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16:55 5th March 2011

Plucky Plymouth down Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday suffered a home defeat at the hands of Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, going down 4-2 to the stricken Devon club.

The rock bottom Pilgrims - who entered administration on Friday - may have their fair share of problems but rose above the adversity at Hillsborough to take the long haul home with all three points.

Bondz N'Gala opened the scoring before Joe Mason made it two before half time. Owls substitute Giles Coke gave Wednesday hope in halving the arrears on the hour but Mason extended the lead before Yannick Bolasie put Plymouth out of sight.

Ex-Argyle defender Reda Johnson headed a late consolation but by that time, the contest was all but over.

Wednesday made abright start but it was Plymouth that forged the first shot of note seven minutes in when Stephane Zubar slammed a half volley into the side netting from a corner.

The Owls responded with a Gary Madine header that flicked the arm of Curtis Nelson in the box but the referee waved away Wednesday appeals for a penalty.

The ball was promptly at the other end, though - and in the back of the Owls' net. Kari Arnason did well down the right and his cross found its way to N'Gala on 12 minutes to drill home past Nicky Weaver a yard inside the area.

Wednesday were rocked and Bolasie forced a fine diving save from Weaver before the hosts came within a whisker of snatching an equaliser when a fierce shot from Gary Teale rattled the crossbar.

Teale then sent a delicious cross right into the danger zone that narrowly evaded both Madine and Chris Sedgwick as the Owls turned the screw.

But just as a leveller seemed inevitable, the Pilgrims burst upfield and doubled their advantage.

Arnason was again the architect, this time finding Rory Fallon in the box and the big striker nodded on for Mason to apply the finishing touch on the half-hour mark.

Owls v Plymouth

The scoreline was harsh on Wednesday, who nevertheless could and should have gone three down moments later when Onismor Bhasera nipped in to go one on one with Weaver but the Owls' keeper came out on top.

It was not the first time this season that the hosts gave themselves a mountain to climb in the second half and Gary Megson made three substitutions at the interval.

Coke, Jermaine Johnson and Clinton Morrison all came on but it was a Plymouth player that almost gave Wednesday a lift when Arnason mistimed a header back to his goalkeeper Romain Larrieu but recovered in time to hoof to safety.

The Owls pressed upfield with Plymouth on the back foot and after two more penalty claims were denied finally got on the scoresheet.

Richard Hinds found Coke in space and the midfielder powered on to launch an unstoppable drive past Larrieu on 61 minutes.

But just as a revival was on the cards, the visitors delivered a sucker punch four minutes later to effectively seal the points. Mason was allowed room in the penalty area to chest down and volley a sweet strike into the top corner of Weaver's net.

Bolasie added a final coating of gloss ten minutes from time for Plymouth with a 25-yard effort that flew into the back of the Leppings Lane net.

And although there was time with 85 minutes on the clock for Tommy Spurr to swing over an accurate corner that Reda Johnson headed home, it was a case of too little too late for the under par Owls.

Weaver, Hinds, Beevers, R Johnson, Spurr, Sedgwick (J Johnson 46), Miller, Palmer (Coke 46), Osbourne (Morrison 46), Teale, Madine

Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Potter, O'Connor, Heffernan

Plymouth: Larrieu, Paterson, Zubar, Nelson, N'Gala, Fletcher, Arnason, Bolasie, Bhasera, Mason, Fallon

Unused substitutes: Button, Patterson, Timar, Peterlin, Young, Duguid

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.