Accrington 1-4 Plymouth: Ryan Broom stars in mauling from the title-chasers
Ryan Lowe watches on: Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport

Plymouth Argyle continued their brilliant run of form, moving to the top of League 1 with a convincing victory over Accrington Stanley in East Lancashire. 

A bizarre own-goal from Ethan Hamilton was followed up by strikes from Jordan Houghton, Ryan Broom and Ryan Hardie, resoundingly sealing the points for Ryan Lowe's team.

It was a good day for anyone called Ryan with Plymouth affiliation, especially Broom - who was a creative menace from minute one. A dose of Championship class from the on-loan Peterborough United man.

The result leaves John Coleman's men sitting six points ahead of the drop zone and seven points off a play-off spot. It's a tight division! 

Story of the match

Accrington came out of the traps on the front-foot and they rally took There was something quite aesthetically pleasing about seeing two back-three systems going head-to-head; a sign of the evolving times in English football. Stanley went for a 3-4-2-1 while the visitors deployed their trusty 3-5-2.the game to their high-flying opponents.

After several attempts in the early stages, Tommy Leigh managed to pick out a man in red from an out-swinging corner but Ross Sykes' powerful header was well blocked on the line.

At the other end, Macaulay Gillesphey's wicked delivery was met by Jordon Garrick but the striker couldn't divert the fast moving ball on-target. It was a strong start from the hosts.

Toby Sivin was called into action shortly after, however, getting down quickly to push James Wilson's piledriver around the post.

It was end-to-end from the off and Stanley again came close to breaking the deadlock in the opening 20 minutes.

Liam Coyle did well to steal possession in the middle of the pitch before feeding Harry Pell, whose drilled ball across the box skidded just ahead of the onrushing Lewis Mansell

A goal did feel like it was coming - and it did - but the way it came about was a little unexpected. 

Broom's inviting cross looked like it was going to meet the head of Joe Edwards, only for Hamilton to inadvertently loop a header across his goalkeeper and into the far corner. 

Broom was causing havoc down his flank and Edwards was again the chaser but Yeboah Amankwah managed to clatter the ball behind at the last moment. It could have gone anywhere but, thankfully for Stanley, it wasn't another Hamilton scenario! 

At the other end, some neat interplay from the hosts saw Mansell play a give-and-go with Pell, the latter cutely flicking the Accrington striker in on goal. Mansell looked destined to score but Michael Cooper made an excellent sprawling save to keep out his lifted effort.

The back and forth continued throughout the opening-half with Dan Scarr horribly slicing an effort wide as he latched onto a loose ball in the box. 

On the stroke of half-time, Jordan Houghton doubled the lead.

The midfielder sauntered into the Stanley box and he illustrated great composure to stroke the ball across Savin and into the corner. A buoyant home crowd got a little bit quieter. 

Stanley did make a bright start to the second-half, though, and they soon got themselves back into the match.

Mansell did well to hold the ball up and play Pell in behind. The joint top-scorer had the presence of mind to pick out Leigh making the run into the box, and the midfielder swept the ball past a helpless Cooper. 

The home faithful were bouncing again, creating a real atmosphere inside the stadium, and that seemed to rouse the Stanley players.

The referee, David Rock, was soon called into action to caution the goal-scorer Leigh, after he left a bit of an arm on the opposing scorer, Houghton; there was suddenly an added bite from the home team.

Mansell was seeing a lot of the ball and his brilliant flick looked set to bring Leigh his second goal of the game, but for a fantastic recovery block from Scarr. Plymouth failed to properly clear their lines and Mansell should have made them pay but he couldn't plant his free-header at the back-post on-target. 

Profligacy can bite you in any level of football but you simply cannot do it against a team that haven't lost a league match since the opening day. Inevitably, they were made to pay. 

Just after the hour mark, Houghton lead a Plymouth charge before Garrick laid it off to Broom, and the man who had been the creator decided to take matters into his own hands – firing a brilliant strike into the top corner from 25-yards. The Welshman was putting on a show for his temporary employers.

Hardie, Argyle's leading scorer, had been kept rather quiet. But he later stung the palms of Savin as he stormed into the box.

It was a sign of things to come for the 24-year-old Scot who, in the 75th minute, managed to head home Broom's wicked delivery from point-blank range. It wasn't the cleanest of contacts but the marksman wouldn't care; that was his 9th goal of the season and 12th in all competitions. 

The fourth goal sucked the life out of what had been a very competitive match. Ultimately, fine margins were the difference and they got wider and wider as the game played itself out. 

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