Argyle Women Lose Cup Final on Penalties
Argyle Women heartbreakingly lost a penalty shoot-out in the Clickhub Devon Women’s Premier Cup to Exeter City on Friday night.
Exeter took an early second-half lead through a Jenna Markham header, but Rosie Train’s late equaliser took the game to spot-kicks. Unfortunately for the Pilgrims, it was Exeter who prevailed, winning the shoot-out 4-3.
The first half began with two very close chances for The Grecians who immediately hit the woodwork from range following an Argyle chance. After goalkeeper Jasmine Read rushed off her line to clear a dangerous throughball, Exeter’s Mollie Taylor attempted to lob Read from range, but the shot struck the crossbar.
The Grecians continued to dominate, having two major chances towards the end of the first half. One was another long-range effort from Taylor, whose effort was palmed away from goal by Read. The other was from a close-range Ishbel Zuurmond header that clattered the crossbar.
The second half saw Argyle get an early free-kick which they attempted to build play from, but Exeter had ideas of their own recovering possession and countering quickly. Sarah Stacey broke through the Argyle defence and crossed into the area to find Markham who headed home to give Exeter the lead.
Argyle manager Ryan Perks responded to City’s goal with a flurry of substitutions, bringing on Train and Amber Pollock for Zoe Cunningham and Georgia Wilson. With fresher legs on the field and time running out Argyle began to take control of the game. Charlotte Whitmore came close to equalising after some good build-up play by the Greens, but the shot was dragged wide of the goal.
As Argyle's confidence grew, they finally got their chance to level the scoreline in the 88th minute.
A foul in the area on Pollock saw the referee blow for an Argyle penalty. Train charged towards the spot and thumped the ball high and right, beating Abbi Bond and giving the Greens a vital lifeline in the match.
With momentum on their side, Argyle continued to put the pressure on Exeter in added time. Taya Pomfret was brought down in the area but as Argyle players shouted for another penalty the referee saw no harm and continued play before he blew for full-time.
Penalties followed the 90 minutes of the cup final, with Katie Dickson netting Argyle’s first comfortably. Exeter equalised but Lily Greenslade took the lead for the Greens once more. Imy Crawford and Matilda Franchi were both unable to score their penalties, keeping the scoreline tied at 2-2. Jemma Rose stepped up next and unluckily hit the post, which Exeter took to their advantage with their third penalty beating Read.
Train took Argyle's final penalty of the night thumping home her second of the match. Exeter’s Mollie Taylor took the Grecians' final penalty and thumped home the winner for her side, crowning them the Clickhub Devon Women’s Premier Cup Champions.
Argyle now look to their final game of the season against MK Dons at Manadon Sports Hub, where a win at home will confirm their safety in the FA Women’s Southern Premier Division.
Argyle: 1 Jasmine Read, 23 Rosie McDonnell, 4 Jemma Rose, 5 Panagiota Papaioannou, 13 Katie Dickson, 8 Kayley Lane, 20 Beth Ireland (18 Imy Crawford), 7 Charlotte Whitmore (15 Taya Pomfret) 10 Zoe Cunningham (c) (3 Rosie Train), 16 Georgia Wilson (11 Amber Pollock), 27 Lily Greenslade.