Watford 3 Argyle Ladies 2

ARGYLE Ladies came up short at Watford but still finished sixth in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division for their highest ever finish.

The Pilgrims went into the game without the unavailable Natasha Knapman, so joint managers Dave Leonard and Trevor Rodd gave Cornish teenager Nicola Champion her first-team full debut.

Watford took an eighth-minute lead through Adekite Fatuga-Dada and Argyle were then stung three minutes before half time when Katie O'Leary outmuscled a defender to make it 2-0. It got even worse in the second half when Alysha Stojko-Down made it 3-0.

There is one thing the Argyle ladies do not lack and that is courage, desire and commitment, as they matched Watford but without luck in front of goal. That changed when Argyle got the goal they deserved in the 72nd minute, as Helen Bleazard converted from a free-kick.

With seven minutes remaining Bleazard set up substitute Zoe Cunningham, who fired in a second goal but it proved too little too late.

“I cannot blame the girls for their effort, commitment and desire against a team who were playing at a higher level last season,” said Leonard.

“Once again, individual errors let us down but we know what we have to address in the off-season and we will go on from there. To finish in our highest ever position at this level is something the girls should be proud of. We know now we can compete at this level.”