Argyle u18 3 Barnet u18 1
ARGYLE under 18s recorded a superb victory over a strong Barnet side who have not been used to losing this season.
A goal from Ben Steer and a brace from from Louis Rooney completed a fine comeback by Kevin Hodges' side, who trailed at the break.
Barnet went in to this game after winning their Conference League and on the back of victories in their opening two games which saw them lead the Merit League One table.
The game was played on Marjon's excellent 4G pitch and both sides came to terms with the surface and produced a thrilling and skillful encounter.
Argyle had several of their squad sidelined through injury, although Jack Calver was back from his recent injury, and Steer was making his first start since the beginning of the season.
The Pilgrims almost took a fourth minute lead when Rooney's close range effort was cleared off the visitors' line, but Barnet came back strongly. Billy Palfrey did well to block Nana Keyi's goalbound drive, then Matthew Stevens' drive hit his own player, allowing Cory Harvey to grab the ball on the line. The young 'keeper also made a great save to keep out Shane Cojocarel's ferocious drive.
Steer and Jason Vincent both went close before Barnet took a 20th minute lead. Argyle defender Owen Jones was caught ball watching as Keyi raced in to smash home a low right wing cross from 12 yards.
The goal appeared to fire Argyle up and they were unlucky when Vincent's shot came back off the post and Rooney saw his effort, from distance, fly narrowly past the post.
Argyle started the second half well with Vincent seeing his fierce, low drive well saved by Kai McKenzie-Lyle before the home side deservedly levelled on 57 minutes. Palfrey made room on the right before picking out the run of Steer whose rasping drive flew into the roof of the net despite defender Joe Gater getting his head to the ball.
Barnet hit back with Fu Majaya denied by Harvey before the same player fired a great chance over the bar from eight yards.
That was practically the last seen of the Barnet attack as a real threat as Argyle took the game to them, deservedly taking a 75th minute lead when Rooney scored from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Gater who was sent off minutes later after receiving his second yellow of the game.
Rooney then scored the goal of the game as he turned his marker on the angle of the box to send a super drive, with the outside of his right boot, around the diving 'keeper and inside the far post.
Tom Moxham received his second yellow of the game late on, but Argyle comfortably saw our the dying moments for a superb victory.
Argyle: Cory Harvey, Billy Palfrey, Jack Calver (Mason Hughes 69), Will Sargent, Owen Jones, Tom Moxham, Dan Rooney, Callum Hall, Jason Vincent, Louis Rooney (Alex Fletcher 89), Ben Steer (Connor McAuley 74). Substitute not used: Liam Knowles.