ARGYLE Ladies are arguably playing their most important game of the season when they receive West Bromwich Albion in the semi-final of the National League Plate on Sunday.
The race for a top-two finish in the league looks very difficult for the Pilgrims, and this semi-final tie is believed to be the furthest the club have ever reached in a National competition, so it would be fantastic to see the Green Army join us at the Manadon Sports Hub for a 2pm kick-off on Sunday.
Argyle season ticket holders are reminded admission is free.
West Brom are the current holders of the competition, having beaten Liverpool Feds 5-1 in last season’s final. They are not having the best of seasons in the FA Women’s National League Northern Division as they lie third from bottom, although they have only played eight league games.
The Baggies’ record in the competition reads Lincoln (2-1) away, Burton Albion (6-1) home, Larkhall Athletic (5-1) home and Bolton Wanderers (4-1) away, while Argyle beat Buckland Athletic (7-1) away, Wimbledon (3-1) home and Stevenage (3-1) home. The winner will meet either Middlesbrough or Watford in the final.
“I will be demanding an improvement on last week 100%,” said manager Dave Leonard, as he looks for a response to the 3-0 defeat at Yeovil Town. “We bring back Faye (Ivall) who hasn't played for over six weeks and Nelinha Barros has been brought in from the Development team.
“It’s a chance to get to a national final, it’s a great honour for us to try and get there, we've got a team from the Northern League and it’s great to meet a team from the Northern League to see what they are like and to see their standard. I'm really looking forward to it.
“I spoke to the girls at training – we have had a few words, they have put last week’s match to bed and just to get on with the next game. Training was good this week and we are looking forward to Sunday.”
Argyle squad: Ben Kyle, Bow Jackson, Ebony Dover, Kate Middleton, Leah Burridge, Helen Bleazard, Beth Everson, Natasha Knapman, Steph Beck, Mollie Taylor, Lydia Huntley, Libby Lawton, Panagiota Papaioannou, Lucy Solloway, Nelinha Barros, Kayley Lane, Becky Dandridge, Faye Ivall.
The Development team are hoping once more to play only their third game in three months and they know that they face a very stern test against a tough Alphington side. Manager Rob Bonny had to wait on first-team call-ups before naming their squad.
Development coach Ryan Lawton led the training session during the week and was impressed by the hunger and appetite the girls are showing, despite the lack of match action. Fans are reminded that the game has been switched to the Salt Mill, Saltash for a 2pm kick-off on Sunday.
A win will leave Argyle top of the South West League Western Division. Argyle lost the opening game of the season 3-2 at Alphington but then got revenge by beating them 6-1. The latest match saw Argyle record a 2-0 win in the League Cup, so a close game is expected.
Development Squad: Maddie Walsh, Jodie Randall, Maddy Leppard, Beth Cowd, Leah Johnson, Nicola Champion, Maisie Frickleton, Rachel Heron, Kiara Robins, Rachel Javan, Isla Brumhead, Hannah Brock, Dee Newman, Ellie Bishop, Rosie Shipp, Dani Wyatt.