PLYMOUTH Argyle Ladies go into Sunday’s National League Southern Premier Division match against Yeovil Town at the Manadon Sports Hub in good heart (2pm).
The Pilgrims will be looking to make it three wins in a row after overcoming Keynsham and Gillingham in their last two games.
But they know it will not be easy as Yeovil were a Super League outfit last season and although they have lost a number of players they have recruited well in the summer.
The game will offer Argyle’s former Yeovil players Helen Bleazard, Natasha Knapman, Leah Burridge, Kayley Lane and Jessie Jones the chance to try and get one over their old club, while included in the Yeovil team is former Pilgrims defender Jodie Chub.
Argyle will be looking to the predatory instincts of Knapman, who has scored three times in the last two matches, to help them try and pick up another three points.
Pilgrims manager Dave Leonard makes one change from the squad that beat Keynsham Town 6-1 last week. Holly Cole is unavailable so Steph Beck, who had recently returned from coaching in the USA, steps up from the development team having scored for them against Alphington last week.
Yeovil lost their Super League status last season and were forced by the FA to drop down two levels to the National League. They have a big playing budget and have recruited well by signing Kelly Aldridge and Sarah Wiltshire as well retaining Ann-Marie Heatherson and Erin Bloomfield.
Yeovil started the season with three terrific league and cup wins, scoring 19 unanswered goals. However, they came unstuck at home to Crawley Wasps last week losing 2-1. Crawley had beaten Argyle 2-0 in the opening game of the season so a close encounter is expected.
Leonard wants to see another big gate at the Manadon Hub after 203 fans watched them play Keynsham Town last week.
“Training has been good this week,” said Leonard. “The girls are in good shape ready for the match.
“Yeovil are a club with a great pedigree – they are more famous for their women’s team than the men’s.
“We will be focussed and we will give them respect they deserve until 2 o’clock.”
He added: “We will have our work cut out and will have a job to do to earn the three points. Yeovil will go in to the game favourites and go into this league as favourites. At the end of the day they are an ex-WSL outfit and they have the calibre of players that will want to bounce back at the first attempt.
“With the paying budget that they have they are a cut above us and that could potentially mean winning the league and not winning the league.
“At the end of the day it is a local derby, there will be a lot of emotion flying around we’ve just got to concentrate on the way we play and have got to find a way of picking up three points.”
Entry into the match for non-season ticket holders is £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Argyle: Becky Kyle, Leah Burridge, Katie Middleton, Mollie Taylor, Faye Ivall, Becky Dandridge, Jessie Jones, Zoe Cunningham, Amber Pollock, Natasha Knapman, Steph Beck, Ebony Dover, Helen Bleazard, Kayley Lane.
Argyle’s development team have to go to Plymouth Marjon University on Sunday for their South West League Western Division match against local rivals Plympton, who were runners-up last season.
The match was originally due to be held at the Manadon Hub but the grass pitch is unavailable for a few weeks. The match will kick-off at 12 noon.
Argyle will go into the game with a trio of midfielders missing from last week’s starting line up. On the plus side they could welcome into the squad Greek international Giotta Papaioannou and Ellie Bishop. Also Kiara Robins could come into the reckoning as she has made a quicker than expected recovery from injury.
Once more there will be a focus on the youngsters that will be selected.
Manager Rob Bonney has already said that he wants to give all the under-18s a chance during the season.