PLYMOUTH Argyle Ladies maintained their impressive recent form by coming away from Milton Keynes Don with a 5-1 victory.
Sunday’s win in front of more than 1,100 people at Stadium MK was their fifth in a row in the National League Southern Premier Division and keeps them second in the table behind Crawley Wasps.
Argyle travelled up to Buckinghamshire on the Saturday to ensure they were fit and ready to go for the game and the players rewarded the management staff with another five-star performance.
The Greens included new signing Bow Jackson (pictured top) for her full debut in the starting line-up, with another new signing Lydia Huntley on the bench, alongside Zoe Cunningham and Faye Ivall,
Becky Kyle took her place in goal in front of the back four of Jackson, Kate Middleton, Mollie Taylor and Leah Burridge, who switched to left back. Kayley Lane, Becky Dandridge, Jessie Jones occupied the midfield with Helen Bleazard and Amber Pollock out wide with Natasha Knapman as the sole striker.
In windy and wet conditions, Argyle tore into the hosts from the start and peppered the home goal with a number of good efforts.
The break through finally came in the 20th minute when Dandridge raced clear before producing a clinical finish.
Four minutes later and top scorer Natasha Knapman pounced to make it 2-0.
Argyle continued to dominate but were caught out in the 37th minute when captain Katie Middleton met a corner with a firm header which unfortunately went into the net for an unlikely own goal.
Roared on by the small band of the London Branch of the Argyle Supporters’ Club, Argyle came out for the second half looking to push on, which they did thanks to an excellent finish from Bleazard just over a minute following the restart.
Milton Keynes played better in the second period, but Argyle’s superiority was never more epitomised when Jones picked up the ball and fired in an unstoppable 25-yard drive.
Milton Keynes had their chances but could not find a way past the reliable Kyle in the Pilgrims goal and a well marshalled defence.
The good lead allowed Leonard to shuffle the pack bringing on Cunningham, Ivall and Huntley midway through the second half.
Argyle continued to hold sway and they were rewarded in the last minute when Lane worked her way through the defence to seal the victory.
“The girls just do everything that is expected of them,” said manager Dave Leonard after the match. “They dominated large periods of the game.
“They go out every week and perform and I am so proud of them, they are as honest as they come.”
Leonard once again wished to thank the London Supporters’ Branch for cheering the team on.
“The girls really appreciated it,” said Leonard. “For them to turn up to watch is really commendable. They come every away game. We got them involved and they love it – they are the salt of the earth. All the girls thanked them at the end and they had a photograph taken with the girls.”
Argyle: Becky Kyle, Bow Jackson (Lydia Huntley), Kate Middleton, Leah Burridge (Faye Ivall), Helen Bleazard, Kayley Lane, Becky Dandridge, Amber Pollock (Zoe Cunningham), Natasha Knapman, Jessica Jones, Mollie Taylor.
Meanwhile in the South West League Western Division, Argyle’s development team finally got off the mark at their attempt with a convincing 6-1 victory against Alphington at Plymstock.
The young Pilgrims could hardly string two passes together in the first half on a bouncy pitch in a howling gale and went into the half-time break 1-0 down thanks to a Helen Kukor goal for Alphington.
But second half was a complete contrast as whatever was said at the interval had the desired effect on Argyle as they came out of the blocks looking a different team.
They did make changes at the break as Rachel Javan was suffering with a head injury and Dani Wyatt had a stress fracture in her foot. They also changed their system around, which seemed to do the trick as they were soon level.
Slick passing between Kiara Robins, Jodie Randall and Milan Barros released Beth Cowd, who raced half the length of the pitch to slam the ball into roof of the net.
Walsh then denied Kukor at the other end, but Argyle were now in full flow and an in-swinging Beck corner saw Argyle take the lead when a defender turned the ball it into her own net.
The inter play between the Pilgrim players was impressive and they got a third goal when a through ball from Robins put Lucy Solloway in to score.
Within five minutes, Beth Cowd went in bravely for a header but was clattered by Brown, earning Argyle a penalty and Maisie Williams slotted in the spot kick home.
Alphington were now on the back foot and a desperate challenge on flying Beth Everson ended with a free-kick which Jodie Randall fired into the net.
Argyle continued to create chances and Solloway, Champion, Williams, Cowd and Everson all went close.
Walsh was eventually brought into the action when she tipped a Wright free-kick around a post, but it was the Pilgrims who had the final say when another Beck corner caused panic and Ebony Dover smashed the ball home from six yards
Manager Rob Bonney was delighted with the performance. He said: “Our build up play in the first half was decent but we just got anxious in the final third and snatched at things or our pass selection was poor.
“Second half we changed the system around and personnel and it gave us another dimension. We looked a threat every time we attacked and we played some very good passing football through the thirds. The girls beat a very capable Alphington team so now we move on and build on that.”
Argyle Development: Maddie Walsh, Rachel Heron, Rachel Javan, Ebony Dover, Jodie Randall, Lucy Solloway, Kiara Robins, Steph Beck, Hannah Brock, Dani Wyatt, Nicola Champion. Maisie Williams, Milan Barros, Beth Everson, Beth Cowd, Sally Salter.