A NATASHA Knapman hat-trick helped Argyle Ladies...
...put behind them the trauma of losing manager Dave Leonard in midweek to see off Maidenhead United in their first match for a month.
The game at Bovey Tracey saw Maidenhead turn up with only ten players and Argyle took a 10th-minute lead when Knapman controlled a cross before sending a looping 16-yard effort into the roof of the net.
Desperate defending and good goalkeeping kept Argyle at bay until three goals in five minutes put them in the box seat. In the 32nd minute, defender Mollie Taylor saw the defence open up in front of her so she surged forward before firing low into the far corner of the net.
Predatory striker Knapman ran on to a superbly flighted pass from strike partner Tori Marks to beat the goalkeeper and force the ball into the net. It got even better when, minutes later, Danni Barr was given time and room to pick her spot when side-footing the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
The second half was less frenetic but Argyle kept up the pressure and Knapman completed her hat-trick in the 71st minute when she pounced on a loose ball to role it into an empty net.
The ever elusive Marks then had the presence of mind to pick out Atkins on the edge of the penalty area to slam the ball into the net.
Leonard’s former assistant Travis Rowland was in charge and he said: "It has been a difficult week for the girls, but they are all determined to push on. Having not played for four weeks, we were a bit rusty and lacking in match sharpness, but it didn't take us long to get our rhythm back."
Argyle: Michaela Phillips, Jessie Boston, Rachel Javan, Katie Middleton (capt), Mollie Taylor, Ezme Wells, Kayleigh Brown (Becky Atkins), Dani Barr, Tori Marks, Natasha Knapman (Rebecca Dandridge), Zoe Cunningham (Kayley Lane). Substitute (unused): Ebony Dover.
Goals: Natasha Knapman 3, Dani Barr, Mollie Taylor, Becky Atkins.