Bristol City 2
Krans 35, 58
TWO goals by Kevin Krans condemned the Pilgrims to defeat against Bristol City in this development friendly at Home Park.
The tricky winger stuck either side of half-time to give his side a two goal cushion before Tyler Harvey pulled one back for the Pilgrims from the spot.
The Pilgrims boosted a strong line up, with nine professionals in the starting line-up. A mystery midfield trialist and second year apprentice River Allen made up the Argyle XI.
In contrast, most of the City side was filled with players from their academy although 36-year-old veteran Louis Carey, three outings from the Robins’ all time appearance record, upped the average age quite considerably.
Argyle’s stronger and more experienced side dominated the opening 15 minutes but it was City who enjoyed the game’s first genuine chance to score when Miguel Santana had Jake Cole scrambling when he headed Kevin Krans’ deep cross narrowly over the bar.
Argyle’s best chance of the half came on the 35 minute mark when Andre Blackman’s smart cut-back was somewhat miscued by Andres Gurrieri.
But just moments later, the visitors were ahead when Krans picked up the ball around 50 yards from goal, bore down on Cole before dispatching a low drive across the Argyle ‘keeper and into the bottom corner.
Determined to go in at half-time on a level footing, the Pilgrims rallied and Harvey was unlucky not to get the better of City ‘keeper Jojo Wollacott when he reacted first to Maxime Blanchard’s flick-on.
The Pilgrims’ midfield trialist was next to test Wollacott, who tipped his 30 yard effort around the post before smothering his header from the resultant corner.
After the break, the Pilgrims continued their onslaught as Andre Blackman and then Isaac Vassell headed over.
Blackman threatened again soon after but this time hit the target to force a fine save out of substitute ‘keeper Max O’Leary.
However, just as it looked as though Argyle might find their way back into the game, City doubled their lead from the spot when Krans was bundled over, dusted himself down, then fired past Cole from the spot.
Despite the scoreline, it was O’Leary, who since coming on at half-time, had been the busier ‘keeper and he again showed great athleticism to deny Luke Young’s dipping effort on the hour mark.
Ryan Lane was introduced to the action just over 20 minutes from time and ten minutes later, won the Pilgrims a penalty when his pace and quick feet drew a later challenge just inside the box.
Teenage striker Harvey volunteered to take the kick and buried with aplomb to half the Pilgrims' deficit.
A few minutes later, Lane nearly gave his side parity when he long looping cross was tipped over the bar in the nick of time by O’Leary.
But in the end it was City who ran out winner in an entertaining encounter at Home Park.
Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Jake Cole; 17 River Allen, 4 Maxime Blanchard (capt), 22 Jamie Richards, 2 Ben Purrington; 7 Andres Gurrieri (14 Ryan Lane 68), 8 Luke Young, 15 A Trialist (19 Keiran Asumadu-Sakyi 78), 3 Andre Blackman; 11 Isaac Vassell, 16 Tyler Harvey. Substitutes (not used): GK Andrew Hannah, 18 Joshua Hutchinson, 20 Nathan Summers, 25 Soloman Wheatley.