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Plymouth Argyle 0 Rovers 3

23 September 2017

Andy Butler, John Marquis and Alfie May were on the scoresheet as Rovers romped to victory at Plymouth Argyle.

Butler’s first-half header was added to after the break by the two forwards, as Darren Ferguson’s side put together the complete away performance to run out 3-0 victors.


Marquis swept the ball home after Luke McCormick could not hold Joe Wright’s header or May’s follow-up, then May got the goal his performance deserved when he deftly turned Rodney Kongolo’s cross.


May had another effort chalked off as Rovers took complete control, and saw out the match comfortable as the home side had Sonny Bradley sent off.


Ferguson reverted to a 4-4-2 after the midweek Carabao Cup loss at Arsenal, with Marquis coming back into the line-up at the expense of Rodney Kongolo.


Rovers started well, with Marquis going closest with efforts which went wide and were blocked.


The No.9 was causing problems, with Gary Miller booked after pulling him back just outside the area – James Coppinger almost made the home side pay double from the free-kick, with his set-piece curling just over a top corner.


Marquis and May had efforts blocked before the visitors went ahead with 19 minutes on the clock.


Matty Blair did brilliantly to win a corner with a run down the right, with his pull-back intercepted. Coppinger’s set-piece found May, whose shot was tipped onto the bar by Luke McCormick but the ball fell for Butler to stoop and head in the opening goal.


McCormick, carrying an Achille/calf injury, needed some treatment after taking a knock in the set-piece, meaning a short delay.


The goal opened up the game, with the home side going close with an Antoni Sarcevic effort which looked destined for the top left corner of the net, but instead landed just over it.


The home side needed to come forward, which suited Rovers as they counter attacked with severe crosses from the right finding Marquis just intercepted in the nick of time. Ruben Lameiras joined Miller in the book after taking down the No.9.


Yann Songo’o was booked after a foul on Jordan Houghton left the on-loan Chelsea man needing treatment, with the midfielder also shown the yellow card for his reaction.


Plymouth made one change at the break, with David Fox coming on for Songo’o, while Rovers remained unchanged. The home side matched Rovers up with a midfield diamond.


Argyle were clearly fired up as they pushed for an equaliser, with May picking up an early booking as he tries to win the ball back.


But Rovers defended resolutely, with Ben Whiteman getting a snapshot away after 53 minutes – it was straight into the arms of McCormick, but was the first chance of the half.


A double change for Rovers came shortly afterwards, with . Matty Blair and Ben Whiteman coming off and Harry Toffolo and Rodney Kongolo entering the fray.


Rovers doubled their advantage with half an hour to play, with a corner from Coppinger again causing the damage. The Rovers captain won the set-piece, then delivered a great cross which met the head of Joe Wright - the defender’s header was straight at McCormick, but he could not hold it, nor could he keep hold of the ball after May’s shot and Marquis swept the ball home.


Derek Adams made a double change for the home side , with two wingers coming on. Gregg Wylde and Lionel Ainsworth came on, with Miller and Jamie Ness off.


May almost made it 3-0 moments later. Coppinger was allowed too much space and he stung the palms of McCormick with a shot which he could not hold – May slotted the ball into a bottom corner, but the assistant’s flag was up so it did not count.


May got the goal his performance deserved after 73 minutes. Kongolo’s cross found the run of May, who deftly turned the ball into the bottom left corner befogging running off to the Rovers fans behind the goal in celebration.


Rovers had won the match by this point, but their task was made easier after 79 minutes when Sonny Bradley was shown a straight red after tangling with Butler in the area.


Ferguson mad one last change, with Liam Mandeville replacing Coppinger for the final stages.


The final 10 minutes were a training ground exercise for Rovers, who took advantage of the extra man to see the game out without any real scares.

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