A dominant performance from Fleetwood Town will be a wake-up call for Ryan Lowe’s high-flying Pilgrims.
The match, which saw Plymouth Argyle make all five substitutions before the start of the second half, always looked like it would only end one way.
Goals from Sam Finley, Wes Burns, Charlie Mulgrew and a brace from Callum Camps made it seem like men against boys.
A consolation goal from Luke Jephcott did little for the Pilgrims and an injury time sending off for Niall Canavan rubbed salt into the wounds.
Joey Barton’s side, full of confidence, climb up to seventh in League One.
Story of the match
Argyle got events underway and had a chance to strike early. Byron Moore sent a low cross into the box, with Dom Telford at the near post the target. The striker got a foot to it, but the stab was blocked by a Fleetwood defender.
Fleetwood opened accounts in the third minute. Panutche Camara was dispossessed by Finley who ran from deep before firing outside the box. A deflection helped his effort over Argyle custodian Mike Cooper.
The Trawlermen doubled their lead three minutes later. A headed flick on, courtesy of Paddy Madden, landed at the feet of Camps in the Pilgrims’ box who managed to get the ball past Cooper before slotting the ball in the empty net.
Argyle didn’t look disheartened, though, having a chance of their own soon after. A first time pass from Telford found Danny Mayor on the left flank. The Pilgrims’ talisman drove into the box, forcing a save from Jayson Leutwiler.
A short spell of possession followed for Argyle, but nothing came of it before Fleetwood reclaimed the reins.
A fine save from Cooper in the 32nd minute kept any hope of an Argyle comeback alive, as he dove low to meet Josh Morris’ curling effort from the edge of the box.
This hope soon died as Fleetwood went three goals to the good late on in the half. Camps started off the attack with a clever roulette around Mayor, a ball over the defence played Burns in behind where he lifted the ball over Cooper before running off in celebration.
A triple substitution at half time for Argyle saw Jerome Opoku, Conor Grant and Dom Telford make way for Niall Canavan, Ryan Hardie and Luke Jephcott.
However, it was much of the same in the second half as Fleetwood remained in flow state.
Mulgrew headed in Fleetwood’s fourth in the 54th minute. A free kick on the left-hand side, swung in by Morris, was met by the centre-back in the six-yard box.
It seemed Camps missed his opportunity to grab a second after being played through one-on-one in the box but placing his shot the wrong side of the post.
He soon rectified this, collecting Moore’s lacklustre clearance on the edge of the box before rifling a shot into the roof of the net – bringing Fleetwood’s total to five.
Jephcott managed to limit damages to Argyle’s goal difference late into the match. Frank Nouble’s first time cross was met by the Wales U21 international who volleyed home.
Canavan caused more headaches for the Pilgrims, receiving a second yellow in injury time for a poor challenge on striker Ched Evans.
Takeaways from the match
Argyle are a different side when they are away
Argyle are yet to win away from home in the league, picking up just two points on the road.
The Pilgrims’ last away league victory came in February through a 92nd minute winner against Salford City.
This will no doubt be frustrating for Lowe and the team, who look a different side today than they did five days ago against Portsmouth.
Argyle make it too easy for the opposition
Many of the goals today derived from individual mistakes, similar to performances at the start of the season.
The defence were easily beaten by through balls and failed to clear danger when called upon.
With strong defensive showings against Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic and Doncaster Rovers it seemed Argyle had said goodbye to their defensive woes.
Saturday, however, says different.
The attacking midfielder was highlighted in the match preview as a player to watch, after scoring a brace last match against Bristol Rovers, and he didn't disappoint - doing the same again today.
He was arguably the best player on the pitch and stood untouchable for most of the match.
Morris is infamous to members of the Green Army, so it was only fitting that he put in a good performance.
Morris created both of Fleetwood’s second half goals and looked a threat every time he got on the ball. The winger was also unfortunate not to grab a goal in the first half.
Fleetwood: Leutwiler (GK), T. Edwards, Connolly (capt), Mulgrew, Andrew, Finley (Coutts 68’), Rossiter (Whelan 57’), Camps, Burns (Duffy 68’), Morris (McKay 68’), Madden (Evans 57’).
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Hill.
Plymouth: M. Cooper (GK), Watts, Opoku (Canavan 45’), Aimson (Wootton 37’), J. Edwards (capt), Grant (Jephcott 45’), Camara (Fornah 10’), Mayor, Moore, Telford (Hardie 45’), Nouble.
Subs not used: McCormick (GK), G. Cooper.