ARGYLE Ladies returned from their first ever trip to Shanklin with all three points from this South West Combination fixture.Travel to the Isle of Wight meant a 6.45am start for the team in order to make the 2pm kick off.
From the start, Argyle were on the front foot and pressed forward for an opening goal.
Good football proved difficult on a hard pitch with the ball bouncing more than normal.
The Pilgrims eventually went ahead after 15 minutes when Chloe Bassett's high, looping shot found the net after the home 'keeper let the ball slip through her hands as she reached up to the crossbar.
Just six minutes later, Argyle doubled their lead from Midfielder Becca Rose's corner from the left. The ball evaded all in the centre, bounced and Emily Mousley pounced at the back post for an easy header.
Shanklin had their moments, and Michaela Phillips needed to be alert to get in the way of a goalbound shot just before the break.
After the break, the home side began to assert themselves a bit more and within five minutes had pulled a goal back when Phillips lost the race to the ball in the box and was easily lobbed.
Moments later, Rose put Mousley through on goal but her crisp shot was well saved.
Shanklin deservedly levelled the score with 20 minutes remaining when another high bouncing ball beat Argyle's keeper, only to bounce off the crossbar, before falling to a Shanklin striker to tap home.
Argyle were going through a poor spell at this time with several players guilty of sloppy passing, often straight to the opposition.
To their credit, urged on by skipper Katie Middleton, they began to get it together for the final 15 minutes and managed to edge back into the lead.
This time Laura Perrett got her head to another fine Rose corner from close range.
Argyle made the points safe when Rose converted a penalty three minutes from time, after two defenders took a leg each of Rachel Javan to bring her down as she powered into the penalty box.
On reflection, whilst happy with the three points that moved the girls to the top of the league, their collective performance would not have been good enough to beat the better sides in the division.