Milk Cup - Plymouth Argyle 5 North Dublin Schools 0
28th July 2014
ARGYLE'S youngsters began their Dale Farm Milk Cup campaign with a victory over their Irish opponents at Rugby Park, Coleraine.The young Pilgrims began the contest in the best possible way, scoring three times in the opening 15 minutes to leave their opponents looking a beaten side.
Argyle could have been two goals ahead after just four minutes, with Alex Battle beating three defenders in a mazy run down the left flank. The impressive striker unselfishly drove the ball across the area, only for Alex Fletcher to see his shot hit goalkeeper Oisin McCarthy and fly wide of the far post.
Soon after, Sam Ryan worked his way in from the right side of the area, with McCarthy making a great save to block the midfielder's low drive.
Those missed chances were quickly forgotten as Battle again showed his strength and skill as he went past two defenders before lifting the ball over McCarthy and inside the far post from the narrowest of angles.
Battle then turned provider as his left wing cross was fired home, from close range by Ryan in the 11th minute, before the Dublin defence was split wide open by Cameron Sangster's pass that sent Fletcher clear to round the 'keeper and steer the ball home from an angle.
Dublin did not have an answer to Argyle's swift, passing game and Tyler Tonkin's superb pass put in Fletcher who cheekily placed the ball through the legs of the onrushing McCarthy before slotting the ball in to an unguarded net.
Argyle made the mistake of thinking the game was won as Dublin emerged from the break an entirely different prospect and were helped by Argyle's inability to repeat the slick passing of the first half.
Jason Grouse sent in a low shot that was saved by Michael Cooper before Stephen Nolan curled a fine effort around the far post from the edge of the Pilgrim's area.
The Argyle bench made changes and were rewarded, six minutes from time, when Ryan's great pass sent Fletcher racing down the right before crossing for Battle to volley home from close range.
Even then Dublin came back and only a fine save by Cooper kept out a vicious low drive from Jack O'Reilly but it was Argyle who can now plan for Tuesday's game against the Japan FA with a win under the belts.
Argyle: Michael Cooper, Ryan Dabbs (Harry Hodges 56), Ryan Law (Jake Lane 54), Harry Downing, Jordan Bentley, Josh Richards, Sam Ryan (Billy Craske 57), Tyler Tonkin, Alex Fletcher, Alex Battle, Cameron Sangster (Sam Morgan 45).
Substitutes not used: Max Childs, Elliott Crawford, Matthew Ward.