Plymouth Argyle 2-0 Lincoln City FA Cup Match Report

Ben Reeves scored a contender for goal of the tournament as Plymouth Argyle beat fellow League One side Lincoln City in the FA Cup second round.

Luke Jephcott had put the hosts 1-0 up in the early stages with a well-placed header from a cross from George Cooper to score his 8th goal of the season.

The home side then had to deal with a sustained amount of possession as Lincoln pushed to get back into the tie.

But a sublime volley from Reeves early in the second half was enough to see Argyle into the third round for the first time since the 2016/17 season.

Argyle made three changes following their 1-0 loss against Peterborough

It took just five minutes for Argyle to take the lead with their only notable effort on goal in the first half. George Cooper delivered an inswinging corner which was met by the head of Jephcott who evaded his marker to head the ball across goal and into the bottom corner.

Argyle were without star man Danny Mayor who they often rely on to unlock teams and in the first half, their midfield struggled to get on the ball and create any danger for the Lincoln backline.

That allowed for the visitors to have the majority of the possession, but they struggled to break down the Pilgrims defence who had conceded eight goals in their last three games.

They came closest to leveling the scores in the 43rd minute. Robbie Gotts was allowed time and space to shoot from 25 yards out, his shot was parried by Michael Cooper directly to striker Anthony Scully. But the poacher couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet to trouble the goalkeeper.

It remained one-way traffic after the break as Lincoln, who had made six changes, pressed in an attempt to find a way back into the game.

However, the intensity of the Lincoln game plan left spaces at the back, and it was Argyle who nearly doubled the lead in the 50th minute.

Joe Edwards collected the ball and charged 60 yards before laying off talisman Frank Nouble. But his left-footed effort was well saved by former Argyle keeper Alex Palmer.

But four minutes later Palmer found himself picking the ball out of the back of the net following a stunning strike from Reeves.

Argyle had had a free-kick that was flicked away only as far as Nouble who nonchalantly teed the ball up to Reeves. The midfielder who had signed as a free agent in the summer sweetly powered the ball into the top left corner on the volley from 25 yards out to score his second goal for the club.

Imps manager Michael Appleton changed his side’s formation and brought on more attackers to give his side some hope of remaining in the competition.

But Harry Anderson, Brennan Johnson, and James Jones were all denied by Cooper in the dying stages as the young keeper produced a heroic performance.

In stoppage time Pilgrims substitute Ryan Hardie had two opportunities to score his first goal in six games. But he was denied by Palmer from just 6 yards out and then from a direct free-kick as his frustration in front of goal continued.

A much-needed win for Argyle will give the side confidence on the back of two successive defeats. The Pilgrims will be looking to emulate this performance on Tuesday night when they host Rochdale in the league.

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