Bullock own goal puts Plymouth top

Cardiff City 0 Plymouth Argyle 1
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The Independent Football

Newly promoted Plymouth Argyle survived sustained second-half pressure from Cardiff City at Ninian Park last night to claim top spot in the Championship.

The Cardiff midfielder Lee Bullock's 24th-minute own goal gave Plymouth the points after the home side had spurned a series of good chances as they chased an equaliser in the second half.

Plymouth took the lead when Paul Wotton's inswinging corner was headed back across goal by the Scotland striker Stevie Crawford and deflected in off the back of Bullock. The goal was against the run of play, with Danny Gabbidon having already headed narrowly over for Cardiff.

Lennie Lawrence's side pushed forward after the interval, but could not break through a Plymouth defence that is yet to concede a goal this season.

Cardiff appealed vigorously for a penalty just before the hour when Robert Earnshaw fell under the challenge of Graham Coughlan as he was about to shoot, but the defender appeared to touch the ball before clattering into the striker and play was waved on.

Cardiff pressed again and Graham Kavanagh forced an excellent diving save from Luke McCormick with a fierce volley from the edge of the area. The rebound fell to Earnshaw but he flashed a shot over the crossbarwhen well placed. Earnshaw did put the ball in the net 11 minutes from time, but his well-directed header was ruled out as offside.

The Wales international was denied again in the closing minutes when an overhead kick from close range was headed away from goal by Coughlan and Earnshaw's follow-up shot was blocked on the line by Wotton.

"The boys at the back have done well, but it was very much a team effort," said the Plymouth manager, Bobby Williamson, whose side claimed their second win of the new season and have now taken seven points from their opening three games.

"Cardiff gave a better account of themselves in the second half - it was like playing two different teams - but we had that wee bit more in us to get the three points."

Cardiff City: Margetson, Weston (Collins, 88), Page, Gabbidon, Vidmar, Robinson, Kavanagh, Bullock (Campbell, 76), Langley (Parry, 61), Lee, Earnshaw. Substitutes not used: Warner, Croft.

Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Worrell, Coughlan, Wotton, Gilbert, Hodges (Friio, 82), Lasley, Adams, Capaldi, Crawford (Keith, 67), Evans (Lowndes, 90). Substitutes not used: Doumbe, Milne.

Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire).