Lino Sousa crosses the ball against WBA


Argyle 0

West Bromwich Albion 3
Kipre 61
Johnston 76
Fellows 90+1

A powerful second-half display was enough for West Bromwich Albion to take maximum points at Home Park.

The Greens matched their visitors throughout the first period but without really stretching the Baggies at the back, and the pattern swung fully in favour of West Brom after the break.

Cedric Kipre grabbed a crucial opener from close-range after a corner fizzed across the danger area and the Pilgrims had to accept defeat when Mickey Johnston doubled the lead with a sublime curling strike into the roof of the net. Tom Fellows added a late third to underline the victory.

Argyle boss Ian Foster made five changes from the weekend defeat to Leeds United, restoring Bali Mumba, Lino Sousa, Ryan Hardie, Darko Gyabi and Brendan Galloway in place of Julio Pleguezuelo, Jordan Houghton, Ben Waine, Matty Sorinola and Mickel Miller.

The Baggies arrived at Home Park in a play-off position and they demonstrated some early menace with Alex Mowatt ploughing through the midfield and fizzing a deflected shot on to the outside of the post for an early reprieve.

A superb recovery challenge from Galloway repelled the next foray forward by Jed Wallace and the Greens then settled into a more controlled period, moving the ball nicely across the park and a dart forward from Gyabi prompted a scruffy challenge by Nathaniel Chalobah and a polite penalty enquiry.

There was a pleasing tempo to the game but a lack of clear opportunities between two evenly-matches sides. Wallace had a volley charged down and a fierce drive from Andreas Weimann warmed the hands of Conor Hazard before a super surge down the left from Sousa resulted in an effort steered wide of the target.

Argyle entered half-time deservedly on level terms but the second-half objective was to test the skills of former Pilgrim loanee Alex Palmer in the West Brom goal, although the first opening fell to Weimann sneaking in behind the Pilgrim defence but he thankfully dragged the shot wide with Hazard narrowing the angles.  

Albion were cranking up the pressure and the Greens had a major let-off when a strike from Wallace was deflected on to the inside of the post and rolled across the goal-line. The follow-up cross was superbly cleared under pressure by Ashley Phillips.

Hazard then produced a top save to turn over a header from Chalobah but the subsequent corner led to a breakthrough, as the ball flashed across the six-yard box for Kipre to slot home with relative ease.

The goal arrived just a minute after Miller and Sorinola had replaced Mumba and Sousa, with the new men now looking to penetrate a notoriously thrifty West Brom defence in the final half-hour.

Argyle toiled in search of a leveller but there was no argument with West Brom’s second goal, as Johnston chopped inside from the right and the winger on loan from Celtic planted a fine finish into the top corner, giving Hazard no chance with the strike.

A triple change for the Greens saw the introduction of Houghton, Joe Edwards and Mustapha Bundu for Gyabi, Alfie Devine and Adam Randell but, in fairness to the Baggies, they were looking fairly impregnable as a defensive unit.

As the Greens threw men forward in search of a catalyst, West Brom broke forward and a clever cutback by Conor Townsend picked out Grady Diangana, who fired over the bar from a great position.

Six minutes of stoppage offered a crumb of hope for Argyle but this was a Home Park night that belonged to the visitors, as Fellows added a third from close range.

Argyle: 21 Conor Hazard, 2 Bali Mumba (29 Matty Sorinola 59), 3 Lina Sousa (14 Mickel Miller 59), 9 Ryan Hardie, 10 Morgan Whittaker (capt), 16 Alfie Devine (4 Jordan Houghton 79), 17 Lewis Gibson, 18 Darko Gyabi (8 Joe Edwards 79), 20 Adam Randell (15 Mustapha Bundu 79), 22 Brendan Galloway, 26 Ashley Phillips. Substitutes: 25 Callum Burton (gk), 5 Julio Pleguezuelo, 23 Ben Waine, 35 Freddie Issaka.

Booked: Mumba 57

West Bromwich Albion: 24 Alex Palmer; 2 Darnell Furlong (6 Semi Ajayi 82), 3 Conor Townsend, 4 Cedric Kipre, 7 Jed Wallace (capt), 14 Nathaniel Chalobah (35 Okay Yokuslu 65), 15 Erik Pieters, 17 Andreas Weimann (23 Michael Johnston 70), 19 John Swift (11 Grady Diangana 65), 27 Alex Mowatt (20 Adam Reach 82), 31 Tom Fellows. Substitutes: 33 Josh Griffiths (gk), 25 Callum Marshall, 26 Pipa.


Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 16,310 (1,201 away)