Argyle / Football

In-form Argyle Ladies hoping for away success at Portsmouth

PLYMOUTH Argyle Ladies return to league action on Sunday with a difficult trip to Dockyard rivals Portsmouth – weather permitting.

It is a tough period for the Pilgrims as they are on the road for the whole of November which will make it a remarkable 10 league and cup games away and just two at home from 12 matches.

Argyle sit in third place in the National League Southern Premier Division with games in hand over the teams in front of them so a win at Portsmouth would keep the pressure on the title chasers.

The Greens, who had a break from action last weekend, have been in top form of late as they go into the game on the back of seven straight league and cup wins, which has seen them score 35 goals and concede just five.

Manager Dave Leonard has a full squad to pick from although he will still be without the services of Greece central defender Panagiota Papaioannou, who is hoping to be fit for the upcoming UEFA Group matches at Montenegro on Wednesday at the Gradski Stadion Podgorica.  Six days later Greece are at home to the Republic of Ireland in Athens.

Leonard said: “She (Giota) is only currently 80 per cent fit but we are hoping to get her fit for these matches.”

He added: “We had a full compliment of players training this week. We are obviously looking forward to the game and looking to get back to our league form.

“We didn’t want a week break but we can’t do anything about the fixtures. But getting the girls at it again is our priority. Everyone trained and there are no injury worries so we are all looking good.”

Portsmouth have only played five league games but are on the back of three high scoring league and cup wins so will take some stopping.

Argyle won the away match last season 3-0 with the home game ending in a 2-2 draw at Home Park. That game saw the return of top striker Natasha Knapman who came off the bench after a six-month lay-off due to injury to score. Knapman has shown she has lost none of that form as she has already netted 14 goals from eight league and cup starts.

The experienced Steph Beck returns to the first team squad after scoring twice for the development team last week in the 7-3 win over Feniton.

Argyle will be taking 16 players to Portsmouth: Becky Kyle, Leah Burridge, Bow Jackson, Jessica Jones, Kayley Lane, Ebony Dover, Becky Dandridge, Steph Beck, Zoe Cunningham, Amber Pollock, Natasha Knapman, Helen Bleazard, Kate Middleton, Mollie Taylor, Faye Ivall, Lydia Huntley.

There is no game for Argyle’s in-form development team who currently head the South West League Western Division. Their next match is next Sunday when they play local rivals Plympton.

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