EFL

West Brom strengthen hold on fifth with comfortable victory at Plymouth

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024

West Brom strengthened their hold on fifth place in the Championship as they bounced back with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Plymouth.

The Baggies suffered defeat at promotion contenders Southampton on Friday but came out fighting on Tuesday night, with all three goals coming in the final 30 minutes from Cedric Kipre, substitute Mikey Johnston and Tom Fellows.

West Brom’s Alex Mowatt went close in the third minute with a goal-bound angled drive from range that took a deflection, off a home defender and onto the post.

Although the subsequent corner was cleared, it needed a superb sliding tackle from recalled defender Brendan Galloway to deny visiting skipper Jed Wallace as he homed in on goal a minute later.

In Argyle’s first serious attack, 18-goal top scorer Morgan Whittaker’s cross was cleared but only as far as incoming midfielder Adam Randell, who let fly with a thumping 20-yard first-timer that flew just wide.

Mowatt’s inswinging corner had to be punched off the goal-line by home goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

Hazard made a superb 28th-minute save to keep out Andreas Weimann’s thunderous strike on the bounce after a clever aerial through ball from playmaker Wallace down the right.

The hosts countered with right wing-back Lino Sousa firing over from their next attack.

Home defender Bali Mumba did well to block Weimann’s 36th-minute volley as the ball was looped back into the area from the right by Wallace.

West Brom started the second half as they finished the first – on the attack.

Weimann went close with an angled shot on the run as he latched on to a defence-splitting through ball from Fellows from the right.

The striker let fly with a first-time strike as he swerved to beat his marker, but the shot flew just wide of goal, with the diving Hazard beaten.

Albion hit the post again seven minutes after the break as under-pressure Plymouth failed to clear their lines following another corner.

The ball was headed back across goal by Nathaniel Chalobah, while Wallace, who was just inside the area, sent in a shot that crashed off the foot of the post and across the goal-line.

Just after the hour mark, West Brom’s pressure paid off as unmarked Kipre had time to left-foot the ball home from close range at the far post as Argyle failed to clear John Swift’s corner from the right.

Albion’s Conor Townsend fired in an audacious long-range effort that flew over from 30 yards in the 73rd minute.

In their next meaningful attack, Baggies substitute Johnston fired the away side 2-0 ahead with a brilliant solo effort after 76 minutes.

Johnston cut in from the left, into the box, and beat his marker Matthew Sorinola before thrashing a rising shot past Hazard and into the far corner.

Substitute Grady Diangana fired over from inside the box from Townsend’s 87th-minute cutback as Albion went in search of a third goal.

That came in the first minute of stoppage time as Wallace’s low shot was saved by Hazard, who could not hold onto the ball, and Fellows followed up to slot home.

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