ARGYLE Ladies cruised through the Women’s FA Cup with an excellent second-half display after spurning good chances before the interval.
Ezme Wells twice missed the target in the early stages and Natasha Knapman was denied by a brave block from Basingstoke custodian Erin Davis-Donne. The Green siege continued without a reward and there was a scare at the other end, when Emma Lawrence hit the bar.
Wells and Becky Atkins had further chances before the break, but manager Dave Leonard’s plea for patience in the second period reaped reward, as Knapman finally broke the deadlock with a low finish.
Basingstoke responded with admirable character, forcing Michaela Phillips into a super save and she was again involved when the visitors were awarded a soft penalty. Phillips did brilliantly to save the initial spot-kick but the rebound was slotted home by Megan James.
Argyle continued to play swift attacking football and a lovely threaded pass from Tori Marks released Knapman for her second of the game. Atkins then sealed the win with a terrific shot from distance.
Leonard said: “It was a comfortable win and I was never in doubt over the result. I told the girls at half time to be patient and keep playing football and the chances will come. They did just that and I am really pleased with the result.”
Argyle have been given a bye until the second round as their potential opponents Forest Green Rovers had withdrawn from the cup when they voluntarily dropped out of the Premier League Southern Division.