Billy the Hero

ARGYLE reached the final of Edenvale Ltd Devon St Luke’s Challenge Cup...

...after a 1-0 win away to rivals Exeter City in the semi-final on Tuesday night. 

The victory came just four days after the first team suffered a 2-1 defeat at St James Park in their Sky Bet League 2 fixture.

Billy Palfrey, a second-year apprentice, scored the only goal of the game on the 76th minute with a wonder strike from 25 yards that beat goalkeeper Christy Pym.

The right-back was a half-time substitute for the Pilgrims, replacing midfielder Josh Simpson for the second half. 

Cup-holders Argyle started a strong line up for this fixture, with Vincent Dorel, Oscar Threlkeld, Ben Purrington, Kelvin Mellor, Josh Simpson and Hiram Boateng all starting. “The experienced players who played tonight needed minutes in their legs,” said coach Paul Wotton after the game.

The closest Exeter came to equalising was in the 67th minute, when a City corner fell to Toby Down, who produced a fantastic save from Argyle ’keeper Dorel, diving low down to his right-hand post. 

Despite Argyle comfortably controlling the game for huge periods, Exeter provided some late pressure as they searched for an equaliser. In the 90th minute, Manny Oyeleke played in Clinton Morrison, who had an attempted cross-shot cleared by Jordan Bentley and, just afterwards, Morrison again broke through into the penalty area but was superbly blocked by a sliding Kelvin Mellor. 

Argyle held on and have secured their place in the final which will be played at Newton Abbot against Witheridge on May 3. 

“I thought we showed a great work ethic and good ability at times,” said Wotton. 

Exeter City: 1 Christy Pym; 2 Jordan Tillson; 3 Will Richards; 4 Tom McCready; 5 Toby Down; 7 Joel Grant; 8 Manny Oyeleke; 10 Stevie Rodgers; 14 Alex Nicholls; 18 Jamie Reid; 19 Clinton Morrison. Substitutes: 11 Frank Rosenwald, 12 Ben Seymour, 15 Max Smallcombe, 16 Nick Grimes, 20 Kavanagh Keadell (gk).

Argyle: 23 Vincent Dorel; 2 Oscar Threlkeld; 3 Ben Purrington; 4 Jack Calver; 5 Kelvin Mellor; 6 Jordan Bentley; 7 Louis Rooney; 8 Josh Simpson; 9 Jason Vincent; 10 Hiram Boateng; 11 Callum Hall. Substitutes: 14 Liam Knowles, 15 Jamil Roberts, 16 Billy Palfrey, 19 Alex Fletcher, 21 Cory Harvey (gk).