Hat tricks for Kayley Lane and Natasha Knapman, plus two penalties from skipper Kate Middleton emphasised the gulf between these two teams.
The pace and movement of the Argyle front three, Lane, Knapman and player of the match, Zoe Cunningham, were far too much for the beleaguered Torquay defence to deal with.
The difference in standard between the FA Women’s Premier South West One and South West Women’s Premier was laid bare for all to see. Indeed, was it not for the bravery of Beth Marshall in the Torquay goal the final score might have been well into double figures?
Argyle Ladies were on the front foot from the kick off, passing the ball through the Torquay defence at will. It seemed that they were certain to score when, in the 7th minute, the ball reached 50 goal striker Natasha Knapman at the edge of the box. She arrowed her shot toward the bottom right corner of the Torquay goal only to see Marshall dive full length to fingertip the shot past the post.
Argyle were not to be denied, however and in the 12th minute, Cunningham, raced into the box and went down under a heavy challenge from two Torquay defenders. Referee, Mann, could not have been better placed and from the resultant penalty Argyle’s captain, Kate Middleton, blasted her shot to Marshall’s right to put her team ahead.
In the 20th minute Argyle’s Becky Dandridge missed a gilt-edged chance to put her team two-up when she failed to control a pinpoint cross from the right and the ball rolled wide of the open goal. However, a second goal wasn’t long coming as on the 25th minute Cunningham was again brought down in the box giving Middleton the chance double the score from the spot, a chance which she duly accepted.
Argyle were now well on top and 7 minutes before half time went three-up as a fierce cross shot from the left was brilliantly parried by Marshall only to land at the feet of Kayley Lane who slotted from close range to make the score 3 – 0.
With two minutes to go before the break Torquay had their one and only real chance of the half when Sian Chapman, who had been ploughing a lone furrow up front, burst through the Argyle defence but failed to get a shot off as she was tackled by the onrushing Argyle keeper.
The final action of the half came from Cunningham whose shot in added time hit a post and bounced away to safety.
The second half started with Argyle showing first and after only 3 minutes Knapman got the first of her three, latching onto a ball from Cunningham who had made yet another mazy run through the Torquay defence.
Argyle were increasing the pressure and on the hour Middleton missed her hat trick opportunity firing a 25 yard free kick just over the bar. Moments later Marshall suffered a serious ankle injury and after lengthy treatment was replaced by Jody Randall.
As the game approached the closing stages the Torquay defense visibly wilted under continuous pressure from Argyle as two goals apiece for Lane and Knapman put the game to bed.
Lane got the first of these in the 75th minute, finishing off a fine passing move with a shot into the far corner.
That was followed in the 84th minute by Knapman heading home a cross from the right.
Three minutes later Lane completed her hat trick nodding home an in-swinging corner from close range and with a minute left of normal time Knapman completed her hat trick sweeping the ball home following a goalmouth scramble.
The referee called the end of proceedings in this Westward Developments Devon Women’s Senior Cup Final at Coach Road, with a rapturous applause from a great crowd of nearly 400 spectators at County HQ in Newton Abbot.
Star player Zoe Cunningham (Plymouth Argyle Ladies)
To view a full photo album of the game please click the link below
plymouth argyle ladies v torquay united ladies
*photos courtesy of Miracle PR & photography
The next final at Coach Road is the A & S Paving Intermediate Cup between Black Swan Town and Elmore 2nds at Coach Road on Thursday 12th April kicking off at 7.15pm.