Argyle U18s 0 Bristol Rovers U18s 2
ARGYLE suffered their first defeat in this season's Youth Alliance Cup at the hands of Bristol Rovers.Academy manager Kevin Hodges was without Ryan Lane (knee) and River Allen (ankle) as the Pirates triumphed to take top spot in Group Two and certainties to go through to the knock-out stage of the competition.
Argyle will now have to rely on the results of others if they are to procede but this was always going to be a big ask for Hodges' side against an unbeaten opponent who have now beaten the young Pilgrims twice this season.
The Gas will have enjoyed their two visits to Plymouth this season having won their league encounter 3-1, on the opening day of the season, before adding this triumph.
To be fair to Argyle they were facing a physically stronger opponent who quickly took control of the midfield and it was only a goaline clearance by Aaron Bentley, pictured, and goalkeeper Andrew Hannah's brave save at Ryan Broom's that kept out the Gas until the 18th minute.
The Argyle defence backed off the impressive Jamie Lucas, as he ran through the middle, before the Rovers striker let fly from 20 yards with a shot that took a deflection as it flew in to the top corner of Hannah's goal despite the Argyle 'keeper doing well to get a hand to the ball.
Argyle improved after the break, especially after the introduction of Louis Rooney to play up front alongside Ethan Stark, who had played a lone role for the first 57 minutes.
They then fashioned, possibly, their only real chance of the game after good play by Stark saw him make the byeline before pulling the ball back for Joshua Hutchinson to completely miss his kick with the goal yawning.
Rovers hit back making two good chances before finally notching their second on 69 minutes when Aaron Ward-Baptiste's far post volley flew inside the near post despite another brave effort from Hannah to keep the ball out.
Argyle: Andrew Hannah, Mason Hughes, Ben Purrington, Will Sargent (Jake Miller 71), Aaron Bentley (Tom Moxham 65), Nathan Summers, Solomon Wheatley, Keiran Asumadu-Sakyi, Ethan Stark, Callum Hall, Joshua Hutchinson (Louis Rooney 57).