London Bees 1-2 Argyle


Argyle Women rescued all three points from their trip to London Bees on Sunday, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 at The Hive.  

Following a strike from Lauren Cullem in the first half which put Plymouth on the backfoot, the Greens levelled the scoreline 45 seconds into the second half through Charlotte Whitmore and later confirmed victory after Ellie Sara blasted Whitmore’s lofted through ball into the back of the net. 

Argyle kicked off the first half with an opportunity that fell for Whitmore, who had a chance to give the Greens an early lead but struck the post.  

Following a Bees free-kick the visitors surged forward, creating a chance for Sara who, after battling off challenges from London Bees’ backline, found a window to release a shot goalwards, but her shot ricocheted off the leg of a Bees defender and into the palms of keeper Amber Webber. 

Following Plymouth’s good early spell, the Bees began to gradually gain the upper hand in the match and in the 18th minute seized their opportunity to take the lead, following a defensive error that opened the space for Cullem to charge in behind and slot the ball beyond the dive of Lily Felgate. 

Spurred on by their goal, the home side continued to find more chances as the half went on but were unable to hit the target. Argyle’s final chance of the half came from Imy Crawford who tried to curl a shot, on the turn, into the bottom right corner but fired wide. 

The Greens quickly rectified their finishing woes in the second half through superb link-up play from Crawford and Sara. The latter brought down a lofted pass and played through Whitmore, who ran towards Webber and slotted the ball calmly into the net. 

Argyle then took the reins of the game and began their search for a lead. Winger Fern Orchard came close in the 60th minute with a strike inside the area that clattered the crossbar and fell back into her path, but she was unable to find the Greens’ second. 

Ten minutes later, the pressure on the home side increased as not only did they come under continuous attacks, but found themselves down to ten players, following Cullem's dismissal for a challenge on Whitmore.  

With fresh legs on the field and the momentum with them, Plymouth took the lead in the 79th minute through Sara. Whitmore capitalised on a misplaced pass in the centre, quickly lofting the ball in behind for Sara to chase. The forward charged towards the edge of the area and struck the ball on the half volley into the corner. 

The Bees threw everything they had at Argyle, and in added time went close to a leveller from Abbie Bensted’s free kick which struck the crossbar. The ball fell straight into a sea of Argyle and Bees players, but it was newly-signed defender Amii Kearley who smashed the ball out of the penalty area as the referee blew for full-time. 

“I thought we were poor in the first half,” admitted manager Ryan Perks following the match. “I think the clocks going forward and us leaving Plymouth at 6:15am played a part in our performance in the first half. We lacked a little bit of effort and desire to win first and second balls. Although we had chances, we were probably lucky not to go into the second half two or three goals down. 

“We spoke about desire and character in the second half and, like last week, we’ve picked ourselves up and shown what we’re capable of. We played some great football, took the game to Bees, and our hard work has given us a chance to move up the table and build upon our objective of finishing as high as possible, which we’re all really delighted with.” 

This win away from home now sees the Greens move up into ninth place in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division with a game in hand on Portsmouth, who Argyle take on this Sunday, 7 April. 

Argyle: 42 Lily Felgate, 2 Katie Dickson, 5 Panagiota Papaioannou, 6 Lucy Hack (28 Amii Kearley), 7 Charlotte Whitmore, 8 Imy Crawford 9 Ellie Sara, 15 Georgie Knott, 18 Taya Pomfret, 20 Fern Orchard (19 Erin O’Shea), 29 Mia Endacott (13 Grace Smith).