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Match Reports

Plymouth Argyle 1 Imps 2

22 January 2022

Max Melbourne's first goal for the club earned City an impressive victory at Plymouth Argyle with another stunning away performance.

The Imps had to come from behind, having trailed to Luke Jephcott's well-worked first-half effort, but debutant John Marquis started the comeback after the break and Melbourne sent the 339 visiting fans home delighted.

Marquis was handed his first start for the Imps after signing earlier in the week, while goalkeeper Sam Long started in the league for the first time in the injury-enforced absence of Josh Griffiths. Jordan Wright, who completed his move from Nottingham Forest the day before the game, was named on the bench.

The Imps threatened inside the opening minute, with Morgan Whittaker almost finding his Swansea City team-mate Liam Cullen.

Long’s first action came after seven minutes when he was well positioned to get his full body behind Luke Jephcott’s shot for a confidence-boosting stop.

The home side started with confidence, with Conor McGrandles having to be alert to toe away Conor Grant’s effort from he left.

City saw out the early pressure and started to look dangerous, particularly through quick counter-attacks - the first coming with nine minutes on the clock when Anthony Scully sent Marquis away - the debutant cut inside Romoney Crichlow-Noble before sending a left-footed effort over.

Long comfortably did everything asked of him, coming out well to collect a Jordan Houghton free-kick from the left and holding a Ryan Broom shot from distance at the second attempt.

There were real signs of an understanding from the new-look Imps frontline, despite some only meeting each other for the first time on Tuesday.

A prime example saw Cullen send Marquis away, his pass was just awkward for Whittaker who didn't not quite catch his shot right.

Scully and Ted Bishop, again deputising at right-back in light of the club's injury problems, both sent efforts wide when allowed the space to advance towards the area.

The match was end-to-end, and it took a really well-worked goal from the hosts to open the scoring on the half-hour mark.

A throw-in led to Houghton sending Ennis down towards the byline, he slid at full stretch to pull the back back to find Jephcott who finished brilliantly into the far bottom corner with Long having no chance of stopping it.

Whittaker had an effort blocked and Scully sent a low effort wide, but the Imps trailed at the interval.

It took an excellent interception from Lewis Fiorini to halt Adam Randell moments after the restart, after Ennis' through ball had threatened to send him away.

Chances came quickly for City, with Marquis' hard work in the area moments later creating an opportunity for Cullen who tried to flick the ball towards goal but could not get the required power on his effort.

The Imps had been knocking on the door, and it was little surprise when Marquis levelled the score after what was another impressive counter-attacking move.

Scully provided the delivery from the left, with a composed near-post finish enough for the new forward to get off the mark on his first start for the club.

Scully got past James Wilson down the left and cut inside before sending a low shot just wide, then saw an effort deflected wide after a good move down the right.

Whittaker had an effort blocked by Houghton just before the hour-mark, with the Argyle man again having to be alert moments later to stop Marquis getting on the end of a pass from Cullen in the area.

Another superb counter saw Marquis sent through after a one-two move with Cullen, with an incredibly-time tackle from Wilson stopping him.

Argyle started to work their way back into the match with 20 minutes or so to go, with a shot from Joe Edwards - which he did not fully connect with under pressure from Melbourne - comfortable enough for Long.

Melbourne again was on hand to slide away a Conor Grant pullback after the makeshift home left-sided wing-back got into the area and.

Randell really stung the palms of Long with an effort from a free-kick with 10 minutes to go, with the teenage keeper getting up quickly to gather Ennis' follow-up header.

Either side could have won the game at this point, with City looking particularly dangerous on the counter.

Scully curled an effort just wide, while Melbourne blocked a Grant shot.

In the end there was late drama as, four minutes into time added on, Poole headed back into the area following a corner and Melbourne turned it home from close range.

Attendance: 12,269 (339 away)

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