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Match Reports

Central League Report: Rovers 1-4 Plymouth Argyle

5 February 2019

Match Reports

Central League Report: Rovers 1-4 Plymouth Argyle

5 February 2019

The Development Squad were well beaten by Plymouth Argyle Under-23s in the Central League on Tuesday afternoon.

Plymouth took an early advantage in the 11th minute, but that was cancelled out not long after with an excellent finish from Deon Moore.

The visitors retook their lead just two minutes later, as a slice of fortune saw Oscar Threlkeld's effort deflect past Sam Slocombe and Rovers fell even further behind just before the break as Alex Fletcher headed home for his second of the half.

Rovers had chances to get back into the game after the break but failed to take them, with Argyle adding extra gloss through Luke Jephcott's finish.

There were four first team inclusions to the starting line up, as Sam Matthews and Stuart Sinclair featured in midfield, as did Slocombe between the sticks and new signing Gabriel Osho got a run out in the centre of defence.

The opening 10 minutes of the encounter were scrappy, with neither side really able to get their foot on the ball, which spent much of the time in the air.

The deadlock however was broken shortly after that spell, with the visitors taking an early lead as Alex Fletcher got a slight touch to turn in Luke Jephcott cross' from close range.

Rovers reply was not immediate but it did come about 15 minutes after Argyle's opener, as Rhys Kavanagh put Moore through with a great pass, before the striker took a touch to the right and rifled a brilliant high finish past the keeper to pull his side level. 

It was short lived though, with Plymouth regaining their lead just moments later when Oscar Threlkeld' strike deflected past Slocombe and into the net.

At other end Kavanagh had a good chance to get at Arygle's defence, as Alfie Clarke slid him in down the left before the striker drove into the box, but his shot went into the side netting.

Despite Rovers' efforts to find a second equaliser, they fell further behind when a strong run from Lionel Ainsworth got the winger into the box and to the byline, before he dug out an inviting cross to the back post for Fletcher who headed home via Slocombe's hand, as the visitors took a two-goal advantage into the interval.

Shortly after the break, Argyle had a free kick in a threatening position as Scott Isherwood clipped Jephcott - Ainsworth struck it and a nick off the wall took it just wide of the post.

It was very nearly four when Jephcott rose highest in the area and headed onto the crossbar, with Osho on hand to scramble the rebound clear.

Rovers had a great opportunity to reduce the deficit, with Sam Matthews and Isherwood combining well down the right to get the latter to the byline. The young full-back then picked out a perfect cut back for Kavanagh 10 yards out but he shot marginally wide.

Another equally promising chance followed not long after, with Tom Mehew pinching possession 30 yards from goal and then putting Moore through on his left foot, but the striker opted to cut back onto his stronger right and allowed time for defenders to recover, forcing him to lay Mehew off and the shot was dragged wide.

With little over 20 minutes on the clock, Rovers made their first change, a double switch which saw Theo Widdrington and Lucas Tomlinson replace seniors Matthews and Sinclair.

Ainsworth had been a thorn in Rovers' side all afternoon and stung the palms of Slocombe with a fierce strike on the right side of the box.

However, Slocombe was beaten moments later as Jephcott finished well on his left side from outside the area.

Moore got into a good position once more as he went past his man inside the box, but was met by the keeper as he tried to lift the ball beyond Mike Cooper.

On 83 minutes, Rovers made another double switch, as strikers Moore and Kavanagh made way for youngsters Harry Warwick and Kieron Phillips.

Moore's final contribution was to win a free kick on the edge of the box that was hit well by Widdrington but equally held well by Cooper.

Substitute Phillips got into a good position in the closing minutes, dancing past a number of challenges but perhaps waiting too long to pull the trigger as a defender recovered to bloke, in the final moment of note on a dissapointing afternoon.

Rovers XI: Sam Slocombe (GK), Scott Isherwood, Gabriel Osho, Jamie Bremner, Alfie Clarke, Cameron Hargreaves, Tom Mehew, Stuart Sinclair (Theo Widdrington, 67'), Sam Matthews (Lucas Tomlinson, 67'), Rhys Kavanagh (Kieron Phillips, 83'), Deon Moore (Harry Warwick, 83').

Unused Subs: Alexis Andre-Jr (GK). 

Plymouth XI: Mike Cooper (GK), Joe Riley, Tafari Moore, Adam Randall (Mike Peck, 83'), Scott Wooton, Lloyd Jones, Lionel Ainsworth, Oscar Threlkeld, Alex Fletcher, Tom Purrington, Luke Jephcott.

Unused Subs: Rio Garside, Aaron Goulty, Harry Townsend. 

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