Pilgrims make most of friendly by outplaying experienced Torquay United side
A strong Plymouth Argyle side outplayed Torquay United in a 2-0 win in a reserve-team friendly at Home Park yesterday afternoon.
Paul Wotton put the Pilgrims into the lead from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute and Jamie Lowry added the second goal shortly after the hour mark.
Plymouth also created several other chances, hitting the crossbar and a post, while home goalkeeper Ollie Chenoweth was rarely called into action by the Gulls.
Argyle, who were captained by Wotton, included eight professionals in their starting line-up. The three apprentices in the side were full-backs Ben Purrington and Colin Watson, and striker Tyler Harvey.
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Harvey was substituted in the 11th minute after he was hurt in a heavy challenge from Torquay centre-back Angus MacDonald. Isaac Vassell was sent on as the replacement for Harvey, to lead the attack with Matt Lecointe.
Argentinian winger Andres Gurrieri had a couple of chances for Argyle, the first coming in the 20th minute when he fired a free-kick into Torquay's defensive wall. Moments later, his long-distance shot was held by United goalkeeper Martin Rice under his own crossbar.
Argyle took the lead in the 32nd minute with a confidently taken penalty from Wotton.
Vassell was fouled by MacDonald and Wotton crashed the spot-kick past Rice.
The Pilgrims had a couple of opportunities to extend their lead almost immediately. Gurrieri headed over the crossbar from close range after he was picked out by a cross from Purrington. Then midfielder Jared Sims had a sidefoot attempt saved by Rice after a cut back from Gurrieri.
Rice also stopped an 18-yard strike from Lowry as Argyle continued to dominate the first half without adding to their lead before the break.
Lecointe almost added a second goal for the Pilgrims in the 52nd minute when he curled a shot from outside the penalty area against the underside of the bar. Vassell then sent a diving header narrowly wide of the near post after a cross from Gurrieri.
Rice made an excellent save from Gurrieri's close-range shot after a good break down the right from Lecointe.
Argyle finally added to their lead in the 63rd minute when Lowry headed home from a couple of yards out, after his initial shot had been blocked by Rice. The ball spun up into the air after Lowry's strike was saved ,and Vassell tried to apply the finishing touch as he challenged a Torquay defender by the left post.
Vassell could not get the ball into the net, but Lowry followed up and made it 2-0 with his header.
Wotton was replaced in the centre of midfield by first-year apprentice River Allen in the 68th minute.
Torquay could still not test Chenoweth as they struggled to make any impact on Argyle's defence. Gurrieri shot on the turn against the base of the left post after a cross from Watson.
Tempers flared when Torquay midfielder Lloyd Macklin made a nasty tackle on Allen and then squared up to Gurrieri as players from both sides rushed to the scene.
Macklin was booked by referee David Goard, as was centre-back Kirtys MacKenzie moments later for a foul on Gurrieri.
Argyle then replaced Gurrieri with Josh Hutchinson, another first-year apprentice, in the 82nd minute.
It remained 2-0 until full-time, with the Pilgrims putting in a much-improved performance compared to the 0-0 draw away to Saltash United last Wednesday.
Plymouth Argyle: Chenoweth; Watson, Blanchard, Richards, Purrington; Gurrieri (Hutchinson 82), Wotton (Allen 68), Sims, Lowry; Harvey (Vassell 11), Lecointe. Substitutes (not used): Walton (gk), Summers.
Torquay United: Rice; Leadbitter (R Nardiello h-t), MacKenzie, MacDonald, Cruise; Easton; N Thompson, Macklin (May 71), Halpin (Sullivan 65), Baker; Yeoman. Substitutes (not used): C Thompson (gk), Beattie.