Under-18s: Portsmouth 2 Argyle 2
EFL Youth Alliance South West Division
Portsmouth Under-18s 2 Argyle 2
Argyle's youngsters opened their Football League Youth Alliance account by coming back from two goals down to earn a very useful point in Hampshire.
Rio Garside and Dan Rooney grabbed vital goals for the Pilgrims who had been caught napping with two Pompey strikes early in the second period.
Argyle relied on a counter-attacking strategy during a goalless first half in which Portsmouth had the lion's share of the game. One such breakout could have seen Argyle take the lead but the home goalkeeper made a fine save from Dan Rooney.
Argyle's strong defensive display was soon left in tatters as sloppy play resulted in the home side scoring twice in the first seven minutes of the second half.
The young Pilgrims took six minutes to pull a goal back as Rio Garside, who was making his debut, fired home from six yards after good work by Rooney saw his driven cross find the under-16 midfielder coolly slotting home.
Parity was restored on 68 minutes as Rooney latched on to the 'keeper's attempted clearance to cleverly score with a fine lob.
"A draw was probably a fair result," said Aacdemy manager Kevin Hodges, "but we can take heart from the good response of our lads after going two goals down. Heads could have dropped at that stage."
Argyle took their under-16s to Portsmouth with them, and the younger Pilgrims went one better than their older colleagues as Isaac Burdon's goal ws enough to see them win 1-0.
Argyle: Max Childs, Harry Hodges, Ryan Law, Tom Purrington, Callum Rose, Jordan Bentley, Alex Fletcher, Dan Rooney, Luke Jephcott, Josh Richards, Rio Garside (Jack Crocker 80). Substitutes not used: Michael Peck, Harry Downing, George Tucker.