TWO goals in three second-half minutes saw an Argyle XI lose out to their Exeter City counterparts.Gilliam Buaza and Elliott Frear, who have both seen first-team action with the Grecians this season, provided the punishment in an entertaining end-to-end contest at Home Park.
Argyle had again named a strong side for this development friendly, with a starting line up which featured just two apprentices.
Playing in the 4-3-3 formation that had been so successful for the first-team just two days previously, Argyle started well with Gozie Ugwu testing Grecians ‘keeper Rhys Evans within the first minute.
Frear then dragged an effort wide for the visitors before Nick Chadwick headed Luke Young’s free-kick over the bar.
Ugwu, who had looked so dangerous in the early minutes, was forced to withdraw just after the half-hour after an innocuous looking challenge on the Lyndhurst touchline rendered him unable to continue.
Isaac Vassell was the man who replaced the on-loan Reading forward as he trudged despairingly down the tunnel.
On the stroke of half-time, Exeter’s Jamie Reid smashed a thunderous effort against Ollie Chenoweth’s crossbar but at the break, the scores remained level.
Just after the break, Matt Lecointe hit the post but from the same passage of play, Exeter took the lead when Buaza finished off a fine counter-attacking move.
Elliott Frear then doubled Exeter’s lead just three minutes later, ducking and diving before beating Chenoweth with a low drive into the bottom corner.
But Argyle were not out of the contest yet and pushed on forward, winning a series of corners from which Paris Cowan-Hall forced a good save from Evans before Luke Young’s goalbound effort was deflected away.
The Home Park woodwork was taking quite a pounding as Vassell directed Nick Chadwick’s flick on against it at one end, only for Buaza to cannon one off it at the other.
Adam Dawson then thumped it again with 15 minutes remaining before Luke Young shaved it for the Pilgrims.
Chadwick was unlucky not to pull one back for Argyle in the last few minutes when he saw his perfectly-taken volley saved by substitute ‘keeper Christy Pym.
Argyle (4-3-3): 1 Ollie Chenoweth; 2 Colin Watson, 4 Paul Wotton (capt) (16 James Bradley h-t), 5 Jamie Richards, 3 Ben Purrington; 6 Luke Young, 8 Matt Lecointe (12 Tyler Harvey 57), 10 Jared Sims; 7 Paris Cowan-Hall, 9 Nick Chadwick, 11 Gozie Ugwu (15 Isaac Vassell 32). Substitutes (not used): GK James White, 14 Nathan Summers.
Referee: David Goard