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WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Late goals secure Argyle victory over Marine Academy

PLYMOUTH Argyle scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to secure a 4-1 victory over lower league neighbours Marine Academy Plymouth in a friendly at Ivybridge.

Both clubs were using the match as a warm-up for their forthcoming Devon Senior Cup semi-finals, where Argyle will visit Buckland Athletic and Marine Academy will host Exeter City.

And both sides will have taken plenty of positives out of Sunday’s fixture.

The game was competitive and was in the balance until the final five minutes when Argyle scored two late goals to make sure of the victory – their second in a row after beating Bideford 5-0 the week before in the Devon Senior Cup.

Two of the Pilgrims’ second half goals came from corners, where the experienced Katie Middleton, who had come on as a half-time substitute, caused Marine problems with her height and heading ability.

Yet it was Marine who opened the scoring on 30 minutes when Izzie Scott scored a fine individual goal from the left. Scott had come agonisingly close with a header just minutes earlier but she made no mistake when through with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Both teams had played some good passing football and Argyle did deservedly pull level just before the break when Rosie Train scored a lovely goal from the left after a good pass by Beth Ireland had put her through.

The two sides continued their good build up play in the second half, but it was not until the 72nd minute that the deadlock was finally broken. The crucial goal came from a Katie Grigg corner that Middleton bravely headed into the net.

Marine did push for an equaliser but the game was sealed four minutes from time when Wensday Wise calmly slotted into the far post after a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

And, with a minute to go, the Pilgrims added a fourth when a Marine player headed into her own net under pressure from Middleton at a corner.

Meanwhile, Saltash United took another giant step towards the Cornwall Women’s League East Division title by beating their neighbours Saltash Borough 7-5 in a thriller at Salt Mill.

Borough were the only team that unbeaten leaders United had not played in the league and the one side that could derail their hopes of winning the division.

But United held off a fightback from Borough, who had been 6-3 down, to claim the win that leaves them nine points clear at the top and just one point away from sealing the title. Hayley Ranachan scored four goals for the Ashes, who also had Mia Lawrence, Jaz Hervin and Devon Simmonds netting.

Borough, who had only lost once before this weekend, had Sophie Perrin scoring a hat-trick, with Sam Metters and Hollie Congo also getting on the scoresheet.

Elsewhere, an under-strength Callington Town team found Exeter City too strong away, losing 6-1 at Exwick.

Callington, who were 2-0 down at half-time, had Lisa Pearce scoring for them after stepping up from the second team.

Elsewhere, Signal Box Oak Villa drew 3-3 with city rivals Activate at Weston Mill in a friendly.

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