CL Learning Curve

A LAST-MINUTE goal cost Argyle a draw in the Central League at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday afternoon.

After the relentless recent rain, the game was played behind closed doors at the Harpers Park training ground to help protect the Home Park pitch ahead of the weekend visit of Cambridge United in Sky Bet League Two.

The Pilgrims actually enjoyed a perfect start to the game, racing into the lead inside three minutes after an incisive move down the left that started with a fine pass from Jarvis Cleal to release Rubin Wilson, who then cut the ball back for Jude Boyd to finish in style.

Argyle retained their lead until just past the half-hour, when former Bournemouth player Sam Matthews found an equaliser for the visitors. After a highly-competitive encounter, a draw was on the cards until Zain Walker popped up with a counter-attack winner for Rovers in the final minute.

Under-18s head coach Darren Way took charge of the Pilgrims and was delighted with the way his young side performed against an experienced Bristol Rovers outfit.

“We had a very young group, with no players over the age of 19 and two 16 year-olds involved, playing against a Bristol Rovers side with plenty of first-team experience,” said Darren.

“It was a great test for our young players and they coped superbly with the challenge, both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, we were punished for a lapse of concentration but a terrific learning curve, as you have to stay focussed for the full 90 minutes at this level.

“Despite the late goal, it was a great experience and can only benefit the development of our young players. I would also like to thank the groundstaff for preparing Harpers Park so well, especially with the work going on the main pitch at the same time.”

Argyle: Tyler Coombes; Tom Purrington, Michael Peck, Ollie Tomlinson; Isaac Burdon, Charlie Miller, Jude Boyd (Angel Wariuh 85), Jeremiah Medine, Jarvis Cleal; Rubin Wilson, Scott Crocker (Oscar Massey 55).

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