Argyle / Football

Cunningham scores five times as holders Argyle ease into Devon Senior Cup last eight

Plymouth Argyle Ladies completed a routine victory away at Bideford as they began their defence of the Devon Senior Cup.

Argyle won 13-0 at the Sports Ground to set up a home quarter-final tie against city rivals Marine Academy Plymouth on Sunday, November 18.

It was the perfect way for the Pilgrims to warm-up for their National Premier League Cup match this coming weekend against Southampton.

Argyle are still without top striker Natasha Knapman and fellow forward Helen Bleazard due to injury, but they did include 16-year-old Cornish midfielder Sally Salter (pictured) in their squad for the trip to Bideford.

Argyle kept to their 4 2-1-3 formation with Jessie Jones leading the line and another teenager, Faye Ivall, in the starting line up.

Flying midfielder Zoe Cunningham enjoyed a day to remember by helping herself to five goals.

It took Argyle until the 17th minute to take the lead when Ivall, who bagged a brace last week for the development team against Bideford, opened her account.

Four minutes later, Cunningham got her first to double the lead.

And it was Cunningham who slammed in the next from 25 yards with Ivall adding her second to give Argyle a 4-0 half-time lead.

With the result a foregone conclusion Argyle decided to bring on Salter for Mollie Taylor to give her a half to have a look at her.

The second period saw Argyle knock in another nine goals starting with Jones putting herself on the score sheet nine minutes after the break. It started with goalkeeper Lindsay Rogers rolling the ball out to a defender and four passes later the ball was in the back of the net.

Six minutes later Ebony Dover made it 6-0 with a further three goals coming in five minutes through Cunningham, to complete her hat-trick, Ivall to complete hers from the penalty spot after being brought down and Becky Dandridge.

Argyle then made a double substitution with Becky Wakley replacing captain Kate Middleton and Tamsin Medd-Gill coming on for Kayley Lane.

Unfortunately for Bideford the goals kept coming with Cunningham netting her fourth before Med-Gill scored her first goal for the first team.

Cunningham then added her fifth, leaving Medd-Gill to slam in her second goal with a stunning 30 yard strike into the top corner of the net.

Joint Argyle manager Dave Leonard said: “It was a tie we were expected to win but we showed Bideford the utmost respect.”

Leonard wanted to thank the coaching staff of the ADC for the development of the youngsters.

He said: “It goes to show that our arterial bloodline from the youngsters through to the first team is a credit to our youth development. We had teenagers Faye Ivall and Tamsin Medd-Gill in the squad and introduced another, 16-year-old Sally Salter at half-time and she didn’t disappoint. I thought she was excellent.”

Argyle squad: Lyndsay Rogers, Darcey Hepworth, Ebony Dover, Kate Middleton (Becky Wakley), Kayley Lane (Tamsin Medd-Gill), Zoe Cunningham, Becky Dandridge, Faye Ivall, Steph Beck, Jessie Jones, Mollie Taylor (Sally Salter).

Meanwhile, Plymouth Argyle’s development team were disappointed to have their South West League Western Division match against Bude Town called off due to north Cornish club not been able to raise a team.

However, it was not all bad news as manager Rob Bonney said: “We have several niggly injuries as well as some carrying long-term ones.  We are monitoring the girls’ fitness but the trouble is they just want to play and they are too brave for their own good sometimes.”

He added: “The development side are ticking over nicely. They are certainly serving their purpose with three of their squad already being called up for first team duties. It is a bitter sweet feeling as we lose the services of these players but it is so pleasing to see these players progress. It proves the system is working.”

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