WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Ward celebrates England U16 call-up by netting winner for Argyle

YOUNGSTER Mari Ward celebrated her call-up for the England U16 squad by netting a last-gasp winner to help Plymouth Argyle to a 2-1 home victory over Cardiff City.

It was Argyle’s third successive win in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division and survival is now in their own hands, having moved level with 10th-placed Cardiff City with a game in hand.

The Pilgrims had beaten the Welsh side 5-1 away just a fortnight earlier but the Bluebirds were not as easy to breakdown this time around.

Argyle did have the better of the first half but the sides went in at half-time level at 0-0.

Cardiff goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan made a number of good saves after the interval, while visiting defender Katie Jones also cleared off the line.

But, against the run of play, the visitors took the lead when Chloe Lloyd scored a penalty after Kylie Nolan was brought down in the box.

O’Sullivan again came to Cardiff’s rescue before at the other end Argyle goalkeeper Poppy Soper was called into action to make a stunning save.

And less than four minutes later, Argyle equalised when Kayley Lane headed in a Rosie Train free-kick.

Yet there was still time for the Pilgrims to bag the three points when, with the last play of the game, Ward got one-on-one with O’Sullivan and calmly fired into the bottom corner of the net.

Ward, who was playing only her third senior game, will now travel to Portugal with the England U16 squad to play the host country and Germany.

In the South West Women’s Premier Division, Marine Academy Plymouth were beaten 3-0 away at high-flying Ilminster Town.

Marine were made to pay for three lapses of concentration in the first half but matched their hosts in the second period.

In the Devon Women’s League Western Division, unbeaten league leaders Activate kept their 100 per cent record going with a 3-1 derby win over third-placed Signal Box Oak Villa at Weston Mill. Wensday Wise, Steph Warren and Tracey Cross scored Activate’s goals.

In the Cornwall Women’s League Division One, Saltash Borough enjoyed a big 8-0 home victory over Penryn at Saltmill.

Abby Shapland bagged a hat-trick for Borough, who also had Sam Metter and Codie Al-Cleugh scoring twice and Lucy Borthwick also on the scoresheet.

In the same division, Saltash United Development went down 2-0 away at Bude, while Callington Town lost 11-0 at home to Helston Development.

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