WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Home frustration for Argyle, but joy for Marine Academy

PLYMOUTH Argyle suffered home disappointment as they were narrowly beaten 4-3 by Crawley Wasps in a thriller at Manadon on Sunday in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division.

The Pilgrims were keen for a win to really put the pressure on their relegation rivals Cardiff City and Milton Keynes Dons.

However, Argyle do remain out of the relegation zone on goals scored despite the loss, and they do have two games in hand on Cardiff, who are one place below them on the same number of points, and they have three games in hand on Milton Keynes, who are two points ahead of them.

The Greens also have basement side Hounslow, who have not won a single game this season, to play at home this month, so they should be able to get enough points from their remaining five games to guarantee their Southern Premier status.

Yet they will be kicking themselves that they didn’t at least get a draw on Sunday.

They got the start they wanted with Natasha Knapman opening the scoring in the third minute after good play by England under-16 international Mari Ward.

But Crawley equalised nine minutes later when Naomi Cole scored from the penalty spot.

Argyle, with youngster Ward heavily involved, had some great chances after that and Knapman clipped the bar before, against the run of play, Crawley took the lead through Iseha Swaby.

The hosts really pushed for an equaliser before half-time but, despite having chances, they could not get the ball into the net.

However, they did pull level four minutes after the break when Zoe Cunningham netted after a Knapman shot had come off the woodwork.

Argyle created a number of chances after that but it was Crawley that regained the lead in the 58th minute with a chip from Natasha Stephens.

But the Pilgrims were not giving up without a fight and they pulled level yet again when Cunningham fired home a penalty after Amber Pollock was brought down in the box.

At that point it looked like the momentum was with Argyle but it was Crawley that took the three points with a goal from Rachel Palmer.

Meanwhile, Marine Academy Plymouth returned to winning ways with a 3-2 home win over Bishops Lydeard at Ivybridge on Sunday.

The visitors started strongly and went in front with a goal by Dawna Daw but Marine Academy finished the first half strongly and deservedly equalised with a penalty from the influential Samantha Drewery.

And the hosts made sure of the three points in the second period with two goals from Sam Metters. Holly Miller scored Bishops’ other goal.

In the Devon Women’s League Cup, Signal Box Oak Villa missed out on a semi-final place by losing 5-1 at home to a strong Torquay United second team.

Poppy Glass scored Oak Villa’s only goal, with Beth Everson netting two for Torquay, who also had Abigail Scandrett (2) and Laura Lewis on the scoresheet.

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