THE first game of the Merrivale League saw Argyle’s youth team suffer a 1-0 defeat against Barnet on Friday at Harper’s Park.
The starting line-up for the Home Team included nine of the young Pilgrims who served in the fantastic FA Youth Cup run as well as an Under-16 player, Mani Skett, who will become an Argyle apprentice next season.
Within the first 10 minutes of the game, a challenge from Rio Garside against Barnet’s Ross Helke resulted in a knee injury and the Bees player being stretchered off. We wish him well.
Barnet dominated the majority of the play in the first half so it was no surprise to see that, four minutes into the added injury time in the first half, they went 1-0 up. It was unfortunate for Argyle as it came after multiple, consecutive, terrific saves from goalkeeper Michael Cooper but unfortunately it was third time lucky for Barnet and the ball hit the back of the net, through goalscorer Rio Connell.
In the second half there was an obvious change of play from the young pilgrims, they gained the possession and had multiple chances to equalise that, unfortunately, were either saved or were missed ever so slightly.
The last 10 minutes were intense. Corner after corner saw Argyle look increasingly more likely to bag themselves a last minute equaliser. An extraordinary shot from Crawford looked so promising but was saved by Barnet’s McKenzie-Lyle. No matter how hard Argyle tried, unfortunately, it was not to be as the final whistle blew and it ended 1-0 to Barnet.
Argyle: Michael Cooper, Harry Hodges, Ryan Law, Cameron Sangster, Harry Downing, Elliot Crawford, Mani Skett (Jude Boyd 75), Mike Peck (Tom Purrington 80), Klaidi Lolos, Rio Garside, Aaron Goulty. Subs not used: Max Childs, Ollie Tomlinson, Adam Randell.