Fleetwood 0-4 Plymouth
Fleetwood Town fell to a disappointing defeat against Plymouth Argyle at Highbury.
Goals from Reuben Reid, Luke Young, Maxime Blanchard and Conor Hourihane gave the travelling Green Army a crucial three points in their own promotion hunt.
Town’s man of the match, Matty Hughes, made his first start for the club and was the bright light in a side which struggled to threaten the Pilgrims’ defence.
Graham Alexander made five changes to the side which was beaten 1-0 by Mansfield Town at the weekend.
Conor McLaughlin and Charlie Taylor both recovered from their illnesses and returned to full-back in place of Liam Hogan and Stephen Jordan.
Hughes made his first start on the right, while Steven Schumacher and Jamille Matt completed the changes, coming in for Alan Goodall, Mikael Mandron and Jon Parkin.
New-signing Josh Morris, on loan from Blackburn Rovers, was also among the seven names on the bench.
The Cod Army made the better start to the match with McLaughlin’s low cross from the right just evading Antoni Sarcevic in the box early on.
Gareth Evans then had Fleetwood’s best chance of the first half when found in space on the left of the area by Matt, but the winger’s curled attempt was parried over by Pilgrims goalkeeper Jake Cole.
Argyle offered little in the opening 20 minutes although they soon came to life and, after Reid had been denied one-on-one by Davies beforehand, the striker fired Plymouth ahead.
Durrell Berry had burst down the right for the Pilgrims and pulled the ball back to the unmarked Reid on the edge of the box, who then fired a first-time effort low into the far-left corner to put Plymouth in front.
Town’s only energy was coming from Hughes on the right wing, and the tricky winger worked his way through a few defenders before firing low towards the far corner, seeing his attempt tipped around the far post by Cole.
However, the Cod Army were fortunate not to be two goals behind a minute before half-time when Matt Parsons’ outrageous 30-yard volley crashed against Chris Maxwell’s crossbar, before Neal Trotman’s header just evaded the stretching Lewis Alessandra at the rebound.
Barely two minutes after the restart, Plymouth created a two-goal cushion when Young’s fierce strike from the inside right deflected off Roberts and flew past Maxwell at his bottom-left corner.
The Green Army were giving Fleetwood little room to get back into the match, so Alexander brought on Parkin to change the focus of his attack.
But it was Plymouth who went closest again as Maxwell was forced to tip over Alessandra’s dipping effort from the right.
At the other end, Fleetwood created their first real opening of the second period when Sarcevic was slid in down the left before Cole came out to save the midfielders low poke.
Alexander then brought Morris on for Roberts with just over 25 minutes remaining for his full debut.
However, the Pilgrims struck again with little more than 20 minutes to go when Young’s corner from the left was met by the diving header of Blanchard at the near post, which flew low into the opposite corner to finish the contest.
Parkin sent a free-kick high over the Plymouth cross towards the end, and Sarcevic scooped over from Charlie Taylor’s cross, but Hourihane curled a free-kick into the top left corner late on to cap off a disappointing night for Fleetwood.