Watford 1 Argyle 3
ARGYLE achieved a fine win in their latest Premier League Under-23 Cup group match to give themselves a great opportunity of qualifying for the final knock-out stages of the competition.
Goals from Klaidi Lolos, Conor Grant and former Watford player Joel Grant gave the Pilgrims a victory at St Albans that saw them leapfrog their hosts in the four-team group, to be one point behind Fulham and two off leaders Everton after four of their six matches.
Argyle's chances of qualification now rest on the results of their final two games, both against the leading pair of teams, and both at Home Park.
"We are in with a shout of maybe getting in that top two," said a delighted Pilgrims' coach Kevin Nancekivell, who saw Argyle take an early two-goal lead before conceding towards the interval.
"In the first half, we played some great stuff - pressed the ball in the right areas, looked a threat going forward - and really should have been more than just the one goal up at half-time.
"In the second half, we didn't get on the front foot as much as we wanted to and Watford probably had the better of it for 45 minutes, but we got a little bit more control into the game towards the end, which resulted in Joel scoring a great goal to finish it.
"I'm really, really pleased. It's a big win for the boys. The senior players were outstanding and got some minutes under their belts.
"It's another step on the development ladder for our boys. These are the type of games we want to be playing in."
This is only the second season in which the Pilgrims have entered the Premier League Under-23 Cup, and progress has been quick as they have adapted to life in the new competition.
Kevin said: "We're mixing it with the likes of Aston Villa, Everton, Derby, Watford, Fulham, and we're doing okay.
"We want to do better. We want to be up there with them all the time but, for where we are at the moment, we're doing okay.
"There is lots more to improve on, but it's been a really good evening. I'm really pleased."
Argyle now entertain Everton at Home Park on Monday, February 10, and host Fulham at the Theatre of Greens on Tuesday, February 25. Both games kick off at 7pm.
Argyle (3-5-2): Mike Cooper; Joe Riley, Tom Purrington, Mike Peck; Jarvis Cleal, Conor Grant, Josh Grant, Adam Randell (capt, Charlie Miller 80), Ryan Law; Klaidi Lolos, Joel Grant (Rubin Wilson 70).