PLYMOUTH Argyle will meet Exeter City in the final of the Devon Women’s Senior Cup final on May 15 after the Pilgrims beat Buckland Athletic 8-1 at Marjon on Wednesday evening.
The Greens went into the tie with just 12 fit, eligible players, but they need not have worried as they produced a devastating performance in front of a good sized gate, which included Argyle men’s assistant manager Steven Schumacher.
Argyle pressed from the start and a great Helen Bleazard corner was headed just over by Lydia Huntley.
Plymouth, looking confident, were denied an 11th-minute Natasha Knapman opening goal for a foul on the goalkeeper.
And the visitors then took a shock 15th minute lead when a Ben Kyle’s misplaced clearance rebounded off a Buckland striker into net.
Argyle responded with Bleazard’s long-range shot going narrowly wide. Despite being on top the Pilgrims were just lacking a finishing touch – that was until the 22nd minute when the overlapping Mollie Taylor’s cross found Knapman. She laid it off to Leah Burridge, who fired in off the underside of the crossbar.
A minute later and another great Taylor run ended with her cutting inside to fire low into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later and Bleazard’s free-kick rebounded back off the crossbar.
Argyle were now in full flow and on the half hour mark they increased their lead when Taylor appeared at the near post to head in a pin-point Bleazard corner.
Three minutes later and nice build up play between Huntley and Bleazard led to Knapman making no mistake.
Meanwhile, Burridge was defending well while Taylor and Bleazard were working well on the left.
A great ball by Huntley found Bleazard, who crossed for Knapman, only for her to just shoot wide.
Buckland did have a chance but it was saved on the goal line while Bleazard countered down the right with a cross to Bow Jackson, who headed wide.
At the start of the second half, Burridge, Taylor and Knapman had chances in the opening 10 minutes before they did make it 5-1 when Jackson found Knapman, who unselfishly squared the ball to Steph Beck to slot it home.
Two minutes later and Bleazard headed in a cross. The seventh goal came in the 71st minute when Knapman ran on to a terrific through ball to calmly slot the ball past the goalkeeper.
Young Beth Everson was playing well down the left wing producing a number of good crosses. Five minutes later and Burridge fired a long range effort against the crossbar.
Argyle, however, did get an eighth goal in the final minute when a great run by Jackson saw her cross-cum-shot loop into the net.
A delighted manager Dave Leonard said afterwards: “It was a very good win, the girls played the game in the right way.
“I’ve got a certain way I want to play and the girls are putting that into practice and we won’t go too far wrong by playing that way.”
He added “I’m absolutely delighted, for the second week running there’s girls that haven’t played regular football this season in positions which they are favoured to play in and have stepped up, I’m more than impressed with that.”
Argyle: Ben Kyle, Lydia Huntley, Helen Bleazard, Mollie Taylor, Kate Middleton, Bow Jackson Ebony Dover, Leah Burridge, Steph Beck, Faye Ivall, Natasha Knapman, Bethany Everson.