Currie keeps Town on course
Darren Currie kept Ipswich on course for the top flight with a two-goal blast in the second half at Home Park.
The league leaders had found points hard to come by over the festive period, losing two out of their previous three games.
But they dug deep when it counted and strengthened their grip on pole position in timely fashion with rivals Wigan not playing until Tuesday.
Plymouth goalkeeper Romain Larrieu was called into action in the fourth minute when he did well to smother a shot from Jason De Vos after Kevin Horlock's effort had been blocked.
The French shot-stopper followed that show of agility by reacting superbly in the ninth minute when he took the ball off Darren Bent's toes.
Plymouth hit back and skipper Paul Wotton came close to making the breakthrough three minutes later.
He got enough power and direction on his 20-yard free kick but goalkeeper Kelvin Davis was equal to it, turning the ball around the post.
Bent then showed a flash of inspiration in the 24th minute, turning quickly on the edge of the area, only to see his effort go narrowly wide.
Plymouth were again forced on the backfoot when Bent delivered a superb cross from the right.
Ian Westlake was perfectly positioned but David Friio made the clearance although the Ipswich player complained he had been held back.
Ipswich continued to dictate the play and Currie sprinted clear with the home side stretched.
Shefki Kuqi had made a forward run but Currie's pass was over-hit and the move broke down.
A moment of carelessness from De Vos almost cost Ipswich dearly. His clearance landed at the feet of Friio and his volley went inches wide of the post.
Then Scott Taylor almost marked his debut for Plymouth with a goal, only to see his effort from the edge of the area blocked by Davies in the 64th minute.
Ipswich made the breakthrough a minute later when Currie, who spent two months at Home Park in 1998, scored from the spot after Larrieu had brought down the pacy Bent.
It was just the boost the leaders needed after a poor run of results by their high standards.
Kuqi twice squandered good chances to extend Ipswich's lead before Currie added a second in the 84th minute following a cross from sub Jim Magilton.
Mickey Evans pulled a goal back for Plymouth two minutes later with a header after Davies had blocked his initial attempt but it was too little too late.