Truro City 1
WHILE the opening fixture in Argyle’s pre-season schedule ended in a narrow defeat at Truro City, the objective of ‘minutes in legs’ was definitely achieved.
Former Pilgrim Louis Rooney scored the only goal for Truro early in the second half and Argyle were unable to find an equaliser, despite piling on the pressure in the closing stages.
New Argyle boss Ryan Lowe had pledged to give every fit player some game-time and a total of 23 Pilgrims were involved in a fixture played in front of a hugely impressive attendance of 1,766 enjoying the evening sunshine in Cornwall.
Such was the size of the crowd, largely dominated by the Green Army, the officials made the sensible decision to delay kick-off by 15 minutes and, when the game did start, Argyle created the first chance.
Ashley Smith-Brown was the catalyst, bombing down the left flank and delivering a deep cross that was steered wide by the onrushing Joe Riley in a swift introduction to the freedom given to wing-backs in Lowe’s preferred formation of 3-5-2.
Rio Garside, released by Argyle in the summer and currently on trial at Treyew Road, responded for the White Tigers with an effort from distance that was comfortably held by Michael Cooper in the Pilgrim goal.
The action soon returned to the other end of the pitch and Truro, now managed by former Pilgrim Paul Wotton, were lucky to escape when Jamie Richards cleared a dangerous cross from Luke Jephcott.
The first change in a sprightly start to the game saw Jephcott removed for Calum Dyson on the half-hour and Argyle were next appealing, unsuccessfully, for a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Ryan Taylor in the box.
Riley threatened again with a decent strike palmed over the bar by Jordan Holmes in the final chance of the first period. Lowe made a further eight substitutions at the break and the replacements were quickly caught out after an unfortunate slip for Scott Wootton.
Rooney, also introduced at the interval, gobbled up the opportunity to slide the loose ball home from close-range, giving the stranded trialist goalkeeper Jordan Holmes no chance of making the save.
Alex Fletcher very nearly grabbed an immediate equaliser for the Pilgrims but was inches wide with his shot before Holmes made a decent block to keep the deficit at one goal. More changes for Argyle did little to help the pattern of the game but it did achieve the aim of all players getting a run-out.
Teenager Klaidi Lolos displayed tremendous skill to carve out room for a shot on 73 minutes and his eventual effort was well saved by Wright in the Truro goal. Conor Grant then came even closer with a sweetly-struck drive that thundered against the home crossbar.
Truro held on for the win but a positive evening of work for both teams, and Argyle move on to their next friendly fixture at Plymouth Parkway on Saturday.
Truro: Jordan Wright; James Ward, Harlian Mbayo, Jamie Richards; Moulaye Ndiake (Niall Thompson 28), Austen Booth (Callum McGhee 74), Rio Garside (Max Gilbert 71), Noah Keats, Jamil Roberts (Tom Annear 78); Brandon Diau (Louis Rooney 46), James Lorenz (Tallen Mitchell 80).
Argyle (3-5-2): Michael Cooper (Jordan Holmes half-time); Mike Peck (Tom Purrington 68), Scott Wootton (Cameron Sangster 68), Niall Canavan (Gary Sawyer half-time); Joe Riley (Tafari Moore half-time), Antoni Sarcevic (Joel Grant half-time), Adam Randell (capt, Joe Edwards half-time), Danny Mayor (Conor Grant half-time), Ashley Smith-Brown (Ryan Law half-time); Luke Jephcott (Calum Dyson 34, Klaidi Lolos 63), Ryan Taylor (Alex Fletcher half-time).
Referee: Mark Whaley