PLYMOUTH Argyle secured their first FA Women’s National League Southern Division win of the season in emphatic style on Sunday.
The Pilgrims triumphed 5-1 away at Keynsham to move up to ninth in the early standings. It followed defeats to much-fancied Southampton and Portsmouth in their opening two games.
Argyle, who have welcomed back a number of players over the summer, went 2-1 up in the first half at the AJN Stadium.
Keynsham started quite well but it did not take long for Argyle to settle down and take the lead courtesy of a 10th-minute strike from Gabi Alphous.
The visitors continued to have chances with Natasha Knapman and Imogen Crawford testing the Keynsham defence and goalkeeper before the Pilgrims did get a second goal on 35 minutes. It came from Knapman, who fired into the bottom corner after Zoe Cunningham had done well to win the ball back in midfield.
Keynsham pulled a goal back just before half-time but Argyle did not let it upset them and two quick goals at the start of the second period made the game safe.
First, Alphous scored her second with a great strike, before a minute later, Cunningham added number four with a free-kick from the edge of the box.
More chances came and went before substitute Emily Eaton scored with her first touch after coming on to the field to wrap up a good win for the Greens.
Meanwhile, Saltash United warmed up for their debut in the South West Western Division with a 4-3 home defeat to higher league St Austell on Sunday. Jazz Hervin, Morgan Friend and Hayley Ranachan scored the Ashes goals. Saltash will open their league season with a home game against Plymouth Argyle Under-23s.
Elsewhere, South West Premier League side Marine Academy Plymouth ran out 11-4 winners over Devon League outfit Signal Box Oak Villa on Thursday evening. Sam Metters scored four of their goals, with Ellie Bishop bagging a hat-trick, Samantha Drewery netting two and Chloe Harris and Dionne Igalawuye also chipping in with strikes.
Marine Academy will open their league season on Sunday with a home game against Sherborne, while Signal Box will be at home to Teignmouth in their first Devon League Western Division fixture.