THIS weekend sees Argyle Ladies take on second placed Cardiff City in the Women’s Premier League...
...and manager Kevin Taylors knows the size of the task he is up against when the Welsh side travel to Devon.
The ladies suffered their fourth loss on the bounce last weekend when the Pilgrims traveled to newly promoted C&K Basildon. Taylor felt somewhat hard done by, but he saw the positives in his side’s performance, despite missing two key players through suspension.
He said: “Immediately after the game there was a feeling of disappointment, especially when it transpired that the defeat saw us drop into the relegation places.”
“On reflection, we can take some comfort from a vastly improved performance and the fact that barring one momentary lapse in concentration, there was very little between the sides.
“It was definitely a match where we felt we could have got a result. In truth, without the likes of Jessie Jones and Kayley Lane, we lacked a real cutting edge up front and Mollie Taylor often ploughed a lonely furrow for most of the game.”
The defeat meant that Argyle would occupy one of the two relegation spots in the league, on goal difference, as West Ham United Ladies would move above the Pilgrims with a game in hand.
This is Taylor’s first season as Ladies manager, and when he was handed the fixture list at the start of the season, he noticed all his home games were going to be up against the top sides in the division, one after another.
Argyle have already played Portsmouth, Coventry, Brighton and Charlton, and with second place Cardiff to play next, Taylor feels his run of home games has been “extremely tough”.
With the side occupying a relegation spot, Kev feels that his side need to all pull together and not let the poor form get the better of them.
“We have to play all the top sides at some stage,” he said, “but to face them all one after another at home since the start of the season has been extremely tough.
“There has been no respite in any of those home games to date, and I’m convinced that if we had at least one point on the board from our home games, we would have gone to the likes of Basildon last week in slightly better shape, and with a bit more confidence to get a result.
“It’s hard not to look at the League table, and it’s not nice to see yourself in the relegation places, but it’s still early days and you have to look at who we’ve played, especially at home, to take things into context.
“I’d prefer to look and see what the situation is after Christmas when we will have played one or two of the bottom 6 teams at home and see where we go from there.”
Sunday’s clash with Cardiff will see Taylor with a bit of a selection headache again, as Jessie Jones and Kayley Lane are to miss the game via suspension, and this week saw the Argyle manager learn that Emily Mousley is likely to miss the entirety of the season with a knee injury. Michaela Phillips will also miss Sunday’s match, due to work commitments.
There is some good news for Taylor though, as Rebekah Rose will be back for selection, following her coaching course at St George’s Park.
Argyle Ladies take on Cardiff City Ladies this Sunday at Elburton Villa FC, 2.00pm kick-off, with a percentage of all ticket and programme sales going towards to Primrose Foundation, an organisation that focuses on breast cancer.