Hodgey On Youth Cup Exit

ACADEMY manager Kevin Hodges will take the positives from last night’s FA Youth Cup defeat to Oxford United.

The young Pilgrims were defeat 3-2 by the U's at Didcot Town’s Loop meadow stadium, having taken the lead in the first-half.

But Hodges, who himself represented the Pilgrims in the FA Youth Cup, is determined to look at the positives as his young players look to recover in time for the Football League Youth Alliance fixture with Torquay United on Saturday.

“Naturally, I’m very disappointed for the boys,” said Argyle record appearance holder Hodgey.

“I have to say, in the first 40 minutes, the players performed fantastically well.

“We were totally in charge of the game, we played at a real nice, high tempo and very rarely did Oxford get out of their own half.

“Our goalkeeper, Christian Walton, was more of a spectator.

“We’ve got the break, we’ve got the goal, Tyler Harvey took it very well and very calmly, and we were in charge of the game.”

Sadly, though just before half-time, disaster struck.

Kevin said: “It’s an important stage - seconds before half-time - and we lapsed defensively and let in a relatively easy goal which gave Oxford a massive lift and we came in perhaps a little disappointed.

“We stressed that they’d been performing well, to expect Oxford to come at them in second-half for the first 20 or so minutes, but to be ready for them and respond.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t respond and they got a little bit of an upper hand and they got a little bit fortunate with the second goal which was a miss-clearance from us that which came off one of our players and into the back of the net.

“But, we responded again, got another goal and got ourselves back in the game but they went and scored in the last ten minutes.”

“Overall, I felt we were the better team.

“I did stress before the match that we’d have to be on our game defensively, and that was our weakness on the evening. We didn’t clear the ball when we need to and we conceded three really basic goals which was a shame.

“But, it’s a development process, and the boys will learn from this. They’ll pick themselves up and hopefully get a result against Torquay on Saturday.”