Devon heaven for the Baggies

Plymouth Argyle 0 West Bromwich Albion 3

A stunning second half performance from Carlos Corberán’s team secured an excellent three points and ended Albion’s two month wait for a victory on the road. After a tight first period, the Baggies came out after the break with renewed energy and deservedly took the lead through Cédric Kipré before the gloss was added with further goals from Mikey Johnston and Tom Fellows.

There was little to report from an even but scrappy first half, albeit Albion had the better of the few chances. Andi Weimann started up front with Brandon Thomas-Asante ruled out with a hamstring injury, and it was he who had the best chance of the half when his firm shot was pushed away by the Pilgrims’ ‘keeper, Conor Hazard. Earlier, Alex Mowatt had been unlucky to see his shot deflected onto the post. The hosts had one shot from Adam Randell that flashed wide of the post, but star man Morgan Whitaker was kept very quiet.

Albion were visibly more energetic from the first minute of the second half and had several good chances in the opening ten minutes. Wallace’s shot, like the one from Mowatt in the first half, was deflected onto the post, with the ball spinning across the goalline before going out for a corner, while Chalobah had a header well saved by Hazard.

Just after the hour. Kipré poked home for a rare Baggies’ goal from a corner and Albion never looked back. Once ahead, Corberán’s men controlled the game and rarely allowed the hosts anywhere near troubling Alex Palmer. Pilgrims boss made changes in an attempt to impact the game, but nothing worked, while his opposite number’s substitutions worked well.

Yokuşlu, who had been rested from the starting line up with Chalobah coming in, brought his usual control in the centre of the park while Semi Ajayi filled in at right back with Corberán conscious that Furlong is only one yellow card away from a two match suspension. But the star of the show from the bench was Mikey Johnston. The Scot looked dangerous every time he got the ball and scored a wonderful goal that his namesake, Willie, would have been rightly proud of. Cutting in from the left wing, he beat his man and curled a shot into the far corner. The third started in a similar manner, but this time Johnston found Wallace whose shot was parried by Hazard only for Fellows to smash home the rebound.

It was an excellent second half display that was long overdue away from the Hawthorns, and it was very timely given Hull City’s unexpected win at Southampton. Albion have restored their four point gap to seventh place, but Saturday’s trip to Humberside is huge for both clubs as they battle to keep their places in the top six.

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