Hardie double sees Plymouth beat rivals Exeter

Hardie double sees Plymouth beat rivals Exeter

Ryan Hardie took his tally to nine goals for the season in all competitions

Two goals from substitute Ryan Hardie saw League One leaders Plymouth Argyle beat rivals Exeter City 4-2 in a high-quality Devon derby at Home Park.

Archie Collins put Exeter on the sidelines from close range, but the lead lasted just under two minutes before Morgan Whittaker’s well-taken equaliser.

Sam Nombe restored Exeter’s lead shortly after the break following fine work by Jay Stansfield, but again Plymouth hit back soon after thanks to Bali Mumba’s powerful long-range effort.

But substitute Hardie’s well-taken goal with 20 minutes remaining gave Argyle the lead for the first time, before the Scots calmly slotted in a pass from Whittaker late on to seal the bragging rights for the Devon green side.

Argyle’s ninth home league win in a row took them four points clear at the top of the table, while Exeter are in 10th place.

The meeting between the two Devon rivals was the first in more than three years, with fans from both sides making up for lost time with a raucous atmosphere at a packed Home Park.

Exeter, who left creative talisman Jevani Brown on the bench, had the better of the early exchanges as Stansfield saw a fourth-minute shot from eight yards blocked by Dan Scarr while his strike partner Nombe had a close-range header saved by Michael Cooper soon after. after.

Mumba had a shot in the 20th minute headed over for Argyle before Whittaker went close with a blocked effort.

Yet it was City who went ahead from the resulting corner as Stansfield broke down the left on the counterattack and his pass across the six-yard box found the unmarked Collins at the far post.

Argyle were immediately level when a delicate chip into the box by Adam Randell was superbly controlled by Swansea City loanee Whittaker before firing low into the far corner.

Exeter’s forwards looked dangerous throughout and they combined to put the Grecians ahead again when Stansfield capitalized on a mistake by Scarr before placing a perfectly weighted reverse pass to Nombe, who rounded Cooper and side-footed home.

Morgan Whittaker
Swansea City loanee Morgan Whittaker has added a third goal in his last four League One games to his two assists for Hardie

But again new manager Gary Caldwell’s side could not hold on to the lead as Joe Edwards pounced on a half-cleared corner before laying the ball to reigning EFL Young Player of the Month Mumba, who unleashed an unstoppable low drive from more than 25 yards. .

Exeter could have gone ahead three minutes before Hardie scored when Cooper made a fine low save from Collins’ effort from the edge of the box.

But when Hardie found the net, he did it in style – the superb Whittaker slotted a pinpoint pass through three Exeter defenders and the forward took a touch before firing past Jamal Blackman.

Harry Kite cracked Plymouth’s bar with a long range five minutes later but that was as good as it got in City’s pursuit of a late equalizer as Hardie latched onto another fine Whittaker pass before producing a deft finish to send the majority through. of the 16,500 fans packed into the ground in rapture.

Plymouth Argyles manager Steven Schumacher told BBC Sport:

“It was a good local derby, two teams were desperate to win it.

“I think it was played at a good pace and probably in good spirits too.

“They probably started better, won a few more second balls than we did early on and took the lead, and we responded brilliantly a minute later.

“The character our players have shown again to dig each other out of a bit of a mess and produce moments of quality to go on and win the game, that’s really good and I’m so happy for them.”

Exeter City manager Gary Caldwell told BBC Sport:

“I will never be happy with losing football matches, but I am really happy with the way the players performed.

“I felt we were in control of the game for large periods, they changed the shape to 4-4-2 and really opened up the game.

“That was the one part we could have been better at, at that point we could have controlled the game in the middle of the pitch with the congestion we had in there and we didn’t and we got penalized for that.”



Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Cooper
  • 5Wilson
  • 6Scar
  • 22Galloway
  • 8EdwardsSubstituted forLonwijkon 90′minutes
  • 20Randall
  • 4Houghton
  • 17MumbaSubstituted forGranton 90+1′minutes
  • 19WhittakerSubstituted forbutcheron 87′minutes
  • 11EnnisSubstituted forHardieon 62′minutes
  • 16Cosgrove


  • 7butcher
  • 9Hardie
  • 15Grant
  • 21Lonwijk
  • 25Burton
  • 44Jenkins-Davies
  • 48Isaka


Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 18Black man
  • 12Key
  • 26Sweeney
  • 5Hartridge
  • 2WhimsicalSubstituted forDiabeteson 64′minutes
  • 16DragonSubstituted forJayon 78′minutes
  • 8Collins
  • 3Sparked
  • 14DiengSubstituted forBrownon 64′minutes
  • 9Stansfield
  • 10Nombe


  • 6Harper
  • 7Jay
  • 15Chauke
  • 19Cox
  • 20Brown
  • 22Leeward
  • 39Diabetes

Charles Breakspear


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