As weeks go, this was not one Sheffield Wednesday supporters will look back on with much fondness. In the blink of an eye, following successive defeats to Barnsley and bottom-of-the-table Forest Green Rovers, The Owls went from League One winners-in-waiting to trailing in Plymouth Argyle’s wake.

Not only did the Steel City side sacrifice top spot in the table, Wednesday find themselves glancing nervously over their shoulders as the chasing pack hunt down a side who appeared destined for the Championship but are now fearing a play-off dogfight.

This was an opportunity Plymouth were waiting for. And, when Wednesday stumbled, Steven Schumacher’s side made sure to take full advantage.

Lincoln City v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One
Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images

A run of four wins in five games have lifted the South Coast club above Darren Moore’s Owls into first position.

And in his fourth season at Home Park, after missing out on the play offs by just three points nearly 12 months ago, Ryan Hardie deserves his moment in the sun.

Hardie’s 19 goals in 2021/22 counted for nothing in the end. A further 17 this, however, has Plymouth’s destiny in their own hands. Maintain their current form between now and the end of the season and Hardie will be rewarded with the League One title, and a shot at England’s second tier to boot.

Former Rangers striker Ryan Hardie firing Plymouth to the League One title

“He has got so much quality,” Argyle coach Steven Schumacher tells Plymouth Live of the one-time Rangers youngster; Hardie’s fabulous finish in a 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic typical of the man.

“The touch to bring it down out the air from that high was outstanding. And then there was his calmness in front of goal.

“It doesn’t matter if he misses a few chances. (Hardie) just keeps going and he backs himself all the time. He knows, in this team, we create chances for him.

“He knows he’s going to get them and he’s confident to take them. Once again he has proved how good he is.”

No one has scored more goals for Plymouth this term than Hardie; a Rangers academy graduate who was never really handed a sufficient chance at Ibrox but is now showing his old employers what all the fuss was about south of the border.

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