Sheff Wed's winless start goes on as Plymouth ease to victory

Ryan Hardie took his Championship goal tally to six as Plymouth kept bottom-placed Sheffield Wednesday winless with a 3-0 victory at Home Park.

Mustapha Bundu and Morgan Whittaker scored within a four-minute spell at the end of the first half to put Argyle 2-0 up and 70th-minute substitute Hardie added the gloss.

Winless Wednesday have now lost 10 of their opening 13 league games, with their new boss Danny Rohl suffering back-to-back defeats.

Whittaker came closest to putting Argyle ahead in the eighth minute when his delightful curling chip from outside the box from the right came back off the far post, having beaten diving keeper Cameron Dawson.

Wednesday responded well and should have scored when Josh Windass sent Anthony Musaba away down the right wing with a defence-splitting pass in the 27th minute.

Musaba raced into the Argyle penalty area and sent a thumping cross across the six-yard box but none of the Wednesday strikers could add a finishing touch.

Musaba’s next cross into the box, again from the right, was met by striker Lee Gregory, whose first time 31st-minute strike flew over, before Windass let fly with a 25-yard free-kick which fit-again keeper Michael Cooper took into his midriff.

Argyle countered with Bundu putting Whittaker in on goal. The Argyle playmaker was fouled just outside the area by Dominic Iorfa. From the free-kick Bundu let fly with an unstoppable shot that gave Dawson no chance as it flew into the top corner off the underside of the bar after 44 minutes.

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Mustapha Bundu scored a stunning free-kick to open the scoring for Plymouth in their 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Four minutes later Whittaker doubled Argyle’s advantage latching on to a back pass from Wednesday defender Pol Valentin before driving forward and then calmly slotting past stranded Dawson.

Argyle started the second half much as they had finished the first, on the front foot, with Kaine Kesler-Hayden teeing up Finn Azaz, whose shot on the run was well saved by Dawson in the 53rd minute.

From the corner the ball was passed to Whittaker, whose shot from outside the box flew just over.

At the other end Cooper did well to save from Windass, from the left hand-side of the penalty area, following a superb pass from Wednesday’s midfield lynchpin Barry Bannan.

As Argyle grew in confidence, Azaz let fly from distance, hitting a bouncing ball on the rise and producing another good save from Dawson.

Azaz was again denied by Dawson in the 67th minute as he tried to place the ball past the keeper, who made a superb one-handed stop, diving to his left to keep out the goal-bound shot.

Argyle surged further ahead following a lightning counter with Azaz drawing defenders before sliding a pass to Hardie, who finished with a low, first-time strike from just inside the box after 76 minutes.

The managers

Plymouth’s Steven Schumacher:

“Obviously delighted with the result, that is the all-important thing. We have played loads better the majority of this season and not won or got anything from the game. I didn’t feel as though we passed the ball anywhere near as well as we have. That’s probably credit to the opposition. I thought Sheffield Wednesday were really good, especially in the first half but we were clinical with our two chances late on (in the first half) and somehow managed to get ourselves into a 2-0 lead. It gave us something to hold on to and build from in the second half and I thought we were professional, and we did well. I am just delighted to have three points.

“I was expecting Morgan to take the free-kick but thankfully he didn’t. Mustapha stepped up and smashed it in off the crossbar. The goal came at a really good time for us because we had struggled through the first period and I am thinking of what to say at half-time. Then your team talk slightly changes because suddenly we are 2-0 up. We have to take it. It’s one of them, we can definitely play better than that but we take it going in 2-0 up at half-time. To get a 3-0 victory and a clean sheet at home is the main thing and we are buzzing with it.

Sheffield Wednesday’s Danny Rohl:

“We started well and controlled the game in the first 25, 30 minutes. We had a lot of high ball winning situations, we created chances and had a good chance at the far post and then we got a bit unlucky. It was a great free-kick and we then made a second mistake. We thought if we scored the next goal, we could get back in the game. We tried everything and conceded the third goal and the match is done. It is hard to speak about this defeat as we wanted to earn something, this was our big goal today and it is about the result and the result was not good.

“For me, I can see a direction we want to play but it is not about 25 minutes or 60 minutes, it is about 96 minutes to go for it. Now it is about recovery and we must go again on Sunday. It will be a tough race until the end of the season. We have to be ready for this and the players are ready for this. We have to start taking points. In the second half we tried something, we changed some players to try and create more offensive pace. Until this moment we tried everything and in the last 25 minutes we had some good shots and at the moment, it is not turning into a goal, it is going over or wide.”

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