue74 added 17:16 - Mar 2
If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs......

jon_talbot56 added 17:16 - Mar 2
I haven’t seen it so would like to hear from those who have about Tuanzebe. He had a great game last week and it looked as if we are finally getting out of him the talent he undoubtedly possesses. Is it a coincidence his presence has coincided with a rare clean sheet?

midastouch added 17:18 - Mar 2
Lovely drilled goal from Kieffer—just what the doctor ordered! And Burgess did fantastic to head it back across to Chaplin, who played a lovely intelligent knock on back header to Moore, who then put the icing on the cake! COYB, keep the faith!

Unhinged_dynamo added 17:19 - Mar 2
Even though the first half was really even I never had any doubt in the team to deliver, fixtures are quite kind for the next few games… we couldn’t could we?

superblues9 added 17:20 - Mar 2
Dreaming of the premier league continues !.....

CustardCream added 17:21 - Mar 2
I love this team

1960H added 17:22 - Mar 2
Fantastic result, shame Saints got a late winner, Leicester doing a Wednesday

GTRKing added 17:31 - Mar 2
Great result happy Saturday :)

Shame the F1 didn’t go to plan!

11 cup finals to go… we can do this it’s our years let’s make Portman road rocking this Tuesday & get another 3 points

TimmyH added 17:34 - Mar 2
Great result!...thought we might slip up on this but sounded like we had a good 2nd half period also sounded like Axel, Moore. Morsy and Hutch but not exclusively had good a game.

Well that's 5 from 5 and lets hope it continues...mirroring lat season somewhat at the moment. Well done all!

TimmyH added 17:36 - Mar 2

Marinersnose added 17:40 - Mar 2
Plymouth were impressive at PR earlier in the season but today we were always in total control. First half or passing in the final third was a little sloppy and we failed to utilise Omari Hutchinson to good effect. Second half we found our rhythm and Omari and Leif became more prominent. It was a case of when we scored not if and Chaplin got the ball rolling with a fortuitous deflected goal. Moore added a superb second goal. A clean sheet and Tuanzebe is now looking match fit and showing his obvious quality. Fantastic away win which has apparently gone unnoticed in the media. I wonder why. Bring on Bristol and let’s keep building the momentum

carlo88 added 17:42 - Mar 2
^^ 1960H

Great point, I think Leicester could be last season's Sheff Wed for us.

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