Premier League South West Division One

Cheltenham Town 0 Plymouth Argyle 5

A FOUR-GOAL haul from Natasha Knapman helped Argyle Ladies come away from Cheltenham with all three points to make it five wins in a row, but it was not the best of games on a difficult pitch, which tended to nullify the Pilgrims’ style of play.

The management impressed upon the players before the kick off that their touch had to be perfect and that they needed to play the channels. Unfortunately, this appeared to fall on deaf ears, as the more physical Cheltenham players forced Argyle out of their comfort zone.

This changed on the half-hour mark when Knapman headed in the opening goal. Director of Football Trevor Rodd called over captain Kate Middleton to give her fresh instructions and to change the formation to a 4-3-3.

This worked almost immediately, as Knapman volleyed in her second. Ten Minutes into the second half, Knapman struck again during a goal mouth scramble to complete her hat trick. Rodd then rang the changes by taking Jessie Boston off to be replaced by Ezme Wells.

Within three minutes, Wells struck when she converted a Zoe Cunningham cross from close range. Tori Marks came on for Kayleigh Brown to become the front runner with Knapman withdrawing to a number ten role. Becky Atkins then came on for Cunningham and within five minutes Knapman fired into the far corner of net to complete her impressive afternoons work.

Rodd said: “I wasn’t happy at the start of the game, as the players didn’t take on board what we impressed upon them before the match. Once we got the opening goal, I was able to change the system and, to be fair to the girls, they adapted well and they will learn from it.”

Argyle squad: Michaela Phillips, Jessie Boston (Ezme Wells 65), Kate Middleton, Ebony Dover, Phoebe Baker, Darcey Hepworth, Kayleigh Brown (Tori Marks 70), Zoe Cunningham (Becky Atkins 80), Becky Dandridge, Kayley Lane, Natasha Knapman

Goals: Natasha Knapman 4, Ezme Wells

South West League Western Division

Plymouth Argyle 13 Exeter & Tedburn Rangers 1

ARGYLE’S second string were too good for their East Devon opponents who battled from start to finish. It was a personal triumph for Hayley Ranachan who helped herself to four second-half goals.

It took just a couple of minutes for Argyle to take the lead when a good move involving Alex Hugh and Dani Salt set free Lucy Solloway to open the scoring. A defensive mistake let in Tamsin Medd-Gill who made no mistake. Hugh then scored with an overhead kick following a Catherine Davis partially cleared corner.

A defensive lapse released Becky Folds who unleashed a rasping drive to beat debutant goalkeeper Neave Gosling. Hugh then scored direct from a free kick with Salt bursting through to score. Argyle started the second half as they started the first, when a superb ten-player move set Ranachan free to fire into the corner of the net.

Substitute Mollie Taylor scored direct from a free kick with Emily Baker setting up Ranachan for her second goal. The goals kept coming with Salt setting up Solloway for her second. Baker put through Medd-Gill for her second goal, with Shania Fenlon then providing the pass for Ranachan’s hat trick. A driving run by Abi Scurr set up Taylor who raced clear to find the corner of the net and Faye Ivall found Ranachan to complete the scoring.

Manager Rob Bonney commented: “Before we went out for our warm up today, we had a long talk about standards. We just felt in our last game we went through the motions and did not show any real urgency.

“We looked a lot better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. We changed formation in the second half and the girls adapted really well. You only have to look at the players that came off the bench and see that competition for places are fierce. They all think they should have a place in the starting line up. To have players knowing they have to perform week in, week out can only be good for team.”

Argyle squad. Neave Gosling, Catherine Davis, Alex Hugh, Faye Ivall, Tamsin Medd-Gill, Clare Ostle, Becky Parkyn, Charlie Rollerson, Dani Salt, Abi Scurr, Lucy Solloway, Emily Baker, Shania Fenlon, Hayley Ranachan, Mollie Taylor.

Goals: Hayley Ranachan 4, Alex Hugh 2, Tamsin Medd-Gill 2, Lucy Solloway 2, Millie Taylor 2, Dani Salt.

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