Barnet Under-18s 4 Argyle 2

Barnet Under-18s 4 Argyle 2

ARGYLE suffered their second Merit League One defeat in five days after being punished for several first half defensive lapses against a very strong Bees outfit.

Barnet took a 3-0 lead, before Alex Fletcher and Ben Steer struck to get the Pilgrims back in the game. However, as they pressed for an equaliser, Barnet grabbed a fourth to kill the game off.

"It was a open game in which both sides had lots of chances," said Argyle Academy Manager Kevin Hodges. "It could have easily been 3-3 at half-time, but instead we were punished for our defending, finding ourselves 3-0 down. 

"To be fair to the lads they came back well after the break, scoring twice, but were then caught out pushing everyone forward in search of an equaliser."

The Argyle management gave debuts to two under-15's: Tom Purrington and Aaron Goulty. Matt Ward also made his full debut.

Fletcher was unlucky to see one header hit the post before another came back off the crossbar, before good right-wing play by full-back Sam Ryan almost led to a goal.

However, Barnet took over and seemed to have put the game beyond Argyle by the interval. 

Argyle's second-half attitude was really positive, with Hodges' boys taking the game to their hosts despite the three-goal deficit.

Goals came from two of the Pilgrims' more experienced players. On 55 minutes, a good passage of play ended with Fletcher making space, on the edge of the Bees area, before hitting a shot that took a slight deflection to sail over the home goalkeeper.

The Greens' hopes of salvaging something from the game took a boost when Ben Steer got in behind the home defence, controlled a bouncing ball and lobbed the onrushing 'keeper. However, the pressure exerted on the Bees defence could not conjure another goal, and Barnet's fourth, on the breakaway, sealed their victory. 

Argyle: Michael Cooper, Sam Ryan, Jordan Bentley, Elliot Crawford (Harry Downing 77), Jamil Roberts, Jack Calver, Matt Ward (Tom Purrington 70), Ben Steer, Alex Fletcher, Alex Battle, Cameron Sangster (Aaron Goulty 77).