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Match Reports

Report: Plymouth Argyle V The Imps

28 November 2020

The Imps bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup as they were defeated by Plymouth Argyle at Home Park this afternoon.

An early headed goal from Luke Jephcott and a thunderous volley from Ben Reeves won the tie for the hosts but it certainly didn’t tell the story of a game which City dominated for large periods, playing some tremendous football.

Michael Appleton shuffled his pack for the Emirates FA Cup second round tie, making six changes to the team which picked up three points at Swindon in midweek as Joe Walsh came back into the starting eleven for the first time in a month after recovering from injury.

On a very bright sunny afternoon in Devon, it was The Imps who created the first chance of the game as a bursting run from Robbie Gotts started the move which ended with Anthony Scully firing over the top. However, the positive start took a hit as the hosts struck first as Luke JEPHCOTT headed home from a corner after six minutes.

The Imps reply was close to coming a few minutes later, Harry Anderson was played in on the right by Scully, City’s captain on the day hit a vicious low show that was well saved by Michael Cooper but the ball rebounded into the midriff of Brennan Johnson and bounced agonisingly slowly across the face of goal but the Pilgrim’s ‘keeper regained his footing and recovered the ball a couple of yards out.

The Imps were playing with confidence, using the width of the pitch to their advantage, Max Melbourne overlapped down the left and curled in a dangerous centre which Michael Cooper did well to grab the ball ahead of Scully and Anderson racing into the box. Joe Walsh nodded down for Conor McGrandles to turn the ball towards goal but the effort didn’t trouble the goal, as the home side were finding themselves almost camped in their own half. Archibald lashed an effort just wide of the near post as City’s dominance of possession continued, Walsh set Johnson away with a towering header forward he then fed Anderson who for the second time warmed the palms of Michael Cooper with a low drive before Tayo Edun curled an effort just wide from the edge of the box.

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Robbie Gotts hit a curling effort across the ‘keeper which looked to be sneaking into the far corner, but Michael Cooper made a diving stop the ball rebounded to Scully but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet inside the six-yard box and Cooper pounced to grasp possession keeping The Pilgrims in the lead at half time.

Half Time

Plymouth Argyle 1 The Imps 0

City began the second half in a similar vein to the end of the first, pushing forward turning their opponents round and winning an early corner. However, the threat from the hosts on the break was evident and Joe Edwards broke free on halfway to slide in Frank Nouble, who looked up to see Alex Palmer racing off his line to close the angle and get a vital touch on the attempt from the Argyle number seven.

Nouble was to have a vital hand in Plymouth’s second goal of the game, albeit fortuitously, as he looked to hook the ball forward back into the box following City clearing a free kick but the ball looped across the edge of the 18-yard box and Ben REEVES smashed home an unstoppable volley into the top corner.

Jorge Grant came on and forced a save from Michael Cooper as his cross clipped a Plymouth defender turning it towards goal, then Anderson too his effort saved by the Pilgrim’s stopper with City doing all they could to find a way back into the tie. A purposeful run down the left from Edun brought a shooting chance for Scully who tried to measure one into the corner but it drifted over the top, then Anderson was close to creating a chance for McGrandles who may have been impeded on his run to strike the ball but nothing was given.

Anderson fired a shot from the left corner of the box through a sea of legs which Michael Cooper did well to save and hold onto. City won two corners in quick succession with time running out, pushing for the elusive strike which could turn the game around. Anderson met a near post set piece from Grant with his head but he couldn’t quite squeeze it inside the post as we entered the final few minutes of the game. Jones hit a low skidding effort which Cooper had to save, then in injury time the Plymouth stopper was to save from Johnson.  

Full Time

Plymouth Argyle 2 The Imps 0

The Teams

Plymouth Argyle

1          Michael COOPER

2          Kell WATTS

5          Scott WOOTON

6          Niall CANAVAN

7          Frank NOUBLE

8          Joe EDWARDS

14        Ben REEVES

15        Conor GRANT

18        Tyrese FORNAH

31        Luke JEPHCOTT

32        George COOPER

Substitutes

23        Luke McCORMICK

4          Will AIMSON

9          Ryan HARDIE (85’

11        Dom TELFORD

17        Bryon MOORE

24        Jerome OPOKU (80’ for George Cooper)

28        Panutche CAMARA (72’ for Grant)

GOAL: Jephcott 6’, Reeves 56’

Booked: Canavan 55’, Opuku 85’

The Imps

1          Alex PALMER

3          Max MELBOURNE

7          Tayo EDUN

11        Anthony SCULLY

14        Theo ARCHIBALD

16        Joe WALSH

18        Conor McGRANDLES

20        Brennan JOHNSON

22        TJ EYOMA

24        Robbie GOTTS

26        Harry ANDERSON

Substitutes

31        Sam LONG

4          Lewis MONTSMA

5          Adam JACKSON

8          James JONES (68’ for Archibald)

9          Tom HOPPER

10        Jorge GRANT (61’ for Walsh)

30        Sean ROUGHAN

Booked: Melbourne 21’, Walsh 54’, Johnson 55’, Edun 67’, Eyoma 90'

Referee: David Rock

Assistants: Michael Begley & Simon Shaw

4th Official: Scott Jackson


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