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WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Argyle slip back into relegation zone after away loss

PLYMOUTH Argyle dropped back into the relegation zone in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division after a 2-0 away defeat at Crawley Wasps.

It was their second loss in seven days to Crawley, having gone down 4-3 in a thriller at Manadon the previous Sunday.

This weekend’s match was a much scrappier affair played on a difficult surface.

The Pilgrims will be frustrated to have come out of both fixtures empty handed, but they still have a good chance of staying up.

They are only in the bottom four on goal difference and they do have a game in hand on Cardiff, who are just above them on the same number of points, and they have three games in hand on Milton Keynes Dons, who are two points ahead of them in ninth.

Argyle, who were missing key striker Natasha Knapman and promising youngster Mari Ward, went behind in the 14th minute when Nicola Gibson fired home for the hosts.

The Pilgrims had a couple of chances before half-time and then had a great opportunity to level after the interval with Amber Pollock just inches away with a chip.

Jemma Rose then went even closer, blasting a shot off the post.

Argyle, though, just could not find an equaliser and Crawley doubled their lead in the 75th minute with a goal from Letitia Nicholls that sealed the game.

Meanwhile, in the South West Women’s League Western Division, a depleted Saltash United side were beaten 4-1 away at neighbours Liskeard Athletic.

Liskeard took the lead with a great goal by Ezme Wells, but Saltash equalised with a strike from Rachel Finch.

However, the hosts scored twice more before half-time courtesy of a second from Wells and one from Eleri Griffiths to take a 3-1 lead into half-time.

There was just one goal in the second half which came from Griffiths as Liskeard moved up to second place in the league, one point behind leaders Plymouth Argyle U23s.

In Cornwall Women’s League Division One, Saltash United’s development team drew 1-1 at home with leaders Sticker.

The Ashes side had to defend hard early on but took the lead in the 22nd minute when Rebecca Kench scored a fine effort with her side’s first real chance.

There were not too many clear-cut chances at either end until late in the second half.

Saltash thought they had scored a match-winning second goal 10 minutes from time, but it was ruled out for an alleged offside.

And Sticker took full advantage of that let off by going straight up the other end and equalising with a long-range effort from Chloe Harris.

Sticker stay at the top, while Saltash United are third, with Saltash Borough second.

Borough had a convincing 9-1 away win at Helston Athletic’s development squad.

In the Devon Women’s League Western Division, champions Activate finished their season with a 100 per cent record after beating Teignmouth 2-0 away on Sunday.

Wensday Wise and Maisie Godrey scored their goals.

Signal Box Oak Villa stay in third place after beating fourth-place Shaldon Villa 5-2 at Weston Mill.

Amelia Brown scored two goals for Oak Villa, who led 2-1 at half-time. Their other scorers were Victoria Jasper, Abigail Smith and Freya Jackson. Nashya Paz and Lauryn Smith scored for the visitors.

It was Oak Villa’s second win in four days, having beaten neighbours Lakeside 3-0 in mid-week. Jasper scored a hat-trick in that night game.

However, on Sunday, Lakeside were celebrating their first league win of the season after beating Halwill 3-2 away thanks to a hat-trick from Rebekah Rose. Gemma Garnsworthy netted both Halwill’s goals.

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