Living the Dream

YOU feel the only thing that poses a danger to Ben Purrington’s start to life as senior professional footballer is him waking up.

After making a dream debut in a 3-2 league victory at Oxford United, the teenage defender scored an equally ethereal first senior goal on Sunday to earn the Pilgrims a 2-2 FA Cup with Budweiser third-round draw away to Port Vale.

The goal made him the youngest Argyle player ever to score in the FA Cup.

Ben’s 74th-minute shot, after team-mate Reuben Reid’s earlier goal, completed a marvellous second-half comeback by Argyle, who undeservedly trailed their Sky Bet League 1 opponents 2-0 at the break.

“To go 2-0 down and come back to take them to a replay was really good,” said Ben, 17, after the game, “and to get a goal, as well…it’s amazing.

“I couldn’t really believe it when I scored. I saw the ball go in and then everyone was jumping on me. I haven’t scored in years, apart from this season.”

Argyle’s fightback means they now replay the third-round tie with Vale at Home Park on Tuesday, January 14 to see who faces Brighton & Hove Albion at home in the fourth round on January 25.

“We got back into the game and played really well in the second half,” said Ben. “I thought we hung in there and did well. We hit the post and had a few good chances. Nathan [Thomas] and Andres [Gurrieri] were unlucky not to score.

“If the game was a bit longer, we could have clinched it. It was a shame, but it was a good result.”