Plymouth Argyle pick up their first League Two win of the season
CHELTENHAM TOWN 1 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 3
PLYMOUTH Argyle went on a first half goal spree as they beat Cheltenham at Whaddon Road on Saturday.
The Pilgrims picked up their first League Two win of the season, at the third attempt, after running riot before the break.
Goals from Marvin Morgan, Conor Hourihane and Rommy Boco put them in total control.
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Cheltenham did cut the deficit to 3-1 with a free-kick from Matt Richards in the 72nd minute but Argyle were not to be denied their victory.
They went into the match without goalkeeper Jake Cole because of an ankle injury so Luke McCormick was recalled.
Andrew Hannah, a 16-year-old apprentice from Ilfracombe, provided the goalkeeping cover on the substitutes' bench.
McCormick had started the season-opening 1-0 defeat at Southend United on August 3.
However, Cole played in the subsequent two matches and his injury was a closely kept secret before Argyle arrived at Whaddon Road.
There was one other change for the Pilgrims from the 2-0 home defeat by Fleetwood Town last Saturday.
Guy Branston made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a calf injury and Andre Blackman dropped down to the bench.
Branston played at centre-back with Neal Trotman which meant Curtis Nelson moved to right-back.
That led to another positional change, with Durrell Berry taking over from Blackman at left-back.
Boco had an early chance when he fired the ball over the crossbar from 20 yards after he was set up by striker Reuben Reid.
Cheltenham then had a decent opportunity to take the lead in the 11th minute after some slack defending from the Pilgrims.
Byron Harrison cut the ball back to his strike partner Steven Gillespie and his weak shot was easily stopped by McCormick.
Hourihane had a curling 25-yard free-kick saved by Scott Brown soon afterwards.
The first goal of the contest came in the 17th minute and it was the Pilgrims who finally opened their account for the season.
Boco put in an excellent left-wing cross and Trotman powered a header against the bar.
The ball rebounded to Morgan, the summer signing from Shrewsbury Town, and he guided the ball into the net from close range
It was Argyle's first league goal since the 2-1 away win against Chesterfield on April 16.
And it was followed by another one in the 26th minute as Hourihane put the Pilgrims further ahead.
The Irish midfielder drilled a low 20-yard shot past Brown and into the bottom corner of the net.
It came after a cross from midfielder Lewis Alessandra which was not cleared properly by Cheltenham defence.
Argyle then went 3-0 up in the 37th minute through Boco, the close season recruit from Accrington Stanley.
Referee Charles Breakspear played a good advantage after a foul on Alessandra and Reid put Boco clear with a superb defence-splitting pass.
Boco took the ball in his stride and emphatically fired left-footed past Brown.
Gillespie sent one curling shot narrowly wide of the far post as it remained 3-0 to the Pilgrims until half-time.
Cheltenham should have cut the deficit within the first minute of the start of the second period.
A deep cross from Russell Penn found winger Jermaine McGlashan and, from inside the six-yard box, ne blasted the ball over the bar.
That was a real let-off for Argyle and a warning that Cheltenham were not out of the match yet.
Cheltenham had a lot of the possession, although Hourihane went close to getting another goal with a 20-yard shot in the 58th minute.
McCormick then comfortably saved a long-distance drive from Richards.
Reid had a powerful shot parried away by Brown in the 64th minute after he outpaced centre-back Steve Elliott and broke into the penalty area.
Argyle's first substitution came in the 68th minute when Reid was replaced by Tyler Harvey.
Morgan fired narrowly wide of the near post before Richards scored for Cheltenham in the 72nd minute.
He scored with a 30-yard free-kick past an unsighted McCormick after a foul by Morgan.
Cheltenham pushed forward with renewed determination after that but Argyle defended solidly and there were no further scares for them for the rest of the match.
At the third time of asking, the Pilgrims had picked up the first win of their League Two campaign.
It was a much-improved all round performance from the Pilgrims, but Branston, Hourihane and Morgan all had particularly good games.
CHELTENHAM: Scott Brown; Sido Jombati, Steve Elliott, Troy Brown, Craig Braham-Barrett; Sam Deering (Zack Kotwica 56 mins), Russell Penn, Matt Richards, Jermaine McGlashan; Byron Harrison (Bobbie Dale 82 mins), Steven Gillespie (Ashley Vincent 66 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Keith Lowe, Jason Taylor, Connor Roberts (gk), Ryan Inniss.
ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Curtis Nelson, Neal Trotman, Guy Branston, Durrell Berry; Lewis Alessandra (Andres Gurrieri 90 +3 mins), Dominic Blizzard (Luke Young 90 +4 mins), Conor Hourihane, Rommy Boco; Reuben Reid (Tyler Harvey 68 mins), Marvin Morgan.
Substitutes (not used): Jamie Richards, Ben Purrington, Andrew Hannah (gk).
REFEREE: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)
ATTENDANCE: 3,460 (892 away)
GOALS – Cheltenham: Richards 72 mins; Argyle: Morgan 17 mins, Hourihane 26 mins, Boco 37 mins