THE Argyle Ladies earned themselves a glamour tie with Newcastle United after a 2-0 victory over Larkhall in the second round of the FA Cup.The Pilgrims will now travel to the north east on February 3 in the longest trip in English football.
Manager Kev Rose made just one change to the team that beat Forest Green in the previous round, Sian Fagg replacing Rachel Javan at left back, Rachel dropping to the bench with Sarah Stacey and Chloe Bassett.
Argyle began the match in a positive mood and, for the first ten or fifteen minutes were in control, attacking down both flanks with Ellie Dorey and Emily Mousley both prominent and Steph Beck linking the play up front to great effect.
In fact it was Mousley who had two attempts as she burst through on the left, but both her shots went wide of the far post without troubling the home keeper.
Next it was Katie Middleton who powered a free kick from 35 yards past a post.
Larkhall, who were boasting a 100% record this season, began to work their way into the game as the half progressed and Middleton was called upon to make a great saving tackle as the Larkhall forward was about to strike.
A few minutes later, Beck was unlucky when her effort from close in struck the post.
The game was now an absorbing contest with both sides trying to break the deadlock.
Argyle's play had deteriorated somewhat as the half came to an end and they were happy to go into the break on level terms.
Larkhall continued the second half in the ascendency; playing some neat attractive football, and a below par Argyle sruggled at times to contain them.
Just after the hour, winger Chloe Bassett replaced Jodie Chubb, and her pace out wide began to cause problems for the home defence.
Indeed, it was from a good run down the left that she won a crucial corner, cleverly playing the ball off the defender.
Rebekah Rose fired over a great corner, and Mousley scored with a header from close in to put the Pilgrims into a lead that they barely deserved on 75 mins.
With ten minutes to go, a double substitution had Rachel Javan and Sarah Stacey enter the fray in place of Mousley and Beck.
Larkhall pushed more players forward in search of the equaliser and that played into the hands of Argyle.
Javan was prominent as she took up the strikers role, and it was she who set up teenager Sarah Stacey two minutes from time.
She held the ball up and played a neat through ball for Sarah to run onto and coolly finish with a measured powerful shot that gave the home keeper no chance.
Though not one of their best performances, being the first game in a month due to the weather and the Christmas break, the girls once again showed great resilience in getting through a tricky tie.