Darren Way's Bournemouth Reaction and Sutton Preview
Argyle’s Under-18s provided one of their best performances of the season to beat Bournemouth 7-1 at Harper’s Park on Saturday morning.
Freddie Issaka began the goalscoring after 15 minutes, with Kieran Edworthy heading in a second goal. Remy Rees-Dottin got one back for Bournemouth, but Jack Endacott crucially pounced on the stroke of half-time to restore Argyle’s two-goal advantage.
In the second period, the Greens pulled away, with Cole Gibbings and Caleb Roberts the next to score. Jensen Ireland got in on the act, scoring from close range following Edworthy’s initial effort. Substitute Harry Donovan put a bow on a superb day with a late seventh, and manager Darren Way was clearly delighted with the result and performance.
“You very rarely get a perfect performance,” he said. “It’s very difficult to get that for a 90-minute period, but this was about as close as you’ll get to it.
“At one stage, when they pulled one back, it could have gone either way, but when we went to 3-1 at half-time it was a big moment.
“I was really pleased with the way that the players kept up the intensity and we seemed to get away from our opponents. We scored some excellent, well worked goals against very, very good opponents.
“We had a group of players there that were willing to prove that they are good enough to compete with. Ultimately, what the, you know, what I would've said has been the best team in the Youth Alliance over the last two years.”
Argyle are quickly in action again, with a Tuesday lunchtime encounter with Sutton United, rearranged having been postponed two weeks ago.
Sutton are second from bottom, although have picked up a win over Stevenage, who themselves are competitively mid-table.
Argyle are fourth, six points behind leaders Portsmouth, but the Greens have two games in hand, and the conclusion to the Merit League looks like it will highly competitive between several teams.
Before Tuesday’s early departure for South London, Way said: “There are six away games for us in Merit League One, and we know we have to travel the distances and then perform.
“We’ll be up early, but the players have put a process in place, and a lot of them have got used to it by now.
“We don't see it as a problem. We make sure we're psychologically ready when we travel and play because it's really important in terms of what the outcome looks like.
“We're looking forward to it against Sutton, who are new to the Merit League, but they will be competitive. We know that they will have a competitive edge about them. They have got strong players. We have to make sure that we play our style to play, play the way that we play. We may be on artificial pitch but we'll manage the game as best as we can.
“The Merit League has been a bit of a tight league throughout. I think every game's winnable, but if you're not ready and you don't prepare right, then it can fall the other way. It's important we don't become complacent, and we maintain those high standards that we've set from Saturday. It's in our hands and we have to make sure that we keep our performance levels high.”