ARGYLE almost pulled off a miraculous recovery after trailing Cheltenham Town 3-0 in the EFL Youth Alliance with a team that contained just two second-year apprentices.
Argyle began with Brandon Pursall going close before Cheltenham took a 12th-minute lead after Harry Townsend had made a good save but was let down by his defence, as they failed to react to the loose ball.
Pursall then had another effort well saved by the home 'keeper but Cheltenham notched their second on 27 minutes. Despite this setback, Argyle responded with Oscar Massey seeing his fine effort deflected for a corner.
The second half was disrupted by a lengthy hold-up due to an injury to Reuben Collum and, when the game restarted, it was Cheltenham who made it 3-0, as Townsend's clearance was charged down and the ball flew into his net.
Argyle responded with Purrington bursting into the box and fouled by a Cheltenham defender. Klaidi Lolos confidently converted the penalty. Good play by Massey, three minutes later, saw him win the ball back for a move that resulted in Rubin Wilson firing home Argyle's second.
Massey, who was making his first full start, almost earned his side a point but his shot was blocked, and the fightback came up just a little short.
Argyle: Harry Townsend; Andrew Burn (Michael Peck h-t), Alfie Wotton, Owen Raven (Tom Purrington h-t), Ollie Tomlinson, Brandon Pursall, Aaron Goulty, Klaidi Lolos, Oscar Massey (Jude Boyd 80), Rubin Wilson, Rueben Collum (Rhys Fuller 48). Substitute (not used): Isaac Burdon.