ARGYLE's youngsters suffered defeat in the cruelest of fashions when they lost their Football League Youth Alliance second round tie on penalties away to the Wombles.
"If it had gone to extra time then we probably would have been favourites, as we finished the stronger of the two sides," said Academy Manager Kevin Hodges, "but this competition goes straight to penalties."
"Over the 90 minutes we were the better and fitter team, creating the better chances in what was a very open game.
"This was a new experience for the lads, especially young goalkeeper Michael Cooper, and they will have learned a lot from the game. We now have to pick ourselves up and go again."
Jake Miller went close to giving Argyle the lead, on 22 minutes, but his fierce drive whistled narrowly wide of the Wombles goal. In the final minute of the half Jason Vincent hit a fine angled drive that flew across goal and wide.
Alex Fletcher was proving a handful for the home defence, and one of his runs ended with his driven cross flying across goal with no-one on hand to provide the final touch.
Argyle's best chance came five minutes from time when great play by full-back Billy Palfrey found Jack Calver one-on-one with the home 'keeper who made a brave save at the midfielder's feet.
The game went to the dreaded penalty shoot-out and unfortunately Calver missed Argyle's first effort. That proived to be the all-important incident as the other nine penalties were all converted.
Argyle: Michael Cooper, Billy Palfrey, Jordan Bentley, Owen Jones, Liam Knowles, Dan Rooney (Jamil Roberts 75), Jake Miller, Jack Calver, Alex Fletcher, Alex Battle, Jason Vincent.