ARGYLE Ladies eased into the second round of the League Cup Plate competition with this routine victory over a battling Buckland.
The Pilgrims went into the game in high spirits on the back of five straight league wins and manager Dave Leonard took the opportunity to blood a new central-defensive partnership of Bow Jackson and Lydia Huntley in front of goalkeeper Becky Kyle, with Leah Burridge and Faye Ivall occupying the full back spots.
Kayley Lane, Jessie Jones and Becky Dandridge filled the midfield engine room with Zoe Cunningham given a start on the left and Helen Bleazard on the right, and Natasha Knapman as the lone striker. This left captain Kate Middleton and Mollie Taylor on the bench, along with Steph Beck and Ebony Dover.
The first ten minutes proved to be a scrappy affair until a high free-kick was launched into the penalty area and former Argyle striker Sarah Stacey outjumped the Argyle defence to head in under the crossbar for a Buckland opener.
Argyle responded almost immediately when a ball over the defence from Lane found Jones clear to slam the ball into the net. After creating numerous further chances, a second goal had to come and it did when Ivall set Cunningham free down left with her great cross rifled into the net by Knapman to give Argyle a 2-1 lead.
Following a frantic goalmouth scramble, Cunningham notched the third, despite a great effort by Jana Richards to stop the ball on the goal line. A great move down the right ended with Bleazard firing in, as Argyle headed into the half-time break 4-1 in front.
The Greens came out for the second half determined to increase their lead and within a minute, they did just that when Knapman was given acres of space to look up and loft the ball over Bond to make it 5-1.
Lane found Knapman, who passed to Cunningham to blast in from the edge of the penalty area. And Cunningham completed her hat trick when Knapman forced Bond into a wild clearance, which went to Cunningham, who had all the time in the world to put the ball into the empty net.
“I spoke to the girls after the game and said it was probably the best thing that could happen to us, letting them go 1-0 up,” said Leonard.
“I expect high standards every week, not just now and again. We need to be consistent in our standards and we cannot let our standards drop. We were probably 75%, we were scrappy at times.
“We have to strive for high standards every week, we have got to get that mentality right. We have to maintain our standards but we are in the next round and I believe we can win it.”
Argyle squad: Becky Kyle, Leah Burridge (Ebony Dover), Bow Jackson, Lydia Huntley, Faye Ivall, Jessica Jones (Amber Pollock), Kayley Lane, Becky Dandridge (Steph Beck), Zoe Cunningham, Natasha Knapman, Helen Bleazard. Unused substitutes Kate Middleton and Mollie |Taylor.
FA Women’s South West League Western Division
Bude Town 2 Plymouth Argyle Development 10
THE Development side travelled to Bude with six of the Under 18s in the squad, fresh from their victory against Torquay in the week. They made a quick start to the game and Lucy Solloway, Beth Everson and Maisie Williams were thwarted by Jo Timmins in the Bude goal. A counter-attack from the home side caught out the Argyle defence but Maddie Walsh pulled off a fantastic one-on-one save.
On Argyle’s next attack, Hannah Brock put in a dangerous cross which saw Solloway's effort blocked but Williams tucked in the rebound. Williams then chased a through ball, her effort was saved but the ball fell to Everson who made no mistake. A great tackle by Leah Johnson set Kiara Robins away, her pass found Williams, who cleverly lobbed the onrushing Timmins to make it 3-0.
The second half started in the same manner. Everson won the ball - laid it off to Ellie Bishop who hit a great shot across the face of the goal to make it 4-0. Bude then managed to pull a goal back through Sarah Badham against the run of play and minutes later Badham fired in a free kick to make it 4-2.
This goal seemed to kickstart the youngsters again and they started to pile on the pressure. A Williams pass allowed Nicola Champion the chance to open her account and Maddy Leppard won a tackle 25 yards out and curled a fantastic shot over Timmins.
There was no respite for Bude as Argyle didn't have to wait long for their seventh goal when a great assist from Jodie Randall was volleyed home by Nicola Champion. Youngsters Chardonnay James and Milan Barros linked up to set up Kiara Robins for the next. Scarlett Williams found Champion, who beat two defenders before unselfishly setting up Lucy Solloway for her well-deserved goal.
It was the hard working Beth Cowd who had the final say when she latched on to a poor clearance, beat a defender before dispatching the ball into the far corner to complete the scoring.
Manager Rob Bonney and Coach Scott Robertson told the team at half time that despite totally dominating the first half, they felt they were wasteful in front of goal. Manager Rob Bonney continued: “We needed to improve our shots to goal ratio in the second half. The positives are that players are creating the chances and we are getting into the positions, we just need to be more ruthless.
“We certainly improved this aspect in the second period. We finished the game with a back three of 16 year-olds and a 17 year-old captain. There are going to be highs and lows this season, which is to be expected, but they are a young group and they are learning and improving with every game.”
Argyle Development squad: Maddie Walsh, Jodie Randall, Rachel Heron, Leah Johnson, Hannah Brock, Beth Everson, Kiara Robins, Maisie Williams, Ellie Bishop, Lucy Solloway, Beth Cowd, Nicola Champion, Chardonnay James, Scarlett Williams, Nelinha Barros, Maddy Leppard.