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Plymouth Argyle 0 Blues 5

Posted: Sat 04 Aug 2012
Author: Paddy Day

Blues appear in fine shape ahead of the new season after a crushing win over League Two side Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.

Following on from their midweek thrashing of Bury, the Pilgrims endured similar treatment after Chris Burke's tap-in was sandwiched in between braces from Nathan Redmond and Peter Lovenkrands.

Lee Clark's men have found stunning form, scoring on ten occasions in the space of four days - something which delights the Blues boss.

He said: "We've certainly showed that we have the quality in the final third and we've took our chances really well again today. (We) created a lot of opportunities and I was delighted certainly with the first 20 minutes of the second-half. 

"I thought we looked an important force in terms of putting the opposition on the back foot and then when we got the ball, we made things happen in the final third of the pitch. We created chances for each other and we were clinical with our finishing."

Looking at the quality in his squad, Clark added: "I think they've done terrifically well. We've got lots of talented footballers in the group and we know what they can do for us, so we've got to keep producing those."

Chances were at a premium at Home Park in the first-half, but much like in Greater Manchester on Tuesday evening, Blues showed their clinical edge firstly through an unstoppable Redmond.

The 18-year-old burst into life on 34 minutes after Burke raced into the box and played in the youngster, who smashed the ball past Rene Gilmartin into the top corner.

Brimming with confidence, Redmond scored his second in the 43rd minute with a swerving shot from 25-yards, which went straight through Gilmartin.

Both teams enjoyed a similar amount of possession before that point with the only opening falling to Marlon King inside the area, but the former Coventry City marksman was thwarted by Gilmartin.

David Murphy and Robbie Williams went mightily close with their free-kick attempts, whilst Lovenkrands survived a scare when receiving treatment from a collision with former Blues centre-back Darren Purse.

But after Burke took advantage of a defensive error from Plymouth to make it 3-0 on 55 minutes, Lovenkrands provided yet more decisive finishing inside the area. 

The Dane has made an instant impact since recently arriving at the club and has struck up a promising partnership with Marlon King, who set up both goals.

The game understandably became fragmented as Blues made eight changes in the latter stages of the second-half - and with the hosts making fewer substitutions - Colin Doyle was called upon to make a couple of smart saves.

With another impressive victory under their belts, Blues search for a fourth pre-season win in their final friendly at home to Royal Antwerp on Saturday 11 August (kick-off 3pm).

Plymouth (in numerical order): Rene Gilmartin, Robbie Williams, Maxime Blanchard, Darren Purse (C), Conor Hourihane, Luke Young, Nick Chadwick, Warren Feeney, Paul Wootton, Curtis Nelson, Andres Gurrieri.

Subs (in numerical order): Jack Cole, Paris Cowan-Hall, Ollie Chenoweth, Joe Lennox, Matt Lecointe, Jared Sims, Jamie Richards, Jordan Copp, Isaac Vassell.

Blues: Colin Doyle, Stephen Carr (Will Packwood 79), Curtis Davies, Steven Caldwell (Pablo Ibanez 69), David Murphy (Lee Naylor 74), Chris Burke, Hayden Mullins (Morgaro Gomis (69), Darren Ambrose (Darren Carter 74), Nathan Redmond (Wade Elliott 69), Marlon King (Adam Rooney 69), Peter Lovenkrands (Nikola Zigic).

Subs not used: David Lucas, Jack Deaman, Jake Jervis.