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Under-18s: Newport 1 Argyle 4

10 August 2016

EFL Youth Alliance South West Division Cup

Newport County Under-18s 1 Argyle 4 

Argyle's youngsters comfortably negotiated their first competitive game of the season with this Football League Youth Alliance victory in Wales.

Goals from Luke Jephcott and Alex Fletcher gave Argyle a comfortable lead at the interval, before Dan Rooney made it three midway through the second half. After a Newport consolation goal, Matt Ward renewed the Pilgrims' three-goal cushion.

"This was a tricky game as the pitch at Caldicot was very hard and lively, but after dominating the first half we coped extremely well with a strong wind in the second period," said Argyle Academy Manager Kevin Hodges.

Argyle took a 21st minute lead when Jephcott controlled the ball with his right foot before firing home with his left from six yards.

The visitors' dominance brought further reward, four minutes later, when Fletcher put pressure on the home defence, closing the defenders down and gaining possession before firing low across the home goalkeeper and inside the far post from the angle of the area.

The second half was 20 minutes old when Jephcott turned provider as his excellent cross picked out the late run of Dan Rooney for the midfielder to head the ball powerfully into the home net.

Every team will invariably have a spell in a match and Newport had theirs after they pulled a goal back on 75 minutes but Argyle had soon steadied the ship and were unlucky to to increase their lead after Billy Craske's fine ball found Ward heading narrowly over the crossbar.

But it was only a short reprieve for the home side as fine build-up play found Fletcher pulling out wide to beat his marker and send over a cross that Ward headed into the top corner from 12 yards.

Argyle had under-16 'keeper Max Childs in goal in Wales as regular custodian Michael Cooper, who was in between the sticks at Cullompton, was away with the England goalkeeper camp at St George's Park

Argyle: Max Childs, Harry Hodges, Ryan Law, Aaron Taylor (Sam Morgan 85), Callum Rose, Jordan Bentley, Alex Fletcher, Dan Rooney, Luke Jephcott (Billy Craske 80), Cameron Sangster (Matt Ward 70), Alex Battle.  Substitutes not used: Jordan Duffey, Harry Downing.

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