Argyle Youth 3 Bristol Rovers 3
ARGYLE ended a run of four consecutive EFL Youth Alliance League and Cup defeats with this entertaining draw at the Manadon Hub.
The Pilgrims had the chances to take all three points, despite fielding an extremely young side that ended the game with four u-15s on the pitch, and started brightly, taking a fourth-minute lead, when Jarvis Cleal's free-kick caused confusion in the visitors’ defence before 14-year-old Oscar Halls provided the finishing touch from close range.
The Gas levelled 11 minutes later, courtesy of some indecision by Argyle's trialist goalkeeper. Argyle took 10 minutes to restore their lead as Carlo Garside's through-ball found Isaac Burdon lifting the ball over the advancing 'keeper and into the back of the net.
Unfortunately, a switch of play caught out the home defence for a Gas striker to restore parity with a shot from the edge of the area that flew into the top corner of the home goal.
Argyle eventually restored their lead on 68 minutes as Rubin Wilson's strong presence in the area forced a defender to handle the ball and the home striker calmly stroked his spot-kick low to the visiting 'keeper's left.
Rovers came back at their hosts, creating several chances but the trialist goalkeeper atoned for his earlier mistake with some fine saves.
Jeremiah Medine had a great chance to ensure victory for Argyle as he found himself clear, only to fire straight at the Gas 'keeper and Argyle were made to pay for that miss as Rovers equalised with a 77th-minute header.
"I was really pleased with our performance and the way we approached the game, especially with such a young side," said Academy Manager Phil Stokes.
Argyle: A Trialist, Isaac Burdon (Jaydon Gilbert 80), Oscar Halls, Carlo Garside (Jeffrey Forkuo 75), Ollie Tomlinson, Will Jenkins-Davies, Jarvis Cleal, Jeremiah Medine, Rubin Wilson, Oscar Massey (Jude Boyd 70). Angel Wariuh. Substitute (not used): Tyler Coombes (GK).