REPORT: Argyle 0 Hull City 3
Hull City 3
League leaders Hull City produced some clinical finishing to inflict a 3-0 defeat on Argyle in the Home Park sunshine.
Keane Lewis-Potter broke the deadlock on 12 minutes and second-half strikes from Josh Magennis and Greg Docherty confirmed all three points for the promotion-seeking Tigers.
Argyle boss Ryan Lowe made two changes from the loss at Shrewsbury, with Adam Lewis and Luke Jephcott replacing Conor Grant and Ryan Hardie, plus a return to the bench for Lewis Macleod, while Hull manager Grant McCann stuck with the same 11 that beat Northampton 3-0 on Easter Monday.
The Tigers were first to threaten, forcing Mike Cooper to punch clear a dangerous corner but the ball was returned to the box for George Honeyman to lash wildly over the bar from the left channel.
After a period of patient passing football from the Pilgrims, a quick free-kick by Hull gave Mallik Wilks time to thread a pass into the path of Lewis-Potter on the left side of the penalty area and he stroked an assured low finish across Cooper to nestle in the far corner.
Argyle responded with a swift counter started by Danny Mayor and a drilled Lewis cross found Niall Ennis, but he was unable to turn for an effort to test Hull ‘keeper Matt Ingram.
A header from the dangerous Wilks flashed wide following a Callum Elder set-piece but, in general, Argyle had settled into spells of possession in the Hull half, although Cooper did make a strong low save to his right after a searing drive from Greg Docherty.
The Greens replied with a delightful cross from Lewis picking out Panutche Camara, who saw his initial shot blocked, with Tyrese Fornah hitting the rebound first-time and Ingram was at full stretch to turn the ball wide.
A superb Jerome Opoku tackle thwarted Wilks when he looked to pull the trigger from 10 yards but Argyle were the side pressing at the end of the half, with a Lewis cutback falling to Jephcott for a strike saved at the near post by Ingram. Watts then headed wide from a Camara cross.
Hull restarted with a Magennis header glanced wide from a near-post corner and Argyle replied with yet another inviting low cross fizzed in by Lewis, which just eluded the runs of Jephcott and Ennis.
A fabulous move down the left saw Ennis release Mayor, who was in position for a shot when Alfie Jones just got a foot on the ball. Sadly, the Tigers doubled their lead moments later, as Honeyman pinched the ball in midfield to slip a pass for Magennis to steer a low shot beyond Cooper.
Wilks rifled over the bar as Hull looked to grab a killer third and Magennis then rounded Cooper from a Lewie Coyle pass but the angle thankfully prevented the Northern Ireland international from finding the net.
Argyle looked to respond with a succession of crosses into the Hull box but the visitors dealt with the situation, breaking at pace for a decisive third. Lewis-Potter found room on the left and squared an ideal pass for Docherty to rifle the ball into the bottom corner.
The Greens made a triple change, introducing Byron Moore, Ben Reeves and Hardie for Watts, Camara and Jephcott, matched by three substitutions for the Tigers.
Mayor had a shot deflected into the grateful arms of Ingram as the Greens kept plugging away for some reward, with Macleod and Klaidi Lolos given a late run in place of Fornah and Ennis.
It was, however, Hull City’s day in the sun.
Argyle (3-5-2): 1 Mike Cooper; 4 Will Aimson, 24 Jerome Opoku, 2 Kelland Watts (4 Ben Reeves 76); 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 28 Panutche Camara (17 Byron Moore76), 18 Tyrese Fornah (16 Lewis Macleod 85), 10 Danny Mayor, 22 Adam Lewis; 21 Niall Ennis (19 Klaidi Lolos 85), 31 Luke Jephcott (9 Ryan Hardie 76). Substitutes (not used): 23 Luke McCormick (gk), Ollie Tomlinson 41.
Booked: Watts 4
Hull City (4-2-3-1): 13 Matt Ingram; 2 Lewie Coyle (capt) (12 Josh Emmanuel 78), 15 Alfie Jones, 24 Jacob Greaves, 3 Callum Elder; 18 Regan Slater, 33 Greg Docherty; 7 Mallik Wilks, 10 George Honeyman (20 Dan Crowley 78), 19 Keane Lewis-Potter (23 Gavin Whyte 78); 27 Josh Magennis (9 Tom Eaves 82). Substitutes (not used): 1 George Long (gk), 16 Jordan FLores, 17 Sean McLoughlin.
Referee: Ben Toner