Plymouth 1-0 Exeter
Jason Banton's classy strike earned a win over Exeter in a lively Devon derby and took Plymouth five points clear of the League Two relegation zone.
The Grecians, who missed the chance to go fourth, were on top early on and Jamie Cureton wasted a great opening.
But Argyle settled after a tentative start and deservedly led when Banton created space and fired in a low 18-yard shot in first-half injury time.
Chances remained rare after half-time but Cureton miscued from eight yards.
The veteran striker had almost no time to react to a fiercely struck cross by Arron Davies and his effort went well wide
But an equaliser would have been harsh on Plymouth who were the better team for the majority of an entertaining derby played in front of 13,251 fans - the biggest League Two crowd of the season.
Despite their under-par display on a bobbly Home Park pitch, Exeter are still in seventh place, five points clear of Fleetwood with six games remaining.
The resurgent Pilgrims have now won three consecutive games and have lost just once in their last seven - a 2-1 reverse against top-of-the-table Gillingham.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Plymouth Argyle manager John Sheridan told BBC Radio Devon:
"I think it was a very good performance in a big game for us, against a good team, a very good passing team and they've had some very good results away from home.
"Their effort to try and win the game and try and get something out of the game was brilliant and it has been since I've been here. We've just got to keep on doing that but that result is for the supporters.
"The support they've got for a club who's fighting relegation and has been doing it for a two or three years is unbelievable.
"We've just got to concentrate on ourselves, it's too tight at the bottom. The teams at the bottom are playing well and they're all fighting for a cause."
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"When you're lacking in some sort of cohesion in the side you're always too far away from the ball, you're never quite close enough. It appears you're not close enough to compete, you don't want to compete.
"We rarely had players who were consistently making good decisions and playing competent passes. Our game was fragmented and we have to move quickly on to Monday's game and look at the next 18 points.
"We are in a good position in the league, we've got a chance. We have to move to the next game and try to win it and be very, very careful not to be too miserable when you lose and not too buoyed when you win.
"We didn't challenge their back four enough and their penalty box enough. You want to come into these games and actually build some pressure because pressure often leads to mistakes, and it's those sort of things that wins the game."
- 01 Cole
- 04 Blanchard
- 05 Branston
- 14 Bhasera
- 18 Bryan
- 06 Hourihane
- 10 Cox (Young - 46' )
- 15 Wotton
- 19 Banton (Murray - 72' )
- 27 Gurrieri (Cowan-Hall - 77' )
- 24 Reid
- 20 Gilmartin
- 17 Nelson
- 08 Young
- 07 Cowan-Hall
- 09 Chadwick
- 28 Murray
- 29 Harvey
- 01 Krysiak
- 03 Woodman
- 04 Bennett Booked
- 05 Baldwin
- 06 Coles Booked
- 16 Amankwaah
- 11 Davies
- 14 Doherty (Gosling - 46' )
- 25 D'Ath (O'Flynn - 59' )
- 28 Molesley (Keohane - 71' )
- 12 Cureton
- 24 Evans
- 02 Tully
- 37 Moore-Taylor
- 22 Keohane
- 32 Gosling
- 19 O'Flynn
- 21 Bauza
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:10 Booking
Booking Danny Coles goes into the book.90:00 +1:49
Foul by Craig Woodman on Paris Cowan-Hall, free kick awarded. Jake Cole takes the direct free kick.89:25
Jake Cole takes the free kick.89:25 Booking
Booking Scot Bennett booked for unsporting behaviour.89:21
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Guy Branston by Scot Bennett.88:10
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jamie Cureton on Conor Hourihane. Direct free kick taken by Jake Cole.83:23
Paris Cowan-Hall gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jimmy Keohane. Artur Krysiak restarts play with the free kick.81:31
Jamie Cureton takes a shot. Comfortable save by Jake Cole.80:49
Free kick awarded for a foul by Arron Davies on Maxime Blanchard. Paul Wotton restarts play with the free kick.76:09 Substitution
Substitution Andres Gurrieri leaves the field to be replaced by Paris Cowan-Hall.75:01
Free kick awarded for a foul by Maxime Blanchard on Jimmy Keohane. Craig Woodman crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance made by Luke Young.71:24 Substitution
Substitution Ronan Murray on for Jason Banton.71:00
Maxime Blanchard fouled by John O'Flynn, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Wotton.69:49
Free kick taken by Guy Branston.69:49 Substitution
Substitution Jimmy Keohane replaces Mark Molesley.69:49
Unfair challenge on Conor Hourihane by John O'Flynn results in a free kick.68:30
Shot from inside the six-yard box by Jamie Cureton goes wide right of the target.61:42
Effort on goal by Conor Hourihane from a long way out goes over the bar.61:10
Foul by Pat Baldwin on Reuben Reid, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Paul Wotton.
Andres Gurrieri decides to take the corner short.59:54
John O'Flynn takes a shot. Guy Branston gets a block in.58:17 Substitution
Substitution John O'Flynn joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lawson D'Ath.57:05
The referee penalises Mark Molesley for handball. Andres Gurrieri fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.55:24
Reuben Reid handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Craig Woodman restarts play with the free kick.54:59
Jason Banton takes a shot. Save by Artur Krysiak.52:45
Reuben Reid is caught offside. Kevin Amankwaah takes the indirect free kick.48:35
The assistant referee signals for offside against Reuben Reid. Scot Bennett takes the free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Tommy Doherty goes off and Jake Gosling comes on.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Luke Young on for Lee Cox.45:00 +3:13 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +1:05 Goal scored
Goal! - Jason Banton - Plymouth 1 - 0 Exeter Jason Banton grabs a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Plymouth 1-0 Exeter.43:44
Unfair challenge on Maxime Blanchard by Mark Molesley results in a free kick. Andres Gurrieri crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance by Kevin Amankwaah.38:26
Unfair challenge on Lee Cox by Scot Bennett results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Paul Wotton.31:51
Andres Gurrieri takes a short corner.31:36
Corner taken short by Andres Gurrieri.31:22
Jason Banton takes a shot. Blocked by Pat Baldwin.30:45
Andres Gurrieri takes a short corner.30:23
Joe Bryan decides to take the corner short.29:33
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Cox by Tommy Doherty. Paul Wotton takes the free kick.27:37
Lee Cox concedes a free kick for a foul on Lawson D'Ath. Craig Woodman delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Jake Cole makes a save.24:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Onismor Bhasera by Mark Molesley. Onismor Bhasera takes the free kick.22:54
Andres Gurrieri produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.21:28
The official flags Reuben Reid offside. Indirect free kick taken by Artur Krysiak.16:05
Effort on goal by Onismor Bhasera from long range goes harmlessly over the bar.11:53
Effort from outside the penalty box by Joe Bryan goes wide right of the goal.10:05
Scot Bennett takes a shot. Save by Jake Cole.8:53
Reuben Reid concedes a free kick for a foul on Pat Baldwin. Tommy Doherty takes the free kick.6:44
Jason Banton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pat Baldwin. Artur Krysiak restarts play with the free kick.5:32
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Arron Davies, Reuben Reid manages to make a clearance.3:46
Reuben Reid takes a shot. Artur Krysiak makes a comfortable save.2:23
Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Jamie Cureton goes wide of the right-hand upright.1:27
Conor Hourihane gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scot Bennett. Pat Baldwin restarts play with the free kick.1:06
Foul by Lee Cox on Mark Molesley, free kick awarded. Tommy Doherty takes the free kick.0:00
The match gets underway.
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