Match report from the Plymouth home game
The latest leg of the 'home' roadshow took Carlisle United to Ewood Park as repairs to the flood damage in Cumbria continue into the New Year.
A cross from wide from Mellor and a volley on the turn from Asamoah signalled early intent from both sides, and United went close again when Grainger twice had crosses blocked. Gilliead swopped on the loose pieces but his 20-yard drive smashed into the side netting.
Defender Mark Ellis then caused problems with two huge long throws, the second of which brought a corner as Raynes flicked it into the mix. Asamoah and Wyke were close to a touch as Grainger drilled that set piece into the six-yard box.
A foul on Jervis by Joyce gave Plymouth a chance to test the target and Gillespie had to go full length to stop a dipping shot which bent over the wall.
Jervis made space for himself when he got forward in support of Brunt as Plymouth took a direct route in their next attack, but his connection was weak and Gillespie was able to watch it all the way.
A wild shot from Wylde sailed high over the bar as the Pilgrims started to see more of the ball, but the visitors took the lead in bizarre circumstances when they were awarded a free kick 28 yards from goal for what appeared to be minimal contact as Jason Kennedy hustled for the ball. Ryan Brunt took it and a wicked deflection left the keeper with no chance as it rattled into his top corner.
Quick thinking from Sweeney almost put Asamaoh clean through as Carlisle looked for a response, but McHugh stayed big to close the route. And McHugh was the man on the spot again as another Sweeney cross bent into the area. His touch prevented Asamoah from finding any kind of finish.
Plymouth lived life on the edge as United kept the ball alive inside the box ahead of the break and McCormick was relieved when a heavy touch from Asamoah allowed him to drop low and gather it up.
Wyke had a shot on the run blocked as he looked to catch the keeper off guard, but there was plenty for the home side to feel positive about as they headed down the tunnel and into the half time team talk.
Gilliead and Grainger went for a training ground corner routine with just seconds on the second half clock but McHugh earned more praise when he bent low to stop Ellis from heading it in. And McCormick had to be on his toes as a precise pass picked Sweeney out just ten yards from the target. His acrobatic volley was gratefully scooped up as it flew right at the alert keeper.
An excellent block from Ellis stopped a fierce rocket from Brunt from doing any damage, and the big defender went close to grabbing one at the other end as he stayed forward for a free kick. The ball fell to him unexpectedly on the edge of the box and he was frustrated as his volley arrowed into the keeper's midriff.
Striker Charlie Wyke dragged a difficult chance across the face of goal as United kept the pressure on, and the Ellis long throw avenue almost paid off as Raynes, Joyce and Wyke kept it alive. Asamoah couldn't quite make up the ground as the ball bounced behind for a goal kick.
Patient football brought a half chance for Asamoah as passes from Ellis, Dicker, Joyce and Grainger took Carlisle deep. McCormick had to watch closely as a miscued header threatened to drop under his bar.
A quick Plymouth break followed and Brunt fed Wylde on an overlap with Carlisle light at the back. Gillespie closed the angles and saved confidently at his near post.
The impressive Mark Ellis, playing the last game of his current loan spell, was a whisker away as he timed a great run for a Grainger corner. His header had power but it whistled just the wrong side of the upright.
United pushed men forward, leaving themselves open to the counter, and Brunt won a corner when he carried the ball from deep. That came to nothing, but a second break from the same player led to a volley which whipped well wide under pressure.
The Cumbrians kept plugging away in a second half they had dominated but they were undone by another wicked deflection in time added on when Brunt sent a low ball into the box. Gillespie was left on the floor as it spun up and Wylde made a late claim to the strike as he volleyed it into the gaping net.
Plymouth - Brunt (26, 90)
United - Ellis (27), Archibald-Henville (86)
Plymouth - Nelson (67)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Atkinson, Raynes, Ellis, Grainger, Gilliead, Kennedy, Joyce (Thompson 84), Sweeney (Dicker 56), Wyke, Asamoah (Archibald-Henville 84). Subs - Hanford, Miller, Hery, Gillesphey.
Plymouth Argyle - McCormick, Mellor, Sawyer, McHugh, Nelson, Hartley, Simpson, Wylde, Jervis (Tanner 50), Brunt, Threlkeld. Subs - Walton, Reid, Harvey, Purrington, Smalley, Rooney.
Referee - Mr Seb Stockbridge
Attendance - 4,415 (801 away fans)