Argyle 0 Derby 0

ARGYLE began life in the Premier League Cup group phase with an impressive point at home to Derby County.

In front of 281 supporters under the Home Park floodlights, the Pilgrims had their chances to snatch maximum points but still a satisfactory start to a group that also contains Cup holders Aston Villa and Bristol City. 

The Rams arguably made the brighter opening and displayed the composed passing game that earned them a draw against the might of Paris Saint Germain in their last outing, but Argyle were also a confident unit, having beaten Portsmouth in a play-off to reach this stage.

Goalkeeper Michael Cooper snuffed out a break from Josh Shonibare and then Ryan Law positioned himself perfectly to head off the line following a vicious set-piece from the visitors.

Argyle’s first meaningful attack was instigated by a surging run from Luke Jephcott and his cross just eluded the run of Alex Fletcher. The same pair combined again and Fletcher very nearly profited, as a Jephcott drive was spilled by Derby custodian Josh Barnes.

Chances dried up as the game entered half-time but Fletcher was immediately back in the action on 47 minutes, rifling inches over from distance, and his next effort forced Barnes into a decent block.

Morgan Whittaker responded with a drive directed narrowly wide, as the game sprung to life. The lively Law was next to have a pop, pouncing on a defensive lapse to curl his effort into the grateful arms of a waiting Barnes.

Jephcott was a constant menace down the right and again went close to teeing up Fletcher for what would have been a deserved opener. Gradually, however, Derby began to assert some authority and Cooper was happy to see a header from Max Hunt steered within his grasp.

Despite the endeavour and enterprise, neither side could find that breakthrough and a draw probably the right outcome.

Argyle: 1 Michael Cooper; 2 Harry Hodges, 3 Ryan Law, 4 Tom Purrington, 5 Jordan Bentley, 6 Michael Peck, 7 Alex Battle, 8 Dan Rooney, 9 Alex Fletcher (capt), 10 Cameron Sangster, 11 Luke Jephcott. Substitutes (not used): 12 Adam Randell, 13 Harry Townsend (GK), 14 Aaron Goulty, 15 Rio Garside, 16 Klaidi Lolos.