A STUNNING performance by the Lady Pilgrims who dominated the game from the start. Indeed the visitors were no match for a rampant Argyle whose Zoe Cunningham helped herself to five goals. Argyle got off to a great start when in the fourth minute Kayley Lane latched on to a great cross field ball to slam it into the roof of the net. Three minutes later Ezme Wells picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area before racing forward to slam it home. The pace of Cunningham was causing havoc in the visitors defence and it was from one of those runs in the 11th minute that she set up Becky Dandridge who fired a great shot into the roof of the net. Wells was then denied by a good save but it was the elusive Cunningham who made it 4-0 with a terrific run and shot. Another remarkable run by Cunningham was ended by another great save with the same player being denied as was Dandridge’s follow up effort. Amber Pollock added the next as Argyle threatened to run riot. Cunningham then made it 6-0 before last seasons top scorer Natasha Knapman made her entrance. Cunningham continued to terrorise the Bournemouth defence by taking her tally to four with the next two as well as having another effort disallowed.
Bournemouth had a brief respite when in attempting an overhead clearance captain Kate Middelton was penalised for a high kick with the spot kick being duly converted by Hannah Bennett. More chances were created before Kayleigh Brown made it a remarkable 9-1 at half time. There was no let up in the second half with Knapman latching on to a through ball to provide a clinical finish. Becky Atkins then fired the ball against the crossbar with a terrific Pollock run and cross being met by Wells who slammed the ball low into the net. The tricky Cunningham earned herself a penalty which she duly converted to complete her five goal haul. Lane made it a bakers dozen by heading in an Atkins corner before the energetic Lane crossed to Knapman who made no mistake.
A remarkable performance which left manager Manager Travis Rowland saying: ‘I thought first twenty minutes was brilliant. Girls started off really well but as the subs were made the intensity dropped. Zoe (Cunningham) was involved in six of the first eight goals. Sensational stuff from someone who has clearly worked really hard over the summer.’ Adding: ‘There needs to be an improvement for out next game against Cardiff in Sunday and this will give us a much better indication of where we are in terms of preparation for the coming season.’
Argyle squad: Michaela Phillips, Jessie Boston, Darcey Hepworth, Becky Dandridge, Kate Middleton, Ebony Dover, Becky Atkins, Kayley Lane, Ezme Wells, Zoe Cunningham, Amber Pollock, Dani Salt, Natasha Knapman, Mollie Taylor, Kayleigh Brown.
Goals: ‘Zoe Cunningham 5, Natasha Knapman 2, Kayley Lane 2, Ezme Wells 2, Becky Deandridge, Amber Pollock, Kayleigh Brown.
Plymouth Argyle Development 5 AFC Bournemouth Development 3
Argyles second string included five new faces for this friendly game as well as having Horrabridge Rangers Zoe Stock in goal. And they got off to a remarkable start when twenty seconds into the game new signing Lucy Solloway latched on to the ball to slam it into the net. The Cornish striker who signed from Penryn showed why she comes with a goal scoring reputation having knocked in 55 goals in last seasons Cornwall League campaign. Last seasons top scorer Gabi Alphous turned her marker but then saw her effort well saved and Izzy Berks saw her superb effort tipped onto the crossbar Solloway continued to cause havoc to the visitors defence and it was no surprise when in the 16th minute she knocked in her second goal after running on to a superb through ball from Faye Ivall. Two minutes later and it was Alphous turn to race clear to fire past the advancing goalkeeper. Bournemouth always looked lively and deservedly reduced the arrears when Jane Hockey found herself unmarked to slam the ball into the net. Back came Argyle when following good build up Clare Ostle made it 4-1 with a great 25 yard strike. This came about after a fine move that started in their own penalty area through keeper Zoe Stock and fine inter passing between Becky Parkyn, Alex Hugh, Cath Davis, and Charlie Rollerson. Solloway continued to torment the Bournemouth defence with three great efforts. Another new signing Shania Fenion then saw her first time effort from a Catherine Davis corner cleared off the goal line.
Argyle kept up the pressure in the second half and almost increased their lead when a Catherine Davis effort was tipped on to the crossbar. Tamsin Med-Gill was denied with a great save and another new signing Faye Ivall who looked promising in midfield was unlucky not to add to the tally when her effort was blocked. Med-Gill was then denied by a good save with the goalkeeper denying Ivall with a brave double save. Alphous had a shot blocked before Argyle increased their lead with a clinical Berks strike after being put through by Rachel Javan. Fenlon then rattled the crossbar, with a shot that bounced down on the line. Bournemouth responded with two late goals – the second being with the last kick off the game although Solloway was denied a hat trick goal when she struck the base of the post.
Manager Rob Bonney said: ‘There were a lot more positives than negatives today and we will be working on the latter at training. We had a lot of new faces in the team today but in spells we looked a good team. Its turning those spells into longer periods of dominance special mention and a big thank you to Horrabridge Ladies Football Club for allowing their goalkeeper Zoe Stock to play for us today.’
Argyle squad: Zoe Stock, Catherine Davis, Becky Parkyn, Alex Hugh, Rachel Javan, Faye Ivall, Clare Ostle, Izzy Berks, Gabi Alphous, Lucy Solloway, Charlie Rollerson, Tamsin Med-Gill, Shania Fenion
Goals: Lucy Solloway 2, Clare Ostle, Gabi Alphous, Izzy Berks.