PLYMOUTH Argyle enjoyed a terrific start to 2022 by beating Cardiff City 5-1 away in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division.
It was only Argyle’s second league win of the season and their first since the end of August.
The big away victory will give them hope that they can move out of the relegation zone in the second half of the season.
The Pilgrims were missing a number of players and handed a debut to 16-year-old Mari Ward.
They made a great start in Wales and took the lead in the 13th minute when Gabi Alphous fired in after a good through ball by Sophie Perrin.
Argyle’s Welsh goalkeeper Poppy Soper made a good save before Zoe Cunningham doubled the Devon side’s lead.
Cunningham, Ward, Alphous and Amber Pollock all had chances before the Pilgrims did make it 3-0 in the 42nd minute through Pollock.
Alphous added a fourth in the 54th minute before Cardiff did pull one back courtesy of a free-kick from Kelly Isaac.
But Argyle were not to be denied and wrapped up a fine win with a fifth goal courtesy of substitute Emily Easton.
There was also a crucial away win for Marine Academy Plymouth in the South West Women’s Premier Division.
They beat bottom side Bideford 3-0 in north Devon on Sunday, with all their goals coming in the second half.
Izzie Scott, back home from America, scored two of Marine’s goals to go with one from Samantha Drewery.
Marine have strengthened their management team over the festive period by bringing in former Buckland coach Greg Mogford.
In the South West Women’s Western Division, Plymouth Argyle U23s and Saltash United played out a 0-0 draw at Manadon.
The Ashes had the better of the first half but could not take their chances and league leaders Argyle came back into the game second half but neither side were able to break the deadlock.
However, Saltash United’s development team did manage to pick up three points in Cornwall Division One by beating FXSU 5-2 with an understrength team.
Rebecca Kench scored a hat-trick for the Ashes second string, with Bethany Liley and Ella Stevens also netting.
In the same division, Saltash Borough enjoyed a 6-3 home win over Helston Athletic Development.