Report | Plymouth Argyle 1 Swansea City 2
First-half goals from Morgan Whittaker and Liam Cullen saw Swansea City continue their pre-season preparations with victory over Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
Whittaker gave the Swans the lead in the 23rd minute with a lovely strike from the edge of the area, while Cullen doubled their advantage just nine minutes later with an instinctive finish.
Ryan Hardie pulled a goal back for the League One hosts early in the second half, and they struck the woodwork and forced Steven Benda into some sharp saves as they sought an equaliser.
But Steve Cooper’s side claimed the win and got more valuable game time under their belts, with new arrivals Liam Walsh, Joel Piroe and Kyle Joseph all getting a run-out in the second half.
Youngsters Scott Butler, Dan Williams and Ben Margetson were also handed some minutes during the closing stages to round out a solid night’s work for the Swans and send the 251 travelling Jacks in attendance home with a win.
On a hot and humid night in the south-west it was the hosts who had the first big chance inside four minutes as an excellent cross from Joe Edwards picked out Niall Ennis in the middle.
However, the forward headed the ball into the ground and over the bar with the goal at his mercy from barely six yards out.
Another chance soon followed for Ryan Hardie, with the striker firing over after Ryan Bennett had blocked an initial cross.
Swansea began to settle and created a fine chance of their own as Yan Dhanda skipped in field to find Jake Bidwell, with the full-back’s cross being headed narrowly wide by Cullen at the far post.
Jamal Lowe then worked Pilgrims keeper Michael Cooper from the edge of the area, but there was nothing the man between the sticks could do to stop Whittaker’s opener.
The forward drove in from the right past a couple of defenders before curving a delightful left-footed shot back across goal to fly into the far corner.
At the other end, Bennett made a superb block as Hardie got away a shot after finding his way into the Swansea area.
But the Swans doubled their lead just past the half-hour mark as Cullen turned in Kyle Naughton’s driven shot, just after Lowe had forced another save from Cooper.
They held that two-goal advantage at the interval, with Walsh replacing Jay Fulton in midfield for the resumption of play.
But the new signing had not had chance to touch the ball before Plymouth pulled a goal back.
Bennett was unable to cut out a ball into the box and Hardie was handed a simple finish from close range.
Steven Benda denied Hardie a second as the striker took aim from the edge of the area, and the German could only watch on as the lively Ryan Law curled a fine shot against the post with the Swansea keeper beaten.
By that point there were more fresh legs on as Korey Smith and Piroe had been introduced in place of Matt Grimes and Dhanda, but Benda remained the busier keeper as he got down quickly to prevent Ennis finding the far corner.
A youthful Swans combination was handed the task of seeing out the closing stages and they managed that feat, although Benda did need to make another good save to deny Plymouth substitute Luke Jephcott.
Plymouth Argyle: Michael Cooper; James Wilson, Dan Scarr (Oliver Tomlinson 89), Brendan Galloway (Macaulay Gillesphey 62); Ryan Law, Danny Mayor (Finley Craskie 89), Adam Randell, Conor Grant (Pamutche Camara 56), Joe Edwards (captain); Ryan Hardie (Luke Jephcott 62), Niall Ennis (Rhys Shirley 79).
Unused Substitutes: Callum Burton, Jordan Houghton.
Swansea City: Steven Benda; Kyle Naughton (Dan Williams 73), Ryan Bennett (Scott Butler 73), Joel Latibeaudiere (Ben Margetson 79), Jake Bidwell; Jay Fulton (Liam Walsh 46), Matt Grimes (captain, Korey Smith 61); Morgan Whittaker (Kyle Joseph 73), Yan Dhanda (Joel Piroe 61) Jamal Lowe (Ryan Manning 73); Liam Cullen.
Unused Substitutes: Ben Hamer, Lewis Webb.