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Cheltenham 1 Argyle 3

Great Start to the Merit League

16 February 2019

ARGYLE opened their EFL Merit League Two account in style with this positive performance in Cheltenham, where two of their 16-year-old up-and-coming strikers were both on target.

The Pilgrims started slowly, although they did have the first notable effort on goal, when Adam Randell's free-kick was well saved by the home goalkeeper. Unfortunately, it was from the 'keeper's clearance that the home side broke away to take a fourth-minute lead.

Argyle gradually got to grips with the game and were level on the half-hour as Rhys Shirley charged the ball down to put in Scott Crocker, who showed great pace before slotting past the 'keeper from 16 yards.

Although Argyle were now in the ascendency, it took a great piece of defending by Ollie Tomlinson to prevent the home side from regaining the lead shortly before the interval.

The young Pilgrims required just two minutes of the second half to take the lead after Rio Garside was fouled on the edge of the box, giving Randell the chance to fire the free-kick into the top corner.

Harry Townsend was forced to make a good save before Argyle gave themselves breathing space with a third goal on 64 minutes.

Rhys Shirley followed Crocker, as he also scored his first under-18s goal, bursting clear and, although the 'keeper saved his first effort, he reacted the quickest to lash home the loose ball.

Randell and Tom Purrington both went close to adding to Argyle's tally but the final action saw Townsend make another good save, albeit with his feet on this ocassion.

Argyle can now look forward to entertaining Cambridge at Callington Town in their second Merit game this coming Friday with a 2pm kick-off.

Argyle: Harry Townsend, Michael Peck, Ollie Tomlinson, Tom Purrington, Andy Burn, Adam Randell, Rio Garside, Finley Craske (Aaron Goulty h-t), Scott Crocker (Klaidi Lolos 71), Rhys Shirley, Reuben Collum. Substitutes (not used): Lewis Moyle, Jude Boyd, Issac Burdon.

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