Danny Mayor dancing into space against Rotherham


Argyle 0 

Rotherham United 1 
Smith 63 

A tight game between two top teams was ultimately decided by a Michael Smith strike just past the hour, giving leaders Rotherham three more valuable points in the promotion race. 

Argyle knocked on the door all afternoon but a combination of good goalkeeping, stubborn defending and an occasionally wayward shooting radar added up to a frustrating at the Theatre of Greens. 

Argyle boss Steven Schumacher made four changes from the midweek defeat at Cambridge, with Ryan Broom, Adam Randell, Niall Ennis and Luke Jephcott dropping to the bench. Captain Joe Edwards returned alongside Jordan Houghton, Jordon Garrick and Ryan Hardie, making his 100th appearance as a Pilgrim. 

Rotherham arrived at Home Park on a run of eight league games unbeaten and former Pilgrim Freddie Ladapo reacquainted himself with the Green Army by lashing a rising drive into the side-netting. 

Argyle found their attacking momentum with Danny Mayor popping up in pockets of space and one swift turn on the edge of the box led to a dipping half-volley that swerved away from the far post. 

Silky play from Houghton started the next foray, as he turned and fed a pass to Mayor, who shuffled the ball to Conor Grant for a cross met by the head of Garrick, and Rotherham ‘keeper Josh Vickers could only watch in hope as the effort struck the upright. 

Edwards was twice blocked from the rebound before Mayor curled into the arms of Vickers. Argyle’s number 10 was once again in electric form, forcing his way inside from the left for another strike flashed narrowly off target. 

The Millers were unable to cope with Mayor, who danced into space yet again for a scuttling shot palmed wide by Vickers. At the other end, a super challenge from James Bolton thwarted a Ladapo break. 

A searing drive from Ben Wiles then whistled past Mike Cooper’s right-hand post but the Argyle custodian was called into action from the next attack, quickly advancing to block a Ladapo shot with his legs. 

A fascinating first half ended with a Garrick curler sent wide from 25 yards, while Rotherham opened the restart with a swift break down the right and Smith’s low cross thankfully evaded everyone. 

The Greens responded with a Hardie surge down the middle but his square pass had just too much juice for Garrick to reach. Moments later, Hardie did find his strike-partner, who opened his foot for a bobbling effort steered inches wide. 

Ennis for Garrick was the first Argyle change on the hour, quickly followed by a double change from the Millers, who took the lead almost immediately, as Smith found space in the right channel and rifled a low finish back beyond Cooper. 

Ennis attempted the swift riposte with a shot charged down by Michael Ihiekwe and the Greens looked to freshen their ranks for the final 20 minutes, Panutche Camara withdrawn for Broom. 

Argyle then created arguably their best chance with Hardie brilliantly controlling a ball over the top from Bolton. He then cut back inside with Rotherham scrambling in retreat but the left-shot was dragged just wide. 

As the Pilgrims looked to throw men forward, a counter by Ladapo forced the best from Edwards in recovering to make a crucial challenge. A combination of Cooper and Bolton then did enough to repel a Smith shot.  

Back to Argyle, and Hardie beat the offside trap for a surge down the left but he was denied by an excellent save from Vickers. Jephcott for Houghton was the final roll of the Green dice. 

The Pilgrims kept on asking questions but the Rotherham defence just about had the answers to cling on for the win.  

Argyle (3-5-2): 1 Mike Cooper; 5 James Wilson, 2 James Bolton, 3 Macaulay Gillesphey; 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 28 Panutche Camara (7 Ryan Broom 72), 4 Jordan Houghton (31 Luke Jephcott 84), 10 Danny Mayor, 15 Conor Grant; 9 Ryan Hardie, 14 Jordon Garrick (11 Niall Ennis 59). Substitutes (not used): 25 Callum Burton (gk), 17 Steven Sessegnon, 20 Adam Randell, 33 Romoney Crichlow. 

Booked: Camara 26, Edwards 29 

Rotherham United (3-5-2): 31 Josh Vickers; 2 Wes Harding, 20 Michael Ihiekwe (capt), 3 Joe Mattock (21 Angus MacDonald 79); 11 Chiedozie Ogbene, 18 Oliver Rathbone, 4 Dan Barlaser (22 Hakeem Odoffin 61), 8 Ben Wiles, 17 Shane Ferguson (7 Jordi Osei-Tutu 61); 10 Freddie Ladapo, 24 Michael Smith. Substitutes (not used): 1 Viktor Johansson (gk), 6 Richard Wood, 16 Jamie Lindsay, 19 Joshua Kayode. 

Booked: Barlaser 25, Rathbone 82 

Attendance: 14,193 (689 away) 

Referee: Will Finnie