Argyle celebrate the opener against Peterborough


Argyle 2 
Azaz 30 
Hardie pen 65 

Peterborough United 0 

Argyle defied extraordinary heat to produce an outstanding display, full of energy, entertainment and quality all over the park. 

The reward was a terrific 2-0 victory over a strong Peterborough outfit, Finn Azaz opening the scoring after a fabulous move on the half-hour and Ryan Hardie confirmed the win with his second successful penalty of the season. 

A scorching Home Park began the afternoon in sombre fashion, paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the Keyham tragedy one year ago.  

Jordan Houghton returned to the Argyle midfield from last weekend’s last-gasp defeat at Fleetwood, with Matt Butcher on the bench, and the Pilgrims were seeking swift revenge over Posh after a much-changed home side lost 2-0 to the same opposition in the midweek Carabao Cup. 

Peterborough also opened their Sky Bet League One campaign with two wins and astute covering from James Wilson ensured Jack Marriott was unable to continue that momentum for the visitors. 

Great play down the left by Azaz ended with a pass into the box for Hardie, who almost wriggled free for a shot on goal before Macaulay Gillesphey cleared another dangerous thrust from Marriott. 

Hardie managed to spring the offside trap on 17 minutes but credit to Lucas Bergstrom for racing off his line to narrow the angle and repel the attempted lob. Argyle recycled the attack for a low Joe Edwards cross cleared at the near post. 

A clever move down the left gave Danny Mayor room for a right-footed drive across goal. The ball ricocheted to Bali Mumba, who saw his first-time effort saved by the legs of Bergstrom.  

Leading up to the drinks break, Argyle continued to dominate, as Joe Ward recovered to make a last-ditch block on Mayor in the left channel. 

The goal was coming and what a goal it was.  

A sublime move down the right involving Edwards, Hardie and Mayor sliced through the Posh defence. The ball was cut back to Azaz just inside the box and he steered a perfect finish into the near-post bottom corner.  

Prompted by the midfield assurance of Houghton and Adam Randell, Argyle were in complete control and playing with admirable intensity in such stifling conditions.  

Peterborough responded with their first serious chance of the half, Marriott quickly shifting the ball to his right for a low drive expertly saved by Mike Cooper down to his left.  

The relentless heat and a freshly-watered surface greeted the two sides for the second half and Peterborough manager Grant McCann was clearly not happy at the break, as he made four half-time substitutions. 

The immediate impact was Peterborough playing far higher up the pitch and Edwards took advantage with a delightful counter down the right, cutting the ball back for a Mayor shot beaten away by the fists of Bergstrom.  

Argyle’s first change arrived on the hour, Niall Ennis replacing Mayor, but the Greens were being forced into more defensive work, particularly in dealing with the lively runs of substitute Ricky-Jade Jones on the left. 

Joel Randell, another Posh replacement and a former Exeter man, danced across the edge of the box for a rising shot that was thankfully aimed straight at Cooper. 

The Pilgrims sorted the problem with a lovely trick from the impressive Mumba and Frankie Kent fell for it, tripping his man just inside the box. Hardie stepped forward and calmly rifled the spot-kick down the middle. 

Butcher for Randell was the next Argyle switch in the engine room and he soon shifted the ball wide to Edwards for a cross nodded wide by Hardie. The energy levels remained impressively high, as Hardie chased another channel-ball for a reverse pass to Butcher, who was unable to steer his effort wide of Bergstrom. 

Hardie and Mumba were given a well-earned rest for the final ten minutes, Morgan Whittaker and Nigel Lonwijk the replacements. The reshuffled Pilgrims calmly negotiated the closing stages for three richly-deserved points.  

Argyle: 1 Michael Cooper (gk); 3 Macaulay Gillesphey, 4 Jordan Houghton, 5 James Wilson, 6 Dan Scarr, 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 9 Ryan Hardie 19 Morgan Whittaker 83), 10 Danny Mayor (11 Niall Ennis 59), 17 Bali Mumba (21 Nigel Lonwijk 82), 18 Finn Azaz, 20 Adam Randell (7 Matt Butcher 70). Substitutes (not used): 25 Callum Burton (gk), 31 Luke Jephcott, 42 Jack Endacott. 

Booked: Wilson 82, Azaz 84 

Peterborough United: 1 Lucas Bergstrom (gk); 4 Ronnie Edwards (27 Joe Taylor H-T), 5 Josh Knight, 6 Frankie Kent, 8 Jack Taylor (26 Joel Randall H-T), 9 Jonson Clarke-Harris (capt), 14 Jack Marriott (17 Ricky-Jade Jones H-T), 16 Harrison Burrows, 22 Hector Kyprianou, 23 Joe Ward (22 Nathan Thompson H-T), 24 Ben Thompson (7 Jeando Fuchs 70). Substitutes (not used): 40 Will Lakin (gk), 21 Joe Tomlinson. 

Booked: Ben Thompson 48, Knight 78 

Attendance: 13,307 (367 away) 

Referee: Tom Reeves