AFTER two humbling home defeats to the League’s top two teams, Argyle Ladies went to Queens Park Rangers and dug deep to record their first away win in the Women’s Premier League since December 2011, despite playing with 10 players for 74 minutes, following the unfortunate sending-off for Natalie Volpini.

Argyle went into the game knowing that if they were to have any hope of pulling away from the lower reaches of the table they would have to pick up some points against the team currently bottom of the league, and they started brightly with both Mollie Taylor and Ellie Dorey coming close to providing an early lead.

Argyle continued to dominate the early exchanges and it was no surprise whenTaylor fired them into the lead in the 15th minute, turning her marker on the edge of the penalty area and rifling a shot high into the top corner.

Almost immediately, QPR’s Cherrelle Albert had a chance to equalise but her low drive was well saved by Michaela Phillips.

Kayley Lane, Ellie Dorey and Ezme Wells all had good chances to increase Argyle’s lead but disaster struck for the Greens in the 25th minute when, from an innocuous ball over the top, QPR’s Joanne Wilson got in behind the Argyle defence and collided with Natalie Volpini as she attempted to get back goal-side. As the last defender, the referee had no option but to send off the unfortunate Volpini to leave Argyle to play the remaining 65 minute with 10 players.

Not to be dismayed, Argyle switched to three at the back and continued to take the game to their hosts at every opportunity and it was Taylor who gave them a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute, when she raced onto Becky Atkins’ through pass and coolly slotted the ball past the QPR keeper.

Argyle held their 2-0 lead going into the break when manager Kevin Taylor made a slight change in formation in preparation for an expected onslaught in the second half.

Argyle’s defensive line continued to hold firm and they were still able to fashion some chances on the counter attack, with Wells unlucky with a shot into the side netting and Atkins going close with a free-kick.

As the Argyle players began to tire, QPR’s Danielle Puddifoot saw her rasping drive cannon off the cross bar and in the 69th minute Joanne Wilson reduced the arrears when she finished from close range amid a goalmouth scramble to set up a tense final 20 minutes.

An injury to QPR ‘keeper Robyn Tillyer meant the referee added an additional nine minutes of injury time to pile on the agony for the Argyle officials and supporters, but, in truth, despite some very tired legs, the Argyle players, as a team, defended superbly to keep their lead intact and come away with a deserved and well-earned three points.

Argyle manager Kevin Taylor was quick to praise the whole 14 players, who proved what can be achieved with a bit of fight and hard work.

“We were by far the better side and very comfortable until the sending off and I’m convinced we would have gone on to win by a greater margin with eleven players for the whole game,’ said Taylor.

“Nat was unlucky with the red card, but in some ways,it spurred us on to get the job done.

“It’s hard to single anyone out as it was a complete team performance but our back three following the red card of Jodie Chubb, Lucy Olde and Phoebe Baker were immense and Mollie Taylor ran herself into the ground up front and scored two great goals.

“All we need to do now is take that fighting spirit into our next home game against Coventry United next Sunday.”

You may also like