IF the Argyle first-team’s FA Cup with Budweiser first-round replay was a relatively straightforward affair......the same cannot be said about the Pilgrims’ youngsters’ progression in the FA Youth Cup.
Four times, they led in their second-round match at Colchester; four times, they were pegged back until, after extra-time and a sudden-death penalty shoot-out, they won a glamour tie at Aston Villa.
Josh Hutchinson scored the winning penalty, after netting the Pilgrims’ fourth goal in the second period of extra-time, after goalkeeper Andrew Hannah had saved two penalties in the shoot-out.
“It was a great result,” said Argyle manager John Sheridan, after his side had disposed of Lincoln City 5-0 to reach the second round of the FA Cup, “and it sounded like a great game!
“The FA Youth cup is always good for the players. I played in it when I was in the youth team at Leeds United, and it's really good when you win one or two games and go on a cup run.
“It's a big thing for the youth team, so it's a great result. They've traveled a long way, and showed a lot of character to win on penalties. It’s brilliant, and a good night for the club tonight.”
Jake Miller scored Argyle’s first two goals as the game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes, with Colchester equalising each time. Nathan Summers put the Young Pilgrims back in front, only for Colchester to level a third time before Hutchinson’s fourth was also pegged back.
“They don't come much harder than Villa, but it's great for them,” said John, about the third-round game. “They're going to a massive club, and it'll be a really good test for them, but they've earnt their right. They've gone to Colchester and won.
“To lead four times and then win on penalties – they'll be well happy on the way home.”