Argyle hand Sheffield Wednesday another 3-0 Home Park defeat
Plymouth Argyle handed out another 3-0 Home Park defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, this time in a FA Cup first round replay.
The Pilgrims continued their superb form this season with another hugely impressive win, which featured tremendous counter attacking play and solid defending.
Goals from Jordon Garrick and Ryan Hardie had Argyle firmly in control by half-time.
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Garrick, the loan signing from Swansea City, then made it 3-0 in the 67th minute, which matched the scoreline of the League One meeting between the sides in September.
It was more excellent entertainment for an 11,000-plus crowd under the floodlights at the Theatre of Greens as the Pilgrims proved far too strong for the Owls at both ends of the pitch.
It is Rochdale next for Argyle in an ITV televised second round tie on Sunday, December 5 after the League Two side grabbed a late goal to win 2-1 at National League club Notts County.
Ryan Lowe went with an unchanged starting line-up from the 4-1 League One win away to Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Striker Luke Jephcott was again an absentee, playing instead for Wales under-21s in their 1-0 defeat by Switzerland in a 2023 European Championship qualifier at Rodney Parade, Newport, earlier in the day.
FA Cup rules allow clubs to name up to nine substitutes, rather than seven as is the case for EFL games.
Added to the bench for the visit of Wednesday were Danny Mayor, who was ruled out against Accrington by illness, and the fit-again George Cooper.
Injury-hit Wednesday named only six substitutes, including goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who kept a clean sheet for Northern Ireland in their 0-0 draw with Italy in Belfast on Monday night.
The Owls had an early chance to open up the Argyle defence after some excellent close control from Saido Berahino.
The striker spotted Dennis Adeniran was clear of any Pilgrims’ players to his right but over-hit his pass and it ran through to Mike Cooper.
The Argyle ‘keeper had to make an excellent save in the ninth minute to prevent Florian Kamberi from giving the visitors the lead.
Barry Bannan clipped the ball into the Argyle penalty area and a stretching Dan Scarr could not clear it properly.
The ball dropped to striker Florian Kamberi and his close range shot was parried away brilliantly by Cooper.
Moments later, Wednesday defender Jaden Brown got in an angled shot from the edge of the box but it was deflected wide for a corner off the head of Scarr.
Kamberi then had a shot deflected narrowly wide for a corner, although referee Chris Sarginson gave Argyle a goal kick rather than a corner to the visitors.
So it was against the run of play that the Pilgrims opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a fine finish from Garrick.
Wednesday defender Jaden Brown was caught in possession of the ball inside Argyle territory and Ryan Hardie started a swift counter attack.
Hardie played the ball outside to midfielder Panutche Camara who crossed it inside to Garrick and he had time to control the ball before sending a low shot past ‘keeper Joe Wildsmith.
It was superb, unselfish play from Camara, who ran along the front of the Mayflower Grandstand as he celebrated the goal.
Argyle almost doubled their lead from another superb break instigated by Camara in the 29th minute.
Camara played in Conor Grant and the left wing-back got in a powerful shot which was beaten away by Wildsmith and cleared out for a corner.
Argyle did get a second goal in the 36th minute, though, when Camara won the ball back on the edge of the Wednesday penalty area.
Camara passed to Hardie, who squeezed a shot past Wildsmith and the ball went into the net off the inside of the right post for his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.
Grant later had a 20-yard shot parried away by Wildsmith as Argyle went in search of a third goal before half-time.
However, there was also a good opportunity for the Owls to score in the 42nd minute when a poor pass from Cooper gifted them possession.
Bannan threaded a pass through to Kamberi whose left foot shot was deflected high and wide for a corner by a great block from Scarr.
Wednesday had plenty of possession early in the second half, with Bannan always at the heart of their attacking play.
Brown was the first player to be booked by Sarginson for as 56th minute foul on James Wilson before Berahino was replaced by substitute Theo Corbeanu.
Wednesday had three corners in a row as they tried to find a way back into the game but Argyle dealt with them well defensively.
The Pilgrims then tightened their grip on the first round replay with a second goal of the game from Garrick in the 67th minute.
When a long ball was played forward, Wildsmith came sliding out to the edge of his penalty area and carried the ball over the line.
The Wednesday ‘keeper then let go of the ball and Garrick sent a shot into the unguarded net, with Wildsmith booked by Sarginson for handball as Argyle celebrated their third goal.
Garrick did not get a chance to go on and complete a hat-trick as he was replaced by Kieran Agard in the 71st minute.
Broom left the pitch soon afterwards with Mayor sent on as the substitute for him.
Agard had a low shot pushed wide for a corner by Wildsmith after another blistering counter attack led by Camara, who was hurt by a challenge on him but returned to the action after treatment.
Adam Randell was a late substitute for Jordan Houghton in the midfield holding role as the Pilgrims eased their way to victory.
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