Argyle v Ipswich


Argyle 0

Ipswich Town 2
Galloway o.g. 63
Moore 74

Two scruffy second-half goals condemned Argyle to a frustrating defeat at home to promotion-chasing Ipswich Town.

The game was bereft of clear chances in the first hour of play but turned in favour of the visitors when a hopeful effort from Conor Chaplin took a massive deflection off Brendan Galloway to break the deadlock.

The Pilgrims were then hit by a decisive second from Ipswich, Kieffer Moore drilling a volley into the corner after the ball had bounced around the penalty box.

Argyle Head Coach Ian Foster stuck with the same side that performed brilliantly to win 2-0 at Middlesbrough last weekend, with the added bonus of midfielder Adam Forshaw fit enough for a return to the bench.

Locked in a massive scrap for automatic promotion and buoyed by a lunchtime draw for their main rivals Leeds United at Huddersfield, the visitors started brightly with Chaplin sniffing around for a chance in the box.

Argyle opened their attacking account with a whipped cross from Morgan Whittaker parried clear by goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky. The loose ball fell to Darko Gyabi for a first-time ping that whistled wide.

After a spell of midfield sparring, Town created the next chance with a lovely in-swinging cross from Omari Hutchinson picking out the head of Moore for a clever flick and Conor Hazard did very well to paw the bouncing ball wide of the far post.

It was, however, a rare opportunity in an opening quarter lacking goalmouth action. A super challenge from Galloway thwarted the sprightly Hutchinson, while Argyle were given a glimpse with some risky passing out from the back by Hladky but it remained slim pickings.

A 20-yard snapshot from Ryan Hardie flashed over the bar on 36 minutes before the Greens created their best chance, Whittaker floating a deep cross for Mickel Miller to strike on the volley and Ipswich were rescued by a goal-line clearance from Luke Woolfenden.

A stabbed effort from Moore was easy for Hazard but Argyle were the side finishing the half with more menace, Miller cutting back a precise pass for Adam Randell, who just lost his footing at the moment of impact.

A Pilgrim corner early in the second period prompted a scruffy clearance from Town, who, apart from at set-piece situations, persisted with their play-out-from-the-back policy, despite Argyle pressing high and coming very close to pinching possession.

A tame header from Moore was again comfortable for Hazard, as Ipswich attempted to turn the screw. A flurry of activity saw Hutchinson craft half a yard from a tight angle and his powerful drive was parried into the air by Hazard, with Moore looping the rebound header over the bar.

Moments later, Ipswich grabbed the lead and it was a scrappy goal that probably suited the game. In a game of limited chances, Chaplin dug out a shot from the edge of the area that was going well wide before taking a huge deflection off the unfortunate Galloway and nestling in the opposite corner.

Argyle quickly turned to the experience of Forshaw and skipper Joe Edwards to replace Jordan Houghton and Matty Sorinola.

A surging run from Miller looked to have been stopped illegally by the Town defence but ignored by the referee, with Pilgrim frustration doubled by Galloway then receiving a caution for a strong challenge in a similar position at the other end.

The free-kick led to a corner and with the ball bouncing around the area, Moore took a backward step to give himself extra space for a powerful volley rifled into the bottom corner.

Mustapha Bundu for Gyabi was the next Pilgrim change but Argyle were struggling to find any momentum as an attacking force. Bundu changed that picture with a powerful burst and pass wide to Miller, who struck a dipping drive that was pushed on to the post by a relieved Hladky.

Randell and Galloway were withdrawn for Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine with ten minutes remaining but Ipswich, understandably, were deploying all the time-consuming tactics of a team protecting a two-goal lead.

Argyle will have to quickly regroup for an important midweek trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

Argyle: 21 Conor Hazard; 4 Jordan Houghton (27 Adam Forshaw 65), 5 Julio Pleguezuelo, 9 Ryan Hardie, 10 Morgan Whittaker, 14 Mickel Miller, 17 Lewis Gibson, 18 Darko Gyabi (15 Mustapha Bundu 74), 20 Adam Randell (16 Alfie Devine 81), 22 Brendan Galloway (26 Ashley Phillips 81), 29 Matty Sorinola (8 Joe Edwards 65). Substitutes (not used): 1 Michael Cooper (gk), 2 Bali Mumba, 3 Lino Sousa, 23 Ben Waine.

Booked: Galloway 73

Ipswich: 31 Vaclav Hladký; 3 Leif Davis, 5 Sam Morsy, 6 Luke Woolfenden, 10 Conor Chaplin (16 Ali Al-Hamadi 80), 15 Cameron Burgess, 20 Omari Hutchinson, 21 Jeremy Sarmiento (11 Marcus Harness 68), 24 Kieffer Moore (2 Harry Clarke, 80), 28 Lewis Travis, 40 Axel Tuanzebe. Substitutes (not used): 1 Christian Walton (gk), 4 George Edmundson, 12 Dominic Ball, 14 Jack Taylor, 19 Kayden Jackson, 30 Cameron Humphreys.

Booked: Sarmiento 59, Chaplin 71, Travis 78

Referee: Josh Smith

Attendance: 16,871 (1,735 away)