Plymouth Argyle: Academy handed lesson as Gurrieri bags hat-trick
Plymouth Argyle XI...7 Nike Academy...0
A PLYMOUTH Argyle team blending youth and experience was far too strong for Nike Academy at Home Park yesterday.
Loughborough University-based Nike Academy, a collection of players waiting for a big club to come along and pluck them from obscurity, were destroyed 7-0 and it could have been far more.
But the friendly was far less about getting a result than players putting themselves in the shop window for new Argyle boss John Sheridan.
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Quite a few would have done themselves no harm at all on that score – Andres Gurrieri registered a well-taken hat-trick, youngster Matt Lecointe worked his socks off up front for the cause and midfielder Jared Sims combined well with regular first-teamer Luke Young.
Midfielder Paul Wotton slipped into his former position in central defence as though he'd never been away to have an operation on his back.
Nike were forced into long-range shots which failed to register much in the way of threat for goalkeeper Jake Cole or his half-time replacement, Ollie Chenoweth.
Gurrieri opened the scoring after a cross was knocked down to him by Rhys Griffiths. His rocket of a shot from 25 yards nestled in the back of the net after 11 minutes before the visiting keeper had time react.
Argyle had to wait some time before the second – almost four minutes, in fact. Luke Young's corner from the right was whacked in by Jamie Richards.
Griffiths, Lecointe and Young all had chances to put Argyle three up, before Young pretty well sealed the game.
The Argyle midfielder turned two defenders inside out on the edge of the box before ever so delicately placing the ball in the left hand corner of Nike's goal.
With Argyle 3-0 up at the break, it was not a question whether the Pilgrims would win, but by how many as Nike's fitness levels began to fail.
Griffiths scored within nine seconds of the restart, getting on the end of a cute flick by Lecointe over the Nike defence, then carefully guiding the ball over the visiting keeper.
Gurrieri rattled in his second with another scorching shot and Lecointe, whose workrate was surely noted by Sheridan, put Sims through for an apparently certain goal which was smothered by the Nike keeper. Lecointe himself hit the crossbar after torturing his defender on the right.
The sixth goal, and Gurrieri's third, was kind of weird, but it was no more than the Argentine deserved. Gurrieri found space on the left and either crossed or shot. Whichever it was, the ball ended up in Nike's net. Griffiths added the coup de grace from close range after a perceptive free kick into the box by Joe Lennox found him in space.
Argyle: Jake Cole, Robbie Williams, Paul Wotton, Jamie Richards, James Bradley, Luke Young, Jared Sims, Joe Lennox, Matt Lecointe, Rhys Griffiths, Andres Gurrieri.
Subs: Ollie Chenoweth (Cole, h/t), Colin Watson (Wotton, half-time), River Allen (Williams, 59), Ben Purrington (Young, 59), Solomon Wheatley (Gurrieri 64), Andrew Elcock (Sims, 75).