Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe reckons he has got a “goal machine” in young striker Luke Jephcott.
A brace of goals from the 19-year-old set Argyle on their way to a 3-0 win over a Carlisle side that could never get to grips with the dreadful conditions or their visitors’ slick passing style.
Substitute Ryan Hardie, on loan from Blackpool, added a late third to send Plymouth’s 567 travelling supporters home happy on the return leg of their 650-mile round trip which started at 4am.
Lowe added: “I’m delighted for Luke, although he still has a long way to go. He’s doing everything we ask him to do.
“He’s the sort of player who gets himself in the right place at the right time.”
The Argyle manager added: “Ryan’s come in and scored and I want players who are going to score goals. All the lads have contributed and it’s a team effort.”
Plymouth are the form team in League Two, but Lowe was keen to stress it is only halfway through the season.
“We’re only in mid-January and there’s a lot of hard work to do. But they are doing everything the way we want them to play and it is giving us results.
“Now we want to make 2020 a better year for all of us. Then we will get to where we want to get to. It’s a work in progress, but very pleasing.
“I was very happy with the attitude and application out there. It’s a tough place to come. The boys’ passing accuracy and the chances we created were enjoyable to watch.”
“Our pass completion and pass selection was good. Three goals should easily have been four or five.”
The Plymouth boss was happy to put his hand in his pocket after promising to buy breakfast for fans travelling on the club’s official coach.
“What a shift the fans put in,” he said. “It’s something to travel all that way and have over 500 here.”
Once Plymouth had taken a 33rd-minute lead – Jephcott steering home at the near post after Byron Moore’s cross from the right – Carlisle were facing an uphill struggle.
Four minutes after the break Jephcott was the man on the spot again, finding space in the box to slot his shot past Adam Collin after Tyreeq Bakinson had set up the chance.
Carlisle staged a brief fightback before Hardie latched onto a ball from Danny Mayor to finish clinically in the 75th minute.
It got worse for the Cumbrians in added time when defender Aaron Hayden was sent off for a second yellow card.
Carlisle head coach Chris Beech admitted his side needs a lot of hard work to bridge the gap with the teams near the top of Sky Bet League Two.
He said: “We have lost three games in 10 against teams at the top end of the league.
“We have so much work to do to get to that. It will only be achieved with very, very hard work.
“Plymouth are a good team and use the ball very well. You have to respect the opposition, but not fear them. We gave away a soft first goal, a cross into the box and no marking.
“We were not good enough. We untied our own shoes a bit today.
“We started quite well and we were not under any sort of pressure. We needed to push on but didn’t. Like any arm wrestle, someone gets on top, and in conditions like that it’s difficult to turn it around.
“We didn’t work the keeper, which was disappointing. We had some great corners but there was no contact on the ball, which was disappointing.”
Beech is trying to add to his attacking options, confirming a couple of targets had won back squad places at their current clubs.
“We can’t wait too long to find the answer,” he said.