ARGYLE manager Ryan Lowe was delighted with the performance of his young Pilgrim side as they saw off Buckland Athletic in an entertaining pre-season friendly on Wednesday night.
The young Pilgrims, bolstered by a couple of senior professionals, netted nine times at Homers Heath against their Western League Premier opponents. Among the scorers were Luke Jephcott, Tom Purrington, Alex Fletcher, Isaac Burdon and debutant signing Byron Moore, who opened the Pilgrims’ account just 93 seconds into the game.
“To score goals is obviously nice,” said Lowe in the aftermath of the game in Newton Abbot. “I’ve been harping on at Luke Jephcott to get in the right areas to score goals.
“We’ve worked with him while we’ve been away in Spain, [Alex] Fletcher is the same. Tom Purrington running around, doing what he does. Overall, I’m pleased.”
While the Pilgrims’ manager was pleased to see his young charges net so many goals, he was mostly pleased with the opportunity to hand valuable game-time to players who have not seen quite as much first-team action as Lowe would have liked. That included the young trio of Ollie Tomlinson, Isaac Burdon and Reuben Collum, who all caught the manager’s eye.
“There were some good spells, good football,” said Ryan. “I’m pleased for the youngsters, Ollie [Tomlinson], Reuben [Collum] and Isaac [Burdon]. We’ve brought them up and, in all honesty, I haven’t really seen them play.
“They’ve been outstanding, especially Ollie who played the full game – he went from the right side of centre-half to the left.”
Many of the Pilgrims’ more senior players were left back at Home Park for Wednesday evening’s game, having participated in a fairly hefty training session in the heat of the afternoon. For Lowe, it was a no-brainer to leave these professionals at home and give youth a chance.
“They’ve trained this afternoon, and we just felt that, with all due respect, what was the scoreline in the end, 9-3? If you bring the first-team lads there can be a bit of dwelling, and maybe somebody could get hurt. We’re not disrespecting them but we just knew that bringing the younger squad tonight would benefit them.
“It is what it is. For us, we’ve come here to support the lower league clubs, and we’ve brought a fair few fans – that’s what it’s all about really. More minutes in the bank and no injuries, all good.”