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REPORT: Plymouth Argyle 2-1 Sky Blues

City fall to defeat at Home Park...

19 January 2019

The Sky Blues made the 220-mile trip to Devon to as they looked to improve on their away form, and they came up against an in-form Plymouth Argyle side who were unbeaten in their previous three Sky Bet League One fixtures.

The game started off quickly as the Sky Blues could have found themselves a goal up within the first five minutes.

Liam Kelly had the ball on the left side of the pitch and superbly picked out Luke Thomas with a cross-field ball. Thomas brought the ball down well and played in Bright Enobakhare who blazed past the defender into the box and got a low shot off, but Letheren in the Pilgrims goal was equal to his effort.

Only a minute later, Letheren was at it again - this time thwarting Jordy Hiwula’s close-range effort.

Thomas was the supplier once again, cutting the ball across the box from the byline for Hiwula to run onto and divert goalward. Letheren did not know much about it but got his body in the way to clear the danger.

Hiwula came close again just past the 10-minute mark. Thomas’ cross was deflected high into the air and Hiwula at the back post brilliantly controlled his volley that was destined for the top corner.

However, Ryan Edwards was in the ball’s path, and he had no choice but to stand there and take the ball to the face and deflect the winger’s effort.

City were on song in the opening stages of the game and needed a goal to capitalise on their dominance, and nearly got it.

Kelly again with another searching ball found Conor Chaplin who held off the last-ditch attempts of Niall Canavan. Chaplin was through one-on-one with the ‘keeper but his touch was heavy as he tried to round the oncoming Letheren, and the ball ran out of play.

The game died down a bit after the frantic first 15 minutes, and the Pilgrims popped up with a chance of their own. Graham Carey picked the ball up on the left wing, cut inside and curled an effort just over Lee Burge’s crossbar from 20 yards reminding the Sky Blues that for all of their dominance, they are in a game.

The Sky Blues fought back immediately with a chance of their own that forced Letheren into a good save.

Enobakhare blitzed through the midfield and slid Hiwula in behind Smith-Brown who entered the box and fired a low shot towards the bottom corner. Letheren got down quickly and diverted the ball away from danger.

With five minutes until half-time, the home side fashioned out possibly the best chance of the half.

Freddie Ladapo did well on the left and pulled the ball back to the edge of the box and found Ruben Lameiras in acres of space.

Lameiras opted to shoot first time and aimed for the Burge’s top-right corner but the ball flew high over Burge’s goal.

Minutes later, Hiwula was threatening again as he had the beating of his full-back every time. The winger drove at Smith-Brown and let a shot off that once again Letheren was equal to.

After dominating the balance of play, and for an inspired performance so far from the Pilgrims ‘keeper, the Sky Blues entered the first half still on level terms.


HALF-TIME: Sky Blues 0 – 0 Plymouth Argyle


The second half began as quickly as the first, and the Sky Blues were first to create an opening. Tom Bayliss played the ball to Chaplin who helped the ball into Thomas.

Thomas skipped past Gary Sawyer, played the ball into Chapin who laid the ball off for the winger on the edge of the box. Thomas let a shot fly but his effort was blocked.

With 10 minutes played of the second period, the Sky Blues were nearly makers of the own downfall. Kelly lost the ball on the edge of his own box and Sarcevic opted for a first-time volley from 20-yards out.

Burge easily gathered the attempt in the end.

Moments later, the Sky Blues were ahead and in emphatic style.

Enobakhare brilliantly won a freekick on the edge of the Pilgrims box following a foul from Ashley Smith-Brown, which saw the defender enter the referee’s book.

Chaplin stood up to take the freekick from a similar position to the one he scored away at Bradford, and the outcome was the same.

The striker fired the set-piece around the wall and into the top corner of Letheren’s goal. The goalkeeper could not do anything about it except push it against the underside of his crossbar and watch it ricochet into the back of the net.

However, the Sky Blues’ lead only lasted eight minutes as a half-volley from Ruben Lameiras from the left side of the box flew across Lee Burge and into the back of the net.

A further seven minutes later, and Lameiras was at it again and this time he fired the Pilgrims into the lead. The ball fell kindly to the midfielder whose low shot took a deflection on it’s way past Burge and into the Sky Blue net for a second time.

The Sky Blues were pushing for an equaliser and Chaplin nearly grabbed his second of the game but for the heroics of Kyle Letheren once again.

The striker was played in-behind the Pilgrims two central defenders and got his shot off. Letheren was quick off his line to thwart his effort.

With the game nearing its conclusion, City pushed the home side back and created a number of chances.

Conor Chaplin was causing the Pilgrims back line serious issues but every chance he had was superbly matched by Kyle Letheren who pulled of a superb performance in order to ensure that the three points did not leave Home Park.


FULL-TIME: Sky Blues 1 – 2 Plymouth Argyle


Sky Blues Xl: Lee Burge (GK), Jack Grimmer, Tom Davies, Dom Hyam, Brandon Mason (Sam McCallum ‘90+2), Liam Kelly (C), Tom Bayliss (Zain Westbrooke ’88), Luke Thomas, Bright Enobakhare, Jordy Hiwula (Jonson Clarke-Harris ’62), Conor Chaplin

Unused Subs: Corey Addai (GK), Michael Doyle, Jordan Shipley


Plymouth Argyle XI: Kyle Letheren (GK), Gary Sawyer (C), Yann Songo’o, Ryan Edwards, Antoni Sarcevic, David Fox, Graham Carey, Ruben Lameiras, Niall Canavan (Scott Wootton ’81), Freddie Ladapo (Ryan Taylor ‘90+5), Ashley Smith-Brown

Unused Subs: Matt Macey (GK), Joe Riley, Lionel Ainsworth, Oscar Threlkeld, Luke Jephcott


Yellow Cards: Antoni Sarcevic ’35, Brandon Mason ’42, Yann Songo’o ’46, Ashley Smith-Brown ‘55

Goals: Conor Chaplin ’55, Ruben Lameiras ’63, ‘70

Attendance: 10,686 (1,095 Sky Blues)

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