Plymouth Argyle 1 Exeter City 0
Argyle’s under-18s followed up their fantastic FA Youth Cup victory over Manchester City with this notable 1-0 success over Devon rivals Exeter City in the EFL Youth Alliance League.
The game was played at Harpers Park last Tuesday and was only the second defeat that the Grecians, who are currently runaway leaders of the South West Division, have suffered this season.
It was a cagey opening with neither side hittng the target until Argyle took the lead on 22 minutes.
Acting skipper Harry Downing converted right winger Billy Craske’s cross with a 15 yard lob over visiting goalkeeper Felix Norman.
Argyle were forced to reshuffle their defence on 32 minutes after in form full back Ryan Law went off injured to be replaced by Andrew Burn.
The young Grecians had their first chance five minutes later when James Dodd let fly from 15 yards only for Michael Cooper to pull off a fine save.
The Pilgrims came close to doubling their lead on the stroke of half time as Cameron Sangster and Luke Jephcott combined to set up Rio Garside but his 12 yard drive was well saved by Norman.
Exeter pressed at the start of the second period and Cooper again distinguished himself when he deflected Jack Sparkes angled drive on to his post.
Garside had another excellent chance on 74 minutes but his header, from Jephcott’s cross, was parried away by Norman.
Academy Director Kevin Hodges was pleased with his sides efforts saying ‘It was a closely contested and hard fought encounter.
‘I was pleased with the movement and the delivery for the goal and sometimes these are the type of opportunities that are the difference when it’s such a tight game.
‘Most pleasing was that we responded well after they beat us earlier in the season and we were organised and defended well when required,’ he concluded.
Plymouth Argyle: Michael Cooper, Tom Purrington, Ryan Law (Andrew Burn 35), Cameron Sangsster, Harry Downing, Elliott Crawford, Billy Craske, Michael Peck (Adam Randell 75), Klaidi Lolos (Aaron Goulty 87), Rio Garside, Luke Jephcott.