ARGYLE came from two goals down to eventually edge past Forest Green Rovers via a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup on Tuesday.
All four goals came in the second period and with the game going straight to penalties after 90 minutes, the young Pilgrims kept their nerve to triumph 6-5 from the spot-kicks.
In an entertaining game, Jarvis Cleal worked the ball nicely on the right flank for the first chance on 13 minutes but his deep cross evaded the Pilgrim runners. Rovers responded with a rapid break that required solid Argyle defending.
Harry Townsend produced an excellent double-save to keep Forest Green at bay from their next attack and the end-to-end pattern continued with a weaving run from Jude Boyd, feeding Cleal for a cross that found Rubin Wilson, but his glancing header was inches off target.
Will Jenkins-Davies then went close with a speculative effort but Rovers finished the half strong, and Argyle had to maintain their discipline to keep the scores level, although we did almost pinch the lead after a fine move released Scott Crocker for a shot well saved by the home custodian.
Rovers finally broke the deadlock with a penalty on 55 minutes after Ollie Tomlinson was penalised for a foul. Townsend actually saved the first spot-kick but the assistant referee judged that he had left his line before the ball was struck, and Forest Green scored from the retake.
Jenkins-Davies was very unlucky to his drive rebound off the post as we set about finding the equaliser but Argyle faced a massive task when the hosts doubled their lead on 73 minutes from a cross to the back post that was headed home.
The Pilgrim riposte was swift and emphatic, as a corner from Charlie Miller was half-cleared to Brandon Pursall and his ball back into the danger area was flicked into the net by the head of Rhys Shirley.
Wilson then grabbed the equaliser after a cross from Oscar Halls had caused havoc in the home defence, with Argyle’s rangy striker eventually lashing home the loose ball.
In a gripping penalty shoot-out, the Pilgrims just sneaked past with a 6-5 victory. On target for Argyle was Wilson, Miller, Boyd, Shirley, Pursall and Ali Mansaray.
Argyle: Harry Townsend; Finley Craske (Oscar Halls 73), Jarvis Cleal, Ollie Tomlinson, Reuben Collum, Will Jenkins-Davies (Ali Mansaray 73), Charlie Miller, Brandon Pursall, Scott Crocker (Rhys Shirley 66), Jude Boyd, Rubin Wilson. Substitutes (not used): Alfie Wotton, Tyler Coombes (GK).