Birmingham Vs Plymouth – A clear order is born out of chaos. Well, the saying is true this time compared to last year.
Birmingham Vs Plymouth
As long as there are no unpleasant surprises at the end of the transfer window from Hong Kong, the Blues have reason to be optimistic about the new campaign.
Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 3 Plymouth Argyle 0
They scored five goals in the second friendly and looked a huge, clinical threat from various parts of the pitch but admitted they could not play fast and loose but had to be safe.
Granted, Plymouth barely managed to stay in the Football League last season and are likely to be relegated this season.
The Blues hit them in the same devastating, sustained, dynamic way they disposed of Bury 5-1 last Tuesday, but with professional discretion.
Nathan Redmond scored the first two goals of the first half (34, 41 minutes), Chris Burke easily scored the third (55), and then Peter Lowenkrands showed his classy scoring ability (59, 64).
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Clarke admitted he wasn’t too enamored with his team until they discussed things at halftime.
“What I like about them is that in the first half we didn’t do what we wanted to do, but we still got into a position where we created three or four good chances and scored two goals,” he said.
“At half-time we said there were one or two areas we needed to liven up and we did that in the second half.
“In the first 20 minutes of the second half, we increased the tempo and quality of our game, scored three more good goals and created other chances.
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“I was looking for us to play more up front in terms of putting pressure on Plymouth. If you do that, if they get enough of the ball, I think we’ve got players who can hit back.
Stephen Carr and Colin Doyle return to an unchanged starting line-up, taking part in the battle with Clarke earlier this season.
Redmond on the left wing gives the Blues an even more dangerous forward strike and perhaps better balance. He did not lose sight of the goal, another plus for the team.
With Burke causing problems at the other end – he turned Redmond into a good opener after a well-placed move – and Hayden Mullins anchoring things in the middle, the Blues will find it difficult to hold on completely.
Gallery: Plymouth Argyle 4 2 Cheltenham Town
Levenkrands benefited from this approach to the game, again grabbing a brace and looking dangerous in and around the box. And Marlon King’s hard work, setting him and others up without the reward of goals like last season, is a feature that helps bring the unit together.
PLYMOUTH: Gilmartin, Nelson, Williams, Perce, Blanchard, Young, Wotton (Lennox, 58), Hourihane, Feeney (Cowan Hall, 58), Chadwick (Lecoint, 77), Guerrieri. Not used: Cole, Chenoweth, Sims, Richards, Kopp, Wassell.
Blues: Doyle, Carr, Murphy (Naylor 73), Davies (Packwood 79), Caldwell (Pablo 69), Burke, Mullins (Gomis 69), Ambrose (Carter 73), King (Zizik 69), Lovenkrands (Rooney 69), Redmond (Elliott 69). Not used: Jervis, Damon, Lucas.
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Match Preview Plymouth Argyle Fc Vs Birmingham City Fc ⚽ . 2017 08 20
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Preview: Blues V Plymouth Argyle
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Birmingham City were deservedly knocked out of the FA Cup by mighty Plymouth Argyle, which reduced the disparity between the teams’ league status.
Birmingham City Vs. Plymouth Argyle (3rd Round) (fa Cup) (1/8/22)
The only surprise is that the League One side needed extra time to beat a Championship side who lacked innovation with so many creative players injured.
A 22-7 hurling score in favor of Plymouth was an accurate indicator of events at St Andrews and Ryan Lowe’s 104th minute winner was a deserved victory.
The Blues were not helped by the fact that they played in ten men for over three-quarters of an hour after George Friend picked up two yellow cards in the space of ten minutes.
Lee Boyer started with four backs and a diamond in midfield, handing full debuts to Taden Mengy in central defense and Tate Campbell in midfield.
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The Manchester United loanee acquitted himself in a dreadful first half which ended 0-0 but could easily have seen the visitors take the lead midway through.
Mangy had the Blues’ only shot on target in the first 45 minutes and Mike Cooper had no trouble heading home a Ryan Woods corner.
Neil Etheridge was the biggest goal threat and the Blues keeper looked unsure at times, even making a sharp save when Ryan Hardy tried to round him in the 25th minute.
Adam Randall missed the empty net from long range after Etheridge took a shot straight at him.
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Ten minutes before the break, Danny Meier broke into the Blues’ area but fired low, before Jordan Garrick blocked Christian Pedersen’s header but left-footed it into the top corner.
Etheridge was wide of the net to block Garrick’s effort from eight yards and he produced an even better save when Joe Edwards denied Garrick with just quarter of an hour remaining.
The goalkeeper was left helpless when a corner fell to Connor Grant at the back post in the 78th minute.
Woodwork came to their rescue with five minutes remaining when Niall Ennis fired home a free-kick from close range and the rebound was too hot for Garrick to convert.
Plymouth Argyle’s Paul Gallagher (left) And Birmingham City’s David Murphy Battle For The Ball Stock Photo
The Blues’ goal continued to live a charmed life when Grant’s cheeky shot went wide with three minutes to go.
The magic lasted until the 14th minute of added time when Steve Schumacher’s men finally created a magical moment.
Argyle went ahead when the ball was played to Lowe on the left, who took a few touches before curling a deflected shot into the corner of the net.
Chuks Aneke had a chance to equalize eight minutes in after Alfie Chong’s pass down the left wing, but his low shot went wide.
Plymouth Argyle 0, Birmingham City 5
We’ve become used to Matija Sarkic sneaking neatly in behind a defender this season, Etheridge looked uncomfortable trying to get past Ryan Hardy in the 25th but he pulled off a superb save.