FOUR goals from prolific striker Natasha Knapman helped Argyle continue on their winning way against a resilient Larkhall who put in a battling performance.
On a wet and miserable afternoon, Argyle took time to settle as they tried to find a way past a packed midfield and defence. Indeed, it took until the 25th minute to open the scoring. Knapman, fresh from picking up her award as the league top scorer in London at the FA Premier League awards evening, almost gave Argyle the lead when in the sixth minute she headed a Becky Dandridge cross onto the crossbar.
After a number of close shaves Knapman raced on to a Dandridge through ball to shoot home from 12 yards. The second goal came soon after when a superb Lane cross saw Knapman stoop low to head in. On a rare Larkhall attack, the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 34th minute for handball, which Lizze Barrett converted. Knapman then had another superb shot well saved. Argyle pressure told when a minute before half time a fierce Katie Middleton effort was handled, which left the captain to fire her spot kick into the corner of the net.
In the second half, we attacked at every opportunity and sheer persistence by Middleton produced Knapman’s hat-trick goal, when she won the ball wide on the right and launched over a great cross, which Knapman headed in from just a yard out.
Six minutes later, Amber Pollock raced on to terrific Dandridge through ball to fire the ball into the far corner of the net. Within ten minutes, Argyle made it 6-1 when substitute Dani Barr scored with a rasping 25-yard drive. As the visitors started to tire, Knapman found substitute Jessie Boston with a delightful chip and she coolly clipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. A minute later, Knapman raced on to a through ball to round the goalkeeper for her fourth goal. Larkhall then had Kate German sent off for aggressive behaviour, which left Dandridge to round off the victory with the last kick of the game from 12 yards.
Squad: Michaela Phillips, Darcey Hepworth (Mollie Taylor 69), Phoebe Baker, Ebony Dover. Kate Middleton, Becky Atkins, Kayley Lane, Becky Dandridge, Amber Pollock (Jessie Boston 83), Natasha Knapman, Zoe Cunninghamn (Dani Barr 60). Substitute not used Kayleigh Brown.
Goals: Natasha Knapman 4, Amber Pollock, Dani Barr, Kate Middleton, Jessie Boston, Becky Dandridge.
Argyle Development 2-0 Bude Town
A DOUBLE from substitute Dani Salt guided Argyle’s development squad to this hard-fought victory against their North Cornwall visitors.
The home team had a lot of possession in the opening stages but couldn’t find a way through the Bude defence. lt was the introduction of Salt that made the difference. She started to pull the strings in midfield and it was her persistence that led to the opening goal.
The midfielder pressurised the Bude defender into making a mistake, which led to her curling a superb shot into the top corner of the net. This goal settled Argyle down and they deservedly increased their lead when a fine ball from Faye Ivall found Salt again, who fired in a terrific drive from the edge of the penalty area.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first but Argyle found Bude goalkeeper Timmins in sparkling form, thwarting Gabi Alphous, Hayley Ranachan and Lucy Solloway. Argyle kept up the pressure and Shania Fenlon saw her effort strike the crossbar. Bude had a few chances to get back into the game but found debutant keeper Claire Squires hard to beat.
Argyle squad: Claire Squires, Rachel Javan, Faye Ivall, Alex Hugh, Lucy Solloway, Tamsin Medd-Gill, Claire Ostle, Gabi Alphous, Emily Baker, Charlie Rollerson, Catherine Davis.
Substitutes: Abbie Scurr, Rebecca Parkyn, Danielle Salt, Shania Fenlon, Hayleigh Ranachan.
Goals: Danielle Salt 2