Plymouth Argyle 2-5 Coventry United

Match Report: Plymouth Argyle 2-5 Coventry United

In their last home game of the season, Plymouth Argyle welcomed League Champions Coventry United to Bovey Tracey FC.

After suffering a 9-1 defeat in the league and a 2-1 defeat in the second round of the FA Cup to Coventry earlier in the season, Argyle were aiming to finish their penultimate game of the season on a high. Coventry United were named Southern Premier Division Champions in their last game after a 4-1 victory over second-placed Cardiff City, so the players were given a Guard of Honour by the Plymouth Argyle players.

This game was also special for Coventry Manager Jay Bradford, who was celebrating 100 games in charge.

Plymouth Argyle 2-5 Coventry United
Plymouth Argyle's Jones moves away from the Coventry United midfield. All photos from @TimmyBadger

The game began with end to end play, with chances for both teams; the best coming from Plymouth’s Jessie Jones. Coventry were then given their best chance to make it 1-0 when Beth Merrick was tripped in the box. Austin, who had scored 7 in 7 penalties so far in the season, stepped up but she saw her effort sail over the bar. This was the first penalty Coventry had missed all season.

The game then continued how it had started, with both teams enjoying spells of possession, but with very few chances on goal. However, it was Coventry who broke the deadlock 10 minutes before half time when Amber Hughes slotted a fantastic solo goal past Sarah Prior.

Argyle thought they had equalised shortly after when Jones found the back of the net, however she was flagged offside. Argyle got their chance to get one back in injury time when Jones was taken down by Austin in the box. Austin was shown a yellow card and Argyle captain, Katie Middleton, stepped up to the spot. Sending keeper, Susan Wood, the wrong way, Middleton made no mistake of slotting the ball into the corner. The half ended 1-1.

In the second half, Coventry didn’t take long to regain the lead after their season’s top scorer Wathan fired the ball passed Prior and into the top corner.

Argyle then dominated possession for a short period of time, creating a number of chances on goal. However, Coventry’s defence were there to ensure they kept their lead.

Coventry’s third goal of the game came through Hughes, who found the back of the net from close range after Lois Jefferies’ shot crashed off the post. After a flurry of further chances for Coventry, Argyle’s Natasha Knapman managed to break away on the counter and square the ball to Helen Bleazard in space. She went 1 on 1 with keeper Wood and found the bottom corner of the net.

Argyle still applying pressure, the score was now Plymouth 2 – 3 Coventry. Coventry keeper (and Captain) Wood then made way for Vicky Wright, who came on to make her debut in goal for Coventry United. As Coventry regained control of the game, a well-timed cross into the box from Hughes was met by the head of Rosie McDonnell, who put the visitor’s two goals ahead once again. Arygle continued to push for another goal, but Leah Burridge could only see her shot go over the bar.

In the final minutes of the game Coventry added one final goal to their tally when a cross from Jefferies was met in the box by Hughes. She slotted the ball into the corner from close range to complete her hat trick.

Plymouth Argyle: Prior, Dover, Middleton (c), Taylor, Bleazard, Lane, Pollock, Burridge, Knapman, Ivall, Jones
Subs: Hepworth, Vivvicombe, Pappaioannou, Beck, Champion

Coventry United: Wood (c), Roberts, Austin, Formaston, Miles, Riden, Hughes, Jeffries, Wathan, McDonnell, Merrick
Subs: Dermody, Wright, Merritt, Gauntlett

Louise Golby
louiseeringolby@outlook.com