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Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Bristol City: Robins heap more pressure on struggling Pilgrims

Plymouth Argyle's relegation fears increased as they failed to score for a fifth successive home game in a 1-0 Championship loss to Bristol City.

Argyle had the better of a goalless first half, but could not create a clear cut chance and were made to pay when City took the lead early in the second half.

Nahki Wells nodded in from close range after Michael Cooper had saved two City shots.

Argyle's day got worse when Alfie Devine was sent off for a second booking with 12 minutes left as the pressure mounted on Plymouth head coach Ian Foster after a 10th winless game in 11 league matches.

It leaves the Pilgrims one place and one point above the relegation zone while the victory moves Bristol City up to 12th place.

Under pressure Argyle started strongly against a City side that beat promotion-chasing Leicester City on Good Friday - they forced six corners in the first 25 minutes as Bali Mumba, Morgan Whittaker and Ryan Hardie all had chances.

Argyle top-scorer Whittaker blasted a far-post volley over from Matthew Sorinola's cross after half an hour, while Scott Twine had City's first chance five minutes later when Michael Cooper tipped his lobbed effort over the bar.

City boss Liam Manning made three changes to his side at half-time as Mark Sykes, Joe Williams and Wells came on to try and create some impetus.

The changes appeared to work as Sykes had a penalty appeal turned away three minutes into the second period before he and Wells were involved in the opener.

Anis Mehmeti cut in from the left and saw his right-footed effort parried away by Michael Cooper, Sykes had an attempt saved on the follow-up but Wells was there to head home his fifth goal of the season.

Whittaker forced a good low save from Max O'Leary with 20 minutes to go, but it was just the hosts' second shot on target all game - a lack of goal attempts has been a problem they have had at home for a couple of months.

It got worse for Argyle when Devine was sent off for a second booking after a foul on George Tanner, two minutes after Wells had forced a good save from Cooper.

Plymouth Argyle head coach Ian Foster told BBC Radio Devon:

"The performance today was outstanding for long periods of the game.

"There's nothing in the game when they score, the goal is disappointing from our perspective, we've got to go in front when we're on top and as dominant as we are.

"The fans are not going to be going away rubbing their hands and smiling because we've lost a game, I'm sure they'll have an appreciation for the effort and application of the players - they were outstanding in terms of how they tried to play with bravery on the ball.

"You can't fault the players' attitude and application - the players are giving everything they possibly can, we've just got to be a little more ruthless in certain moments of the game."

Bristol City head coach Liam Manning told BBC Radio Bristol:

"It was terrific to get another win and clean sheet. Huge credit to the squad, when you look at the demands of the game, it takes a lot out of you physically.

"We knew Plymouth would get on the front foot and we did a really good job of weathering that first 20 minutes. They had some set-pieces but without troubling Max and after that it was a really good professional performance.

"We changed it [defence] from a five to a four during the half, which I thought helped in terms of getting pressure higher up and wrestling back control of the game.

"He's a top pro, Nahki - I can't speak highly enough of him. He'd probably want to play more than he has done but it was an excellent performance stepping on and delivering when required. He came on and had a real positive impact."