Match Report – Basingstoke Ladies vs Plymouth Argyle LFC

Argyle ladies rounded off their excellent season with another thumping victory. It was a great end of season for manager Travis Rowland who had been informed during the week that his temporary role was made permanent.
Argyle travelled to Hampshire missing a number of front line players but still managed to produce a quality performance. Once again captain Kate Middleton took over the gloves due to the unavailability of Michaela Phillips. Argyle started slowly but were quickly off the mark when in the 12th minute Amber Pollock headed in a pin point Becky Dandridge cross at the far post. Middleton then proved her worth by pulling off two great saves as Argyle struggled to get their passing game together. The turning point came in the 25th minute when Kayleigh Brown went off injured to be replaced by Dani Barr. Barr who was unfortunate to start the game on the bench soon got stuck in with her all round performance lifting the rest of the team.
Despite dominating the remainder of the half they had to wait until the 42nd minute to add their second when a superb Barr free kick caused confusion in the home defence which Becky Dandridge scrambled the ball over the line. Two minutes later it was all but over as Argyle made a quick break with the ball going to Natasha Knapman who found Zoe Cunningham who made no mistake.
Argyle were now in total control and ten minutes into the second half full back Jessie Boston added to the score when a corner was cleared directly to her which she promptly slammed back into the net from the edga of the penalty area. Striker Natasha Knapman suffered a head injury and in the 68th minute she was replaced by Ezme Wells who was playing her first game in seven weeks. Argyle were reduced to ten players when ten minutes from time Zoe Cunningham limped off injured. This didn’t bother Argyle as Rowland moved Pollock up as the lone striker which was rewarded within seconds as Wells set up Pollock who produced a clinical finish. Pollocks pace continually troubled the home defence and with time running out great work by Dandridge saw her unselfishly set up Pollock who completed her second hat trick in a row.
A delighted manager Travis Rowland said: ‘It was a good all round performance despite having a sluggish start. We have been starting on the front foot through playing regular but once again our early performance was affected due to the game last week against Shanklin being called off. We just couldn’t get into a rhythm with passes going astray and continually losing the ball in midfield.’ Rowland added: ‘The game changed when Dani Barr came on, she was immense. This seemed to settle the team and from then on there was only one team in it. We will take some time off until after our presentation evening on the 9th June when on the Sunday the girls are going to let their hair down at a water sports activity day in Cornwall.’ Rowland concluded: ‘I am very lucky to be in this position because we have a great bunch of girls who all get on wth each other.’
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