Kevin Hodges hoping for Plymouth Argyle repeat display against old rivals
ARGYLE under-18s will take centre-stage at Home Park tomorrow when they play Exeter City in the FA Youth Cup first round (7pm).
It will be the second meeting between the two teams in only four days, after the Pilgrims came out on top 1-0 in a Football League Youth Alliance Cup tie on Saturday.
Argyle should have been at home but their usual pitch, Elburton Villa's Haye Road, was unavailable to them.
So the group two game was played at Exeter's Cat and Fiddle training ground, instead.
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Striker Tyler Harvey scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the first half after a handball offence.
Argyle academy manager Kevin Hodges expects another close encounter between the two Devon rivals tomorrow.
Hodges told Herald Sport: "Our win on Saturday should give us confidence.
"We put in a very good performance in the first half but, I have to say, Exeter responded quite well and came back at us, and made an interesting game of it.
"I felt we deserved the win, but there is a lot to play for tomorrow. I'm sure our local rivals are going to be up for this game to try to get their own back.
"It's up to us to repeat what we did in the first half on Saturday."
Hodges thought Argyle should have been more than one goal ahead at the break.
He said: "We had 11 good opportunities to score in the first half and their goalkeeper pulled off three or four fantastic saves. We will be looking for more clinical finishing tomorrow.
"In the second half, they (Exeter) had a few decisions that might have gone for them or could have gone against us.
"It makes for a very exciting game and all the boys are looking forward to it.
"Some of them will be playing on the main pitch (Home Park) for the first time and that's an experience in itself.
"Some people just love the environment and some find it a little bit more difficult.
"I don't know how everybody is going to adapt on the night but I'm sure it's going to be a memorable night."
For 17-year-old Harvey, it will be his third game against Exeter in nine days.
He scored as a substitute when the Pilgrims drew 2-2 with the Grecians in a reserve team game at Home Park last week.
Apprentices Ben Purrington and Colin Watson both started that match, at left and right-back, respectively.
Their under-18s team-mates River Allen and James Bradley, as well as Harvey, were used as substitutes.
Hodges is waiting to find out from Argyle manager whether first-year professional Matt Lecointe will be available for the FA Youth Cup clash against Exeter.
Lecointe, 17, is eligible to play in the tie but has recently been sidelined by an injury.
Hodges said: "I haven't been made aware of that one at this stage. If we do get Matty it would be a nice bonus, but we are planning without him."
Admission to the FA Youth Cup tie will cost £3 for adults and £1 for 65-plus, students and under-18s.
Hodges said: "It wouldn't be normal if there wasn't a lot of rivalry between Argyle and Exeter.
"Both teams are going to want to win, and obviously we have the home advantage. It's an opportunity for our young players to be on the big stage.
"Hopefully, we will get a few people that will come along and support us.
"It's a great opportunity to see what young players we have coming through."