Match Report – Plymouth Argyle Ladies vs Larkhall Athletic Ladies

A four goal haul from prolific striker Natasha Knapman helped Argyle continue on their winning way against a resilient Larkhall who put in a battling performance. On a wet and miserable afternoon Argyle took time to settle as they tried to find a way past a packed midfield and defence.
Indeed it took until the 25th minute to open the scoring.  Striker Natasha Knapman fresh from picking up her award as the league top scorer in London at the FA Women’s Football Awards evening almost gave Argyle the lead when in the sixth minute she headed a Becky Dandridge cross onto the crossbar. After a number of close shaves Knapman raced on to a Dandridge through ball to shoot home from 12 yards.
It almost became 2-0 when Kayley Lane fed Zoe Cunningham who smashed the ball against the crossbar and down off the line.
The second goal came soon after when a superb Lane cross saw Knapman stoop low to head in.
On a rare Larkhall attack the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 34th minute for handball which Lizze Barrett converted. Knapman then had another superb shot well saved.
Argyles pressure told when a minute before half time a fierce Katie Middleton effort was handled which left the captain to fire her spot kick into the corner of the net.
Argyle changed tactics at half time by using the flanks more which by-passed the packed Larkhall midfield.
Argyle attacked at every opportunity and sheer persistence by Middleton produced Knapman’s hat trick goal when she won the ball wide on the right and launched over a great cross which Knapman headed in from just a yard out.
Six minutes later Amber Pollock raced in to terrific Dandridge through ball to fire the ball into the far corner of then net.
Within ten minutes Argyle made it 6-1 when substitute Dani Barr scored with a rasping 25 yard drive.
As the visitors started to tire Knapman found substitute Jessie Boston with a delightful chip who then coolly clipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.
A minute later Knapman raced on to a through ball to round the goalkeeper for her fourth goal.
Larkhall then had Kate German sent off for aggressive behaviour which left Dandridge to round off the victory with the last kick of the game from 12 yards.
Argyle manager Travis Rowland said: ‘We found it difficult to break through a packed midfield but we changed tactics at half time by playing the ball wide.’
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