Elburton Villa 1 Argyle XI 0

ARGYLE’S under-18s played their first pre-season fixture of the season on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to Elburton Villa.

In a close-fought fixture, Elburton counter-attacked from a Greens corner in the final ten minutes of the game to net the only goal of the game via Aaron Hulme.

Academy Manager Kevin Hodges was nevertheless pleased with how his young Pilgrims fared against a senior side, and believes the experience will do the lads plenty of good.

“It was our first game, and I’m pleased with our work ethic and approach to the game," said Kevin. “There were moments where we produced some good football.

“They are a new group together, and it is a very young side, and as I said, it was going to be a test for us on the physical side of things, but I thought we matched them.

“In the first half we have created quite a number of chances, and some of the young boys were disappointed they did not take those chances.

“For me, the fact they got into those area was pleasing, and it is something that we need to focus and work on, in terms of quality of finishing.”

There was a worrying moment for Argyle’s Tom Moxham during the game, who picked up a knock to his leg in a 50-50 challenge, but after a precautionary trip to A&E, no fractures or breaks were found.

Hodges believes there is still room for improvement for the young squad, and will be working hard with them in training to help push them on.

Said Kevin: “These sort of games are never going to be easy. At the end, we were in a position to put on six of the under-16s, to give them a sample of men’s football.

“There is always going to be a bit of disorganisation, and that is probably where their goal eventually came from.

“We had an attacking corner, and they caught us on the counter attack, and it is a little bit unfortunate that a ricochet fell to one of their players at the far post to score.

“But there are a lot of positives, along with lots to work on, and it’s an insight for our young players of what is to come.”