Jasmine Read clears the ball for Argyle

Preview | Argyle Women v Bridgwater United Women

On Thursday evening, Plymouth Argyle Women will host Bridgwater United at Saltash United’s Kimberley Stadium as the Greens look to mathematically secure our place in the FA Women’s National League for next season.

Having ran out 5-0 winners against already relegated Hounslow last weekend, The Pilgrims should have already done enough to avoid relegation after the weekend’s result moved them three points clear of the drop zone and above Cardiff City and MK Dons. With Cardiff and MK Dons only having one game left and the Bluebirds having to travel to champions Southampton on the final day, it looks highly unlikely that Cardiff will be able to catch Argyle.

Argyle, however, will have two chances to mathematically seal their place outside the drop zone as before they travel to London Bees on the final day; they will take on Bridgwater United this Thursday evening.

The match will be held at Saltash United’s Kimberley stadium, which this season, The Pilgrims have a 100% winning record at. Having used the stadium for our Vitality Women’s FA Cup fixtures against St Austell and Clapton CFC, it could be a celebratory evening should Argyle secure all three points and confirm their status in the division.

Bridgwater United could prove a sterner test for The Pilgrims as they currently sit fourth in the table and until last weekend had been on a four game-winning run.

That was stopped by mid-table Portsmouth, who ran out 2-0 winners away from home thanks to goals from Khassal and Jones, which gave them all three points against the Robins.

It was an uncharacteristically lax performance from Bridgwater, whose success this season has come from being solid defensively and keeping clean sheets. United have one of the best defensive records in the division, having only conceded 20 goals in 33 games this season.

That proved to be the case the last time the two sides faced each other, with the Robins running out 3-0 winners back in October with two late goals adding to their 10th minute opener to give them the three points on that occasion.

But the Argyle squad that faced Bridgwater that afternoon will be very different than the one that faces them on Thursday. Argyle’s squad will likely have at least six different players involved from the last time they played Bridgwater. Argyle had yet to settle on a consistent centre back partnership at that stage of the season, but this Thursday, they will likely name the same pair for the third game in a row after defenders Panagiota Papaioannou, and Ruby Murphy kept a clean sheet in their last match against Hounslow.

It will also be a big game for goalkeeper Jasmine Read who, after keeping her first clean sheet for Argyle, she will also face her former side Bridgwater United for the first time since leaving the club to sign for the Greens.

Read has impressed since signing for The Pilgrims and fitted in seamlessly since the departure of Poppy Soper. It will hopefully be a good night for Argyle’s goalkeeper, who will be making her first appearance at Kimberley Stadium this season.

Argyle could also recall striker Charlotte Whitmore to the squad after she scored in St Austell’s 3-2 defeat to Sherborne Town on Sunday. The striker has already scored at Kimberley Stadium this season as she grabbed a goal against the Greens in our 4-2 win against St Austell in the FA Cup. Argyle will be hoping that she can grab her first goals for the club to help them to three points against Bridgwater and help The Pilgrims confirm their place outside of the relegation zone with a game to spare.

This Thursday’s game will be held at Kimberley Stadium, kick-off is at 19:45, tickets cost £3 while U3s have free entry. If you can’t make it to the game, then updates are available on social media @ArgyleWFC

Photo credit: Isaac Quant

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