Argyle 2 County Armagh 3
THE exertions of the previous evening's hard fought draw against Rangers took its toll on the Argyle youngsters, who looked very leggy in the first half of their SuperCupNI defeat at Roe Mill, Limavady.
It was unfair on the youngsters that they had to perform again just 15 hours after a strength-sapping encounter with the Scottish giants and so it proved as they found themselves a goal down in the second minute. The Argyle defence had two chances to clear the danger before the ball fell kindly for Alberto Balde to fire inside goalkeeper Max Childs' near post.
Argyle enjoyed plenty of possession for the rest of the first half but it was not until the final minute that Mike Peck's 25-yard effort hit the Armagh crossbar.
Coach Kevin Nancekivell made two changes for the start of the second half, bringing on striker Rubin Wilson and midfielder Joe Seery for Dominic Osborne and Matthew Roberts.
A much improved Pilgrims outfit responded well, with Rio Garside's corner finding skipper Isaac Burdon to head home and maintain his goal-a-game record.
Scott McCann gave Argyle a warning as his low drive screamed narrowly wide of the far post before Aaron Goulty's 20-yard free-kick was brilliantly tipped over the bar.
Disaster struck for Argyle as poor defending saw them concede two goals in as many minutes, with Chris Hutchinson and Ryan Latifi both on target.
Argyle were now chasing the game and they tore into their opponents who found it hard to get out of their half for the final 10 minutes.
Burdon headed home, again from a cross by Garside, to reduce the deficit and could then count himself mighty unlucky not to add to his impressive tally. The central defender saw his goalbound header hit the heels of Goulty and bounce wide before he again rose to send a great head back across goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
Kevin was also convinced that his side were not helped by the lack of time between fixtures . He said: "Our second-half performance warranted more than we got out of the game.
"We started slowly and were a bit lethargic coming off the back of a very intense and tough game last night. The quick turnover meant we never really come off the blocks as I hoped we would and we paid the price for that.
"It's all part of the learning curve and we will take the positive side of it and look forward to the next two games."