Cardiff City 0 Plymouth Argyle 2: Purse's dismissal lets Wotton cash in for Plymouth

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The Independent Football

Ten-man Cardiff City suffered a shock home defeat at Ninian Park as they were deservedly beaten by Plymouth Argyle yesterday.

David Jones' side were always second best as the Plymouth captain, Paul Wotton, led by example and opened the scoring in the second half after he was bundled over in the box.

Cardiff's Darren Purse was sent off for his crude challenge, which resulted in the penalty and things went from bad to worse for the hosts with time running out when a David Norris strike set the seal on the win.

Plymouth posed plenty of early threat and Jason Jarrett signalled their intent with a flashing 25-yard effort in the second minute.

Nick Chadwick was next to try his luck with a low drive just past the post before Norris called Neil Alexander into action for the first time after 16 minutes as the Cardiff goalkeeper parried his skidding effort away.

Five minutes later Rhys Weston came to Cardiff's rescue as he deflected a fierce Tony Capaldi shot behind for a corner. Another Capaldi effort had Alexander scrambling across his line just prior to half-time, before Cardiff eventually carved out their first chance of the game in first-half stoppage time, Romain Larrieu in the Plymouth goal tipping over Cameron Jerome's close-range effort.

However, despite a Michael Ricketts shot which was charged down by Elliott Ward, Argyle quickly reasserted control after half-time. Capaldi was running the show and, after 62 minutes, his angled left-footed effort again had Alexander worried as it just cleared the crossbar.

It was Wotton, though, who was to make the most telling contribution of all. After 71 minutes he sliced the home defence open with a burst into the penalty area and when his route to goal was unceremoniously blocked off by a crude challenge from Purse, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

As last man Purse must have known he was in trouble and was soon walking when the referee showed him the red card. From the resulting penalty Wotton made no mistake as he smashed the ball into the bottom corner.

That was nothing more than Plymouth deserved and soon after Micky Evans almost doubled the advantage with a shot from the right.

With 10 minutes left, however, the second goal did arrive as Evans played in Norris and he drilled low into the corner.

Goals: Wotton pen (72) 0-1; Norris (80) 0-2.

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Alexander; Weston, Purse, Loovens, Barker (Cox, 75); Cooper (Parry, 66), Ledley, Whitley, Koumas; Jerome (Lee, 77), Ricketts. Substitutes not used: Margetson (gk), Ardley.

Plymouth Argyle (4-4-2): Larrieu; Barness, Doumbe, Ward, Aljofree; Norris, Wotton, Jarrett, Capaldi; Evans (Lasley, 84), Chadwick. Substitutes not used: McCormick (gk), Buzsaky, Taylor, Derbyshire.

Referee: L Probert (Gloucestershire)

Booked: Cardiff City Jerome, Whitley; Plymouth Argyle Capaldi, Norris.

Sent off: Purse (71).

Man of the match: Capaldi.

Attendance: 16,403.