Kenneth Zohore’s fourth goal of Cardiff City’s pre-season tour to Cornwall sealed another victory in a tight affair away to Plymouth Argyle.
A strong Cardiff City side lined up to face the Pilgrims on a clear evening at Home Park.
While both sides looked well organised early on, the Bluebirds worked the ball well in the final third through Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Loïc Damour in particular, hinting at opportunities to come for the visitors.
City’s Neil Etheridge was the first ‘keeper truly called into action though, as he had to react well to parry away Graham Carey’s powerful drive from outside the box.
The match was developing into an end-to-end contest, with the home side certainly holding their own. Mendez-Laing’s explosive pace worried the Pilgrims on one City breakaway, as he raced down the right flank before firing over.
Plymouth went very close to taking the lead ten minutes before the break, as Carey’s disguised pass freed Lionel Ainsworth on the right. With the City backline stretched, the winger squared the ball, but his teammate David Fox could only guide the ball wide.
With half-time approaching, City’s best opportunity came as Kenneth Zohore found space, checked back onto his right foot and curled the ball towards goal. Plymouth’s Luke McCormick was equal to his effort though, before Bruno Manga headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner.
Both sides made several changes during the interval, and it was one of the Bluebirds’ newcomers who made an instant impact on the game. Lee Tomlin’s quick free-kick set Zohore free and the forward made no mistake with a calm finish.
At the other end, Plymouth’s newly introduced Ruben Lameiras went close - firing over after Gregg Wylde’s squared ball.
The introduction of Tomlin saw the Bluebirds play some delightful football in the final third, as the summer recruit combined with Zohore, Danny Ward and Matty Kennedy.
Plymouth spurned a gilt-edged chance to draw level with fifteen minutes remaining, when Wylde’s excellent cross was headed wide from close range by Nathan Blissett.
As the clock ticked down, Lameiras stung the palms of Brian Murphy with a low driven effort, while Ibrahim Meite forced Robbert Te Loeke into a smart one-on-one save at the other end.
The referee then called time after some late Plymouth pressure, seeing the Bluebirds record their fourth win from four matches, continuing their pre-season preparations in fine form.
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick (Te Loeke 82), Songo’o (Sawyer 82), Edwards (Sarcevic 46), Ainsworth (Lameiras 46), Carey (Bentley 82), Jervis (Blissett 46), Bradley (Fletcher 82), Grant (Sokolik 46), Taylor-Sinclair, Threlkeld, Fox (Wylde 46).
Cardiff City: Etheridge (Murphy 46), Connolly (Richards 30), Morrison (C), Manga (Bamba 46), Bennett (Peltier 75), Gunnarsson (Halford 71), Ralls, Damour (Tomlin 46), Mendez-Laing (Kennedy 46), Zohore (John 67), Ward (Meite 82).