REPORT | SWINDON TOWN 1 ARGYLE 3
Swindon Town 1
Jenkins Davies 28
Two homegrown talents scored in the space of four minutes to secure maximum points for Argyle in their second Papa John’s Trophy fixture at Swindon Town.
Will Jenkins Davies popped up with the opener and he was quickly followed in the goals for column by fellow Academy graduate Oscar Halls, as Argyle dominated the first period before calmly seeing out the second half, adding a late third through Ryan Hardie. The only blot was a last-gasp consolation from Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.
Argyle manager Steven Schumacher opted for a sprinkling of youth and experience, as the Greens looked to build on the bonus point penalty-shootout win over Bristol Rovers in the opening Papa John’s Trophy fixture.
It was the youthful contingent that made the first impression, Jenkins Davies pinching the ball in a dangerous area and his reverse pass for the onrushing Halls only just missed the intended target.
Swindon replied with a decent run and cross from Remeao Hutton and skipper James Wilson was in the right place to head clear, with Mo Dabre lurking. The lively start continued, thanks to a clever combination between Danny Mayor and Sam Cosgrove, but the Birmingham loanee’s shot was deflected into the arms of goalkeeper Sol Brynn.
A delicious cross from Brandon Pursall then picked out the head of Cosgrove but his nod down was cleared in a satisfying opening 15 minutes for the Pilgrims, as a fantastic cross from Jack Endacott also picked out Halls for a header deflected wide.
Argyle momentum got its reward just before the half-hour, Jenkins Davies picking up on the loose ball to fire home after Adam Randell had been clipped in the act of shooting. A special moment for the teenage midfielder.
Within three minutes, Halls had his time in the spotlight, rushing in at the far post to head home another fabulous cross from Endacott. In the space of just a few minutes, the Argyle Academy system had demonstrated its growing impact and Swindon were playing massive catch-up.
Ellis Iandolo attempted to change the pattern with a fizzing drive but Callum Burton produced a fine save for the Greens and Endacott, moments after having a shot saved at one end, found a superb block to ensure the two-goal lead was preserved at half-time.
The Robins needed a fast start to the second period and Morgan Roberts almost ticked the box, flashing a shot wide of the far post after a smart turn in the box. Argyle settled any nerves with a period of composed defending, largely led by the experience of Wilson and Brendan Galloway.
A lovely sweeping cross from Jordan Houghton picked out a darting run from Cosgrove but he was only able to stab over with a home defender in close attendance.
Argyle then survived an almighty scare, Tyrese Shade dancing across the box for a low cutback that just eluded the outstretched arm of Burton but Wilson was in the right place to clear off the line.
Swindon next sprung the offside trap on 59 minutes and a low effort from substitute Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was palmed clear by Burton. Argyle turned to their bench on the hour, replacing Mayor and Jenkins Davies with Hardie and Morgan Whittaker.
Houghton had a shot deflected over after a quick free-kick routine before two more Pilgrim changes, the aforementioned Houghton and Pursall coming off for Matt Butcher and Nigel Lonwijk.
Whittaker had a shot deflected wide but the closing stages were mostly a containing exercise for Argyle, who were understandably content with the score-line. A sweeping Pilgrim move involving Endacott and the influential Randell did conjure another opening for Whittaker but his 20-yard effort was comfortable for Brynn.
The final Pilgrim change saw Freddie Issaka replace Cosgrove and Hardie added the final gloss, racing clear in the left channel to sweep a confident low finish past the stranded Brynn.
Swindon grabbed a late consolation through Hepburn-Murphy, firing under Burton from close range, but Argyle focus now switches to a Sunday lunchtime showdown with Ipswich Town.
Swindon: 1 Sol Brynn; 2 Remeao Hutton, 3 Ellis Iandolo (capt) (35 Anton Dworzak 65), 4 Tom Clayton, 17 Ricky Aguiar, 18 Reece Devine (37 Harvey Fox 82), 23 Saidou Khan, 28 Tyrese Shade ((19 Rushian Hepburn-Murphy 58), 30 Mo Dabre, 33 Morgan Roberts, 34 Ciaran Brennan. Substitutes (not used): 25 Conor Brann (gk), 36 Sonny Hart, 38 Abu Kanu, 40 Josh Keyes.
Booked: Iandolo 25, Khan 40
Argyle: 25 Callum Burton; 5 James Wilson (capt), 22 Brendan Galloway, 37 Brandon Pursall (21 Nigel Lonwijk 72); 43 Oscar Halls, 4 Jordan Houghton (7 Matt Butcher 72), 20 Adam Randell, 42 Jack Endacott; 44 Will Jenkins Davies (9 Ryan Hardie 63), 16 Sam Cosgrove (48 Freddie Issaka 83), 10 Danny Mayor (19 Morgan Whittaker 63). Substitutes (not used): 45 Zak Baker (gk), 17 Bali Mumba.
Booked: Cosgrove 45, Whittaker 65, Butcher 90
Attendance: 2,026 (125 away)
Referee: David Rock