Newport County Under-18s 2 Argyle 5
ARGYLE'S youth team had to play their EFL Youth Alliance Cup match against Newport for a second time, after an administrative error saw the initial 4-1 victory rendered void - but the young Pilgrims reenforiced their dominance with a 5-2 victory.
The game was certainly harder for Kevin Hodges' side on this occasion as they twice found themselves a goal down, but in-form striker Alex Fletcher completed his second hat-trick in the last four days to earn his side a home second round tie against AFC Wimbledon. Billy Craske and Luke Jephcott were also on the score sheet.
"We got exposed at the back a few times and we need to get it sorted out as we are making games hard for ourselves," said Argyle Academy manager Kevin Hodges.
Hodges gave debuts to under-16 players Jordan Duffey and Harrison Harvey-Searle in a tie that saw the home side take an eighth minute lead. Argyle hit back, on the stroke of half time, when Fletcher headed home after Jordan Bentley's header had come back off the crossbar.
Newport restored their lead two minutes after the interval, but the Argyle youngsters showed their resilience as Craske cut in from the right to fire low into the corner of the goal on 65 minutes.
Argyle then took the lead, for the first time in the tie, courtesy of Luke Jephcott's superb solo effort. Victory was assured two minutes later when good play by Jephcott set up Fletcher to flick the ball home and, within a minute, Fletcher had completed his hat-trick by slotting the ball home from a tight angle.
Argyle: Max Childs (Jordan Duffey 83), Tom Purrington, Ryan Laws, Josh Richards (Mike Peck 80), Jordan Bentley, Elliott Crawford (Harrison Harvey-Searle 85), Billy Craske, Dan Rooney, Alex Fletcher, Matt Ward (Rio Garside 75), Luke Jephcott.