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Plymouth 3-1 Sutton United: Foster starts Argyle reign with FA Cup win
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Luke Cundle scored for Plymouth
Luke Cundle scored for Plymouth

Ian Foster’s reign as Plymouth head coach started with a tricky 3-1 FA Cup third round home win over League Two strugglers Sutton.

Argyle relied on 14-goal top scorer Morgan Whittaker, with a stoppage-time deflected looping strike on the run, to seal victory, a day after appointing 47-year-old Foster.

Argyle took an 18th-minute lead through on-loan Wolves midfielder Luke Cundle, who scored on the rebound as Sutton keeper Dean Bouzanis could only parry Callum Wright’s thundering strike from the edge of the box.

The goal came after a period of Sutton pressure but was superbly crafted by playmaker Whittaker’s cross-field ball to Freddie Issaka on the left.

Issaka then passed to striker Ryan Hardie, who teed up Wright.

Sutton had an opportunity to reply from a 25th-minute free-kick but when the ball fell to Dominic Gape his downward strike spun just wide of Argyle’s crowded goalmouth.

Cundle came close to doubling his tally on the half hour but his measured shot from 20 yards was deflected just around a post by a defender running out to block the incoming strike.

Joe Kizzi’s header was easily saved by Argyle’s Northern Ireland international keeper Conor Hazard after 32 minutes and at the other end Bouzanis was equal to Adam Randell’s long-range effort.

Bouzanis made a better stop, at his near post, to deny Whittaker as he cut in from the right, beat his marker, and let fly from close range.

As half-time approached, Cundle teed up Wright but the attacking midfielder dragged his 20-yard shot wide of goal.

Sutton levelled after 50 minutes as striker Lee Angol went solo, cutting inside from the right before letting fly with a crisp finish to beat Hazard at full stretch in the far corner.

Whittaker came within a whisker of putting Argyle back ahead, with a superb curling shot from the right which skimmed just past the far post with Bouzanis well beaten.

At the other end Argyle defender Brendan Galloway needed to head clear off the goal-line as a cutback cross from the left was deflected past Hazard and towards goal.

Scottish striker Hardie broke free at the other end, but his shot was parried away by a combination of keeper Bouzanis and a defender.

Argyle regained the lead from a 68th-minute Hardie penalty, driven down the middle, and to which keeper Bouzanis got a hand, following a foul by Josh Coley on Whittaker, as he went for the return from a nifty Joe Edwards one-two.

Sutton sub Craig Eastmond tried his luck from 20 yards but fired wide after 77 minutes.

Argyle had second penalty appeals waved away by referee Will Finnie as Whittaker was fouled homing in on goal from Cundle’s incisive pass.

Minutes later he struck his 14th goal of the season to send Argyle into the fourth-round draw.


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