Report | Plymouth Argyle 1 Swansea City 1

12th July 2022
First team
Joel Piroe Plymouth

Ryan Hardie's late strike cancelled out Joel Piroe’s superb early volley as Swansea City stepped up their pre-season preparations with a draw at Plymouth.

The Dutchman, scorer of 24 goals last term, showed he is in the mood to pick up where he left off after showing magnificent technique to control a falling ball and smash his strike into the far corner of the net in just the sixth minute.

Piroe, Michael Obafemi and Olivier Ntcham were all denied by the keeper while the Swans also defended strongly against a Pilgrims side fresh from just missing out on the League One play-offs last term.

But one lapse in the closing stages proved enough to allow the home side to level, with Hardie finishing clinically with his left foot inside the final two minutes.

New faces Harry Darling, Nathan Wood and Matty Sorinola all featured in front of supporters for the first time, with some 200 members of the Jack Army having made the long journey down to the south west.

The Swans were quickly on the front foot, with Plymouth barely having a touch during the opening five minutes.

And the sixth minute saw the visitors take the lead through a marvellous strike from Piroe, who brought down a rebounded clearance before lashing an unstoppable volley across the keeper and into the far corner.

Plymouth created their first opening in the 12th minute, Niall Ennis was adjudged to have successfully beaten the offside trap, but his tame effort was smothered by Andy Fisher in the Swansea goal.

Harry Darling Plymouth

The next big chance would fall Swansea’s way, after some brave play near their own area beat the Plymouth press and found Piroe in acres of space.

The Dutchman’s firm pass was well-controlled by Obafemi, who eased away from the covering defenders, only to drag his final shot across the face of goal.

Plymouth’s Macaulay Gillesphey whistled a strike from distance past Fisher’s right-hand upright before Joe Edwards headed over from a deep cross as the home side enjoyed a decent spell.

Swansea responded, Piroe nearly punishing Plymouth for leaving him in oceans of space 25 yards out with a dipping, serving shot that was just about tipped around the post by Callum Burton in the Pilgrims’ goal.

There was another chance from the resulting corner as Darling nodded wide as the visitors ended the half on top.

They also started the second half in the ascendancy, Ntcham stinging Burton’s palms with a rasping drive from nearly 30 yards.

Olivier Ntcham Plymouth

Sorinola twice delivered from good positions on the left; the wing-back’s first delivery was overhit and the second was brought back for a foul by Joel Latibeaudiere as he met the cross at the far post.

Another surge from Sorinola saw Obafemi just unable to get on the end of his pass across goal, and that proved the last meaningful action before a flurry of substitutes for each side disrupted the rhythm as new combinations bedded in.

Hardie fired a free-kick over for Plymouth before Kyle Joseph came on after Latibeaudiere picked up a knock.

Swansea continued to have joy down the left but substitute Nathanael Ogbeta scuffed his final ball with Piroe waiting for a delivery after evading his marker, before Jamie Paterson forced Burton into a sharp stop.

But Plymouth punished Swansea's failure to make the most of those opportunities as Hardie ran clear off the defence to loft the ball over Fisher.

The Swans still had chances to win it, but Liam Cullen and Joseph could not find the net as it ended even.

Plymouth Argyle: Callum Burton, Macaulay Gillesphey (Jack Endacott 80), Jordan Houghton (Oscar Halls 75), James Wilson (Caleb Roberts 75), Dan Scarr (Brandon Pursall 75), Matt Butcher (Ryan Law 61), Joe Edwards (captain) (Fin Azaz 61), Danny Mayor (Adam Randell 61), Niall Ennis (Ryan Hardie 61), Mickel Miller (Luke Jephcott 61), Alfie Lewis (Finley Craske 61).

Unused Substitutes: Zak Baker.

Swansea City: Andy Fisher; Nathan Wood (Joel Cotterill 75), Harry Darling (Brandon Cooper 75), Kyle Naughton (Ryan Manning 61); Joel Latibeaudiere (Kyle Joseph 68), Jay Fulton (Dan Williams 75), Matt Grimes (captain) (Ollie Cooper 75), Matty Sorinola (Nathanael Ogbeta 61); Joel Piroe (Cameron Congreve 75), Olivier Ntcham (Jamie Paterson 61), Michael Obafemi (Liam Cullen 61).

Unused Substitutes: Lewis Webb.

Referee: Lee Swabey