Strong Plymouth Argyle XI held by stubborn Saltash
SALTASH UNITED...0 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE XI...0
MANAGER John Sheridan saw a strong Argyle XI held to a goal-less draw by Saltash United at Kimberley Stadium last night.
The friendly was an opportunity for the Pilgrims' squad players and young professionals to get some much-needed match practice.
Argyle created some good early chances but could not convert any of them and battling Saltash defended solidly after that.
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Argyle included nine professionals in their starting line-up, including Andres Gurrieri, Jamie Lowry, Robbie Williams and Paul Wotton.
The two apprentices in the side were right-back Colin Watson and striker Tyler Harvey.
Harvey had Argyle's first chance of the contest with a close range header pushed over the crossbar by Saltash 'keeper Paul Hider.
Lowry played on the left of midfield and saw a lot of early possession as the Pilgrims started strongly.
Striker Matt Lecointe had a header bounce off the top of the bar after a good cross into the penalty area from Lowry.
Hider then made a smart low save to keep out an angled shot from left-back Williams.
Argyle 'keeper Ollie Chenoweth blocked a close range attempt from Saltash striker Danny Zalick in the 16th minute.
Lecointe had another opportunity to break the deadlock on the half hour but he wastefully fired wide after a near post cross from first-year professional Isaac Vassell.
The rest of the first half passed off without any goalmouth action as Saltash defended with great determination.
Williams, Wotton, Gurrieri and Harvey were all substituted at the interval, replaced by apprentices Ben Purrington, Nathan Summers, River Allen and Sol Wheatley respectively.
Allen, a midfielder, had a chance in the 50th minute with a 30-yard drive which deflected off Saltash's Aaron Cusack for a corner.
Wheatley played out wide on the right, with Vassell moving into the attack with Lecointe, and Summers took over from Wotton in the centre of defence.
Allen had a 25-yard free-kick saved by Hider as the now youthful Pilgrims could still not make a breakthrough.
It was not easy to pass the ball on the heavy pitch and Argyle struggled to come up with many attacks.
There was a great chance for the visitors to take the lead when Lecointe set up substitute Kieran Asumadu-Sakyi in the 81st minute.
However, the first-year apprentice sent the ball high over the bar from close to the penalty spot.
At the other end of the pitch, Chenoweth was rarely called into action but Saltash's workrate could not be faulted and they held out for a draw.
There will be another Argyle XI friendly next Tuesday when they play Torquay United at Home Park (2pm).
SALTASH: Paul Hider; Sam Farrant, Gavin Coulton, Lewis Russell, Steve Sargison (Shane Jewell h/t); Oscar Bennetts, Ross Saint, Aaron Cusack, Matt Cusack (Omar El Harti 69 mins); Dimitri Kanaki, Danny Zalick.
SUBSTITUTES (not used): Stuart Clark, Matt Godfree.
ARGYLE XI: Ollie Chenoweth; Colin Watson, Paul Wotton (Nathan Summers h/t), Jamie Richards, Robbie Williams (Ben Purrington h/t); Isaac Vassell (Kieran Asumadu-Sakyi 67 mins), Andres Gurrieri (River Allen h/t), Jared Sims, Jamie Lowry (Josh Hutchinson 67 mins); Matt Lecointe, Tyler Harvey (Sol Wheatley h/t).
SUBSTITUTE (not used): Christian Walton.
REFEREE: Adam Hopkins (Plymouth)