Pilgrims Win Devon St Luke's CupArgyle 4
Lecointe 36, 84
ARGYLE lifted the Devon St Luke’s Cup after a comfortable 4-1 demolition of Torquay.
Isaac Vassell opened the scoring just before the half hour and less than ten minutes later, found himself fouled in the area, allowing man-of-the-match Matt Lecointe to double the Pilgrims’ advantage from the spot.
After a brief resurgence in the second period, substitute Rob Nardiello pulled one back for the Gulls but Argyle soon retaliated as Lecointe triumphed once more with a superb individual effort.
Then, just a minute from time, Tyler Harvey put the cherry on the Pilgrims’ victory, topping a slick Argyle victory with a simple tap in.
People will say 'it is only the Devon St Luke's Cup', but any trophy lifted by the Greens at Home Park is special and skipper for the night Luke Young will have no doubt hoped that it will be the first of many cups he hoists in triumph in front of the Green Army.
With important first-team games for both clubs coming up on Saturday, the sides featured a mixture of young professionals and apprentices.
Starters Rene Gilmartin, Jared Sims, Young, Harvey and Lecointe had all seen first-team action this season as had the Gull’s Angus MacDonald, Ian Morris, Lloyd Mackin, Niall Thompson, Tom Cruise, Dan Leadbitter and Nathan Craig.
And it was Torquay who threatened first when Macklin forced a good early save from Gilmartin.
Harvey tested Conor Thompson from 25 yards a few minutes later before Sims thrashed an effort narrowly over from a similar distance.
Argyle took the lead with their first effort on target when good work from Harvey on the left led to a delicious low cross which Vassell rushed in to tap home from less than six yards.
Argyle were just a fingertip away from making it two soon after when Thompson produced a good save to tip Lecointe’s thunderous effort over the bar.
But Lecointe did not have to wait long for his goal when just under 10 minutes from half-time, Vassell was floored in the area and referee Adam Bromley pointed to the spot.
The young striker stepped up confidently, beating Thompson low to his right with a cool, calm finish.
Argyle did not let up after the break either as the visitors were helpless to prevent the Pilgrims’ wingers from running amok.
Time and time again both Vassell and Josh Hutchinson beat their markers to launch balls into the box.
Just before the hour, Lecointe latched on to a perfectly weight Harvey through ball, rounded the advancing ‘keeper but, under pressure from MacDonald, fired his shot into the wrong side of the side netting.
As the half wore on, Torquay improved in confidence and should have perhaps pulled a goal back when substitute Nardiello ghosted in behind Colin Watson, only to pull his effort wide.
But Nardiello did eventually manage to reduce the deficit soon afterwards when, when he beat James Bradley to the ball to tuck home Niall Thompson’s right wing cross.
Thompson then forced a good save from Argyle’s substitute ‘keeper Chenoweth before Allen was forced to make a hasty clearance from the resultant corner.
But just when things were beginning to look shaky for the Pilgrims, Lecointe popped up again to restore his side’s two goal advantage; turning his man in the box before dispatching from ten yards.
Harvey then made sure of the victory in the dying embers of the game when he capitalised horrendous goalkeeping error.
Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Rene Gilmartin (13 Ollie Chenoweth h-t); 2 Colin Watson, 4 James Bradley, 5 Nathan Summers, 3 Ben Purrington; 7 Isaac Vassell, 6 Jared Sims, 8 Luke Young (capt) (14 River Allen 61), 11 Josh Hutchinson (15 Sol Wheatley 84); 9 Matt Lecointe, 10 Tyler Harvey. Substitutes (not used): 12 Kieran Asumandu-Sakyi.
Torquay United (4-4-2): 1 Conor Thompson; 23 Dan Leadbitter, 6 Jake Hutchings, 5 Angus MacDonald (8 Mickey Parcell 80), 22 Tom Cruise; 15 Niall Thompson, 25 Nathan Craig, 11 Ian Morris (capt) (19 Jack May 65), 9 Jamie Alexandrou (2 Rob Nardiello 59); 10 Dan Sullivan, 14 Lloyd Macklin. Substitutes (not used): 3 Alexandros Avraamides, 24 Kevin McCallion.
Booked: Cruise 81
Referee: Adam Bromley
Photos by Dave Rowntree