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Match Reports

Plymouth 3 Pompey 1

Hackett goal not enough for Blues against promotion chasers

11 February 2023

Owen Dale in action for Pompey at Plymouth Argyle
Photo: Graham Hunt/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Plymouth 3 Pompey 1

Hackett goal not enough for Blues against promotion chasers

11 February 2023

Reeco Hackett came off the bench to grab a late goal, but Pompey could not complete a comeback at high-flying Plymouth.

They dominated possession for much of the contest, only for the promotion-chasing Pilgrims to create the better chances.

Sam Cosgrove opened the scoring in the first half and Finn Azaz added to their lead in the second to leave them cruising.

But Hackett slammed home to set-up a nervy finale and Argyle were nervously clinging on until Ryan Hardie netted deep into stoppage-time.

John Mousinho was forced to make one change from the side that drew with Barnsley on home soil the previous week.

With keeper Matt Macey suffering from illness, Josh Oluwayemi replaced him between the sticks, opening up a place for teenager Toby Steward on the bench.

Plymouth were also without their regular stopper after Mike Cooper suffered a season-ending injury, with Callum Burton replacing him.

There was a minute’s silence before kick-off, giving everyone the opportunity to pay their respects to those affected by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

It was the home side who made the brighter start to the contest and Pompey had to weather an early storm.

They almost fell behind after an untimely Ryley Towler slip let in Hardie, who cut a pass back for Cosgrove.

His shot was parried by Oluwayemi, but the ball remained right in the mixer and Towler made a brilliant recovery block to stop it ending up in the net.

But the Blues gradually began to settle and were dominating both possession and territory, showcasing some neat passing.

And they came close to breaking the deadlock 23 minutes, with Owen Dale finding Joe Morrell, who could not quite lift the ball over Burton.

Instead, just a few seconds later, it was the Pilgrims who scored, as Mickel Miller’s deflected shot was pushed out by Oluwayemi and Cosgrove followed up to finish from a few yards out.

Hardie soon had the ball in the back of the net again, although this time the flag had long since been raised for offside.

The visitors again worked their way into the ascendency, but were unable to turn their possession into clear-cut chances.

There was an audacious Marlon Pack attempt from the halfway line, with the shot not quite dipping quickly enough.

And Argyle had an opportunity before the break, with Oluwayemi beating away Cosgrove’s effort and Connor Ogilvie hacking away the loose ball.

Half Time: Plymouth 1 Pompey 0

The hosts might have doubled their advantage straight after the restart, but Di’Shon Bernard was well positioned on the line to stop Callum Wright converting Miller’s delivery.

Pompey were working hard to try get back into the game as the half progressed, while Plymouth caused problems on the break.

And when they stole possession in the centre, Wright was sent racing through on goal, with Oluwayemi getting down quickly to deny him.

Mousinho freshened things up just past the hour mark, with Michael Jacobs replaced by Dane Scarlett in the forward line.

The Tottenham loanee immediately troubled the opposition defence with some tricky footwork, although Dale was unable to turn his low cross on target.

Argyle then threatened at the other end of the pitch, with Oluwayemi keeping out an angled attempt from Cosgrove.

Mousinho responded with a double change, as Paddy Lane and Reeco Hackett came on for Dale and Ryan Tunniliffe.

But it was a Pilgrims substitute who made a big impact on 70 minutes, with Azaz nipping into win possession and slot into the net to double their lead.

It was a breathless period of the game and the home side then survived an almighty scramble in the box, with the ball pinging about, but Pompey unable to force it over the line.

The visitors had certainly not given up and were being backed brilliantly by a noisy sold out away end.

And they were rewarded for their support on 79 minutes, with HACKETT lashing home a left-footed shot after Lane’s corner had been helped on by both Ogilvie and Colby Bishop.

The action was still refusing to die down and Argyle were next to have a chance, with Oluwayemi diving to his left to push clear Hardie’s curler.

Joe Pigott and Denver Hume then came on for Morell and Ogilvie, as the Blues tried to find another goal.

They sent some dangerous balls into the box and created some nervy moments for the hosts, but there was to be no late leveller.

And instead Plymouth took advantage of Pompey committing so many men forward, with Hardie lifting home a neat finish following a quick break.

Plymouth (3-4-1-2): Burton; Lonwijk, Wilson, Gillesphey; Edwards (c) (Bolton 88), Randell (Matete 49), Butcher, Miller (Mumba 66); Wright (Azaz 66); Cosgrove, Hardie
Goals: Cosgrove 24, Azaz 70, Hardie 90+5
Booked: Butcher, Matete
Subs not used: Parkes, Mayor, Waine

Pompey (4-3-3): Oluwayemi; Bernard, Raggett, Towler, Ogilvie (Hume 85); Tunnicliffe (Hackett 68), Pack (c), Morrell (Pigott 85); Dale (Lane 68), Bishop, Jacobs (Scarlett 61)
Goals: Hackett 79
Booked: Raggett, Bishop
Subs not used: Steward, Thompson

Referee: Simon Mather

Attendance: 16,734 (1,599 Pompey fans)

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