ARGYLE'S youngsters have a mammoth task ahead of them if they are to have any chance of retaining their Football League Youth Alliance Southern Section title after this defeat by second place Rovers.Rovers victory, in a game switched to Tavistock's Langsford Park ground, was enough to see the young Pirates move six points clear of the Pilgrims with both teams having four games left to play.
Argyle were without top scorer Tyler Harvey, who was away with the first team, but they gave Alliance debuts to schoolboys Ethan Stark and Dan Lavercombe in a squad that included five under-16's and were facing a strong Rovers outfit.
The game was far from being a classic and it was the visitors who took the first half honours although most of their efforts at goal came from distance or set pieces.
Trey Andrews' 25 yard effort cleared Lavercombe's bar on 23 minutes before Keiran Asamadu-Sakyi (pictured) cleared a corner from Pat Keary off the Argyle goal line 11 minutes later.
Rovers had two more efforts at goal, in the 39th and 45th minutes, but Chad Doubles saw his effort deflected over the bar before Jamie Lucas's drive flew wide.
Argyle started the second half brighter and gave a better account of themselves and for the opening quarter were the far better side but they were hit by a Rovers opener on the hour when a backpass was played to Lavercombe who hit his clearance straight to Lucas who steered his shot into the Pilgrim's goal.
There were seven minutes remaining when Argyle gave away a silly free kick, 20 yards from goal, Shaquille Hunter crashed the ball into the top corner.
The closest Argyle game to scoring was in the last minute when Solomon Wheatley's drive from the edge of the area came back off the post but substitute Louis Rooney hit his follow-up shot straight at the Rover's 'keeper.
Argyle: Dan Lavercombe, Colin Watson, Ben Purrington, Keiran Asumadu-Sakyi (Jake Miller h-t), James Bradley (c), Aaron Bentley, Solomon Wheatley, Matt Lecointe, Ethan Stark (Callum Hall 75), Joshua Hutchinson (Louis Rooney h-t), Ryan Lane. Substitute (not used): Tom Moxham.