The Warm Down: Plymouth Argyle 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday were again the cause of their own downfall as they crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-0 defeat against Plymouth Argyle.

An injury-stricken Owls side were on the receiving end of a hammering from a ruthless Pilgrims side that were showing why they are the front runners in League One, currently.

A brace from Jordon Garrick and a first-half strike from Ryan Hardie put Argyle into the second round of the competition where they will travel to Rochdale on Sunday 5 December for a lunchtime kick-off.

Here are some talking points from last night’s meeting…

Costly errors from Wednesday

Contrary to the final result, it was the Owls who began the better, forcing Michael Cooper into a few stops early on and enjoying more of the possession.

However, as has been the case on several occasions this season, it was down to individual errors which saw them undo a positive beginning.

For the opening goal, Jaden Brown dillydallied too long on the left channel before being closed down by three Argyle players, leading to Hardie to nick the ball before Panutche Camara and Garrick linked up to place the opener past glovesman Joe Wildsmith.

That goal spurred the Pilgrims into life, as the home side took control of the fixture.

Barry Bannan then messed up after trying to be too fancy and play his way out of a cluttered area across the edge of the box. Instead, Hardie prised the ball away from the Scotsman’s feet and rolled it into Camara, who returned the favour by chipping a pass into his path, with Argyle’s top scorer confidently moving past Liam Palmer before finding the bottom corner via the post.

Garrick then got his second when Wildsmith dropped the ball after coming out of his box, allowing the on-loan Swansea City forward to smash home.

These blunders summed up Wednesday’s season, as it feels like self-destruction at times.

Plymouth’s quality shone throughout

The errors from Wednesday were only a small factor to Argyle’s success, though, as they performed to their optimum on the evening.

Ryan Lowe’s scintillating, edge-of-your-seat football is a joy to watch and, after Wednesday had their early spell in charge, the Pilgrims took full control and made their opponents rue their missed chances and mistakes.

A big change in momentum came when Lowe created an overload in the middle halfway into the first half. In the early parts of the game, Bannan and Lewis Wing enjoyed a lot of the ball, whilst Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s deep runs caused a problem.

However, Argyle packed the midfield and Garrick seemed to drop into a ‘number ten’ role. The trio of Jordan Houghton, Camara and Ryan Broom all pressed high to win back possession before utilising Conor Grant and Ryan Edwards on the channels.

Camara was a real catalyst for Plymouth’s progression and was instrumental on the evening as he picked up two assists. The Bissau-Guinean midfielder would not only make effective runs with the ball after winning possession, but he would also drift out to a right-wing position which allowed Edwards to attack inwards.

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Overall, the Pilgrims implemented the intensity they lacked in the reverse tie at Hillsborough into Tuesday’s game, which truly punished the Owls.

Wednesday’s injury list

The Owls were forced to play forward Callum Paterson as a right-sided centre-half after Marvin Johnson picked up a hamstring injury on Sunday before Wednesday lost midfielder Dennis Adeniran, who was being deployed as a right wing-back, 28 minutes into the tie with the same injury.

Wednesday currently have several first-team starters out on the sidelines, with Lee Gregory, Sam Hutchinson, Dominic Iorfa, Lewis Gibson, and Jack Hunt all unavailable, and with Josh Windass only just returning to training after picking up an injury in pre-season.

Owls boss Darren Moore admitted that their current injury crisis is the worst he’s experienced and believes that it contributed to why his side looked disjointed.

He said: “This is an injury crisis that I haven't been involved with at all in my 30 years in the game and it is a concern, and it is something we need to look into because we can’t let a repeat keep happening – it was a bridge too far in terms of the players available at our disposal tonight.

“The bigger concern for me when trying to get one or two back is keeping them fit and that has got to be the procedure because the games are coming thick and fast and every third or fourth day we’re playing, so we have to keep this group of players together on the pitch.

“The balance of the team was just all over tonight, and it wasn’t right in terms of that we lost a couple of players through injury; we tried to continue in the same format, but it just wasn’t there tonight.

“I think coming down to the league leaders was just a game too far; when they did get the chances, they were clinical and finished them off.

“Losing Marvin just knocked the balance out of the team, and we tried to still go with it and we dropped Pato [Callum Paterson] in there to try and get some solidity.

“But was far too easy for them to cut through which tells you that the balance just wasn’t right.”