Argyle U18s 1 Bristol Rovers U18 1
Argyle's under-18's earned a deserved share of the spoils in their final Football League Youth Alliance South West Conference game......in a match played at the plush new 4G artificial pitch at the University of St Mark & St John.
Much of the credit for the point must go to 15-year-old schoolboy goalkeeper Michael Cooper, who was making his third appearance at this level due to injuries to apprentice stoppers Andrew Hannah and Cory Harvey.
Academy manager Kevin Hodges included one other under-16 schoolboy, midfielder Connor McCloughlan, in his starting line-up and also introduced Kieran Bishop, Sam Ryan and Tyler Tomkins as substitutes during the second half.
Cooper quickly made his mark with an early save to deny lively Rovers' striker Blake Davies, and proceeded to underline the potential he had shown in last year's Dale Farm Northern Ireland Milk Cup with a series of fine saves at regular intervals throughout the game.
At the other end striker Louis Rooney had a fierce shot blocked and then thought he had beaten the visitors 'keeper, only to be frustrated when his low drive rebounded off the foot of the far post.
The Pirates gradually asserted themselves on the game and took the lead in the 40th minute when Sam Green reacted quicker than those around him, in a crowded goalmouth, to stab a loose ball home.
Substitute Ryan made an instant impact with his first touch when his right wing cross found striker Jason Vincent stretching to fire home from 10 yards and level the scores.
Argyle are one of the top five teams in the South West Conference who now proceed to play in a new competition for the closing months of the season against the top seven teams from the south-east section. Full details are expected to be announced very soon.
Argyle: Michael Cooper, Mason Hughes, Owen Jones (Tyler Tonkin 57), Will Sargent, Tom Moxham, Jamil Roberts, Ryan Lane, Billy Palfrey (Sam Ryan 62), Connor McAuley, Jason Vincent, Louis Rooney (Kieran Bishop 79). Substitute not used: Liam Knowles.