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Under-18s Report | Argyle 0 Bristol Rovers 0

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Argyle’s Under-18s played out a goalless draw against Bristol Rovers in the Youth Alliance League on Saturday morning.

Manager Jamie Lowry made four changes to the starting line-up that beat Oxford United comfortably just under a fortnight ago. Jack Matthews, Joel Sullivan, Caleb Roberts, and Freddie Issaka came out of the squad.

Toby Haley came into the team at right-back with the usual occupier Lewis Colwell shifting into central defence. Jensen Ireland also came into the heart of defence, Argyle therefore fielding a completely new partnership at the back.

Cole Fisher replaced Roberts in midfield, playing alongside Josh Bernard. Finally, Tegan Finn played on the wing taking the place of Issaka who featured for the first team away at Leeds United.

The game started slowly with neither team creating many chances in the opening exchanges.

As the first half ensued, the Young Greens looked to unlock the Rovers defence with a long ball from Ireland proving to be the key to doing so, the visitors struggling to deal with it.

Argyle’s best chance of the half came midway through when Kieran Edworthy flicked a cross to the back post with his head where Joe Hatch was waiting to strike.

Hatch volleyed first time, his effort flying through the six-yard-box but inches wide of the far post.

The visitors looked dangerous on the break and tried to cause issues with early crosses into the box. Fortunately for Argyle, Colwell and Ireland were alert and did well to deal with the danger that came their way.

Lowry’s side would have been content at half-time with a solid defensive performance under their belt; it seemed they needed to find a higher gear in attack though.

Argyle had another big chance seven minutes into the second half, this time Edworthy taking aim. Fin Wilkes did brilliantly to win the ball back for his side high up the pitch with a slide-tackle timed to perfection. The team broke through Finn who fed Hatch inside the penalty area. Hatch looked up and found his strike partner on the penalty spot.

Edworthy powered the ball towards the bottom-left corner, but Ross Mason in the Rovers goal got down well to make an excellent save and prevent the Greens taking the lead.

Edworthy had another chance to put his side ahead ten minutes later in the 62nd minute. Once again Hatch, the provider, found his partner in the box, this time however, the ball was slightly ahead of Edworthy who was only able to poke it into the gloves of Mason.

Similar to the first half, neither team were able to create many chances and find a way through the resolute defences.

With ten minutes left on the clock, Hatch looked to latch onto a ball lofted over the visitors’ defence. Mason came rushing out of goal to clear and collided with the forward, who seemed to have come off injured from the challenge, having to be replaced by Kian Burch.

The Pilgrims kept plugging away to find a winner and forced numerous late corners but were unable to score the critical goal.

The game ended goalless despite the team’s late effort to secure back-to-back league wins.

The team will look to get back to winning ways next weekend when they face Portsmouth in league action, seeking to do the double over Pompey.

Argyle: Dan Holman, Toby Haley, Harry Shield, Fin Wilkes, Lewis Colwell ©, Jensen Ireland, Cole Fisher, Josh Bernard, Kieran Edworthy, Tegan Finn, Joe Hatch (Kian Burch 80). Substitutes not used: Lewis Flowers, Oscar Dean, Sam Lord, Jack Flower (gk).

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