Argyle Legends vs Manchester United Legends 2012
.Saturday 26th May
Plymouth Argyle Legends produced a magnificent team performance to defeat their Manchester United counterparts by 5 goals to 3 in a highly entertaining game at Home Park on Saturday.
The Legends made 3 changes from their previous game against Elburton Vets with Chris Harrison, Kevin Hodges and Martin Barlow coming into the side.
Manchester United Legends fielded a side containing international players from Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland in a vastly experienced side.
A large crowd had gathered minutes before the kick off as both teams lined up to sing the National Anthem alongside the Military Wives Choir.
The game was the penultimate event in an action packed weekend organised by The Green Taverners to raise money to accelerate payment to those staff still owed money from the football club’s period in administration. The previous day, Friday, saw a golf tournament involving the 2 sides at the China Fleet Club in Saltash.
Argyle Legends wearing their brand new 60’s style kit were the first to threaten when Mark Damerell’s effort was saved by Fraser Digby.
United were soon into their stride and had it not been for the brilliance of goalkeeper Rhys Wilmot could have been 2 or even 3 goals up in the first 15 minutes. These series of saves seem to inspire the Legends, and roared on by an amazing crowd of 3,742 , they took the lead in the 20th minute when Damerell’s chip eluded United’s goalkeeper Fraser Digby and nestled in the net.
United responded immediately and equalised 5 minutes later when the otherwise impressive Darren Tallon headed past his own keeper under pressure from Frank Stapleton.
The crowd were certainly getting value for money and were on their feet when Martin Barlow restored the Legends lead in the 27th minute, shooting past Digby from fully 25 yards.
In the 30th minute the Legends Geoff Battams was replaced at right back by Argyle’s record appearance holder, Kevin Hodges.
The entertainment continued on a very hot afternoon and United came close to equalising when Peter Davenport forced a fine save from Wilmot at his near post. The United striker was not to be denied and made it 2-2 on the stroke of half time when his shot from 18 yards went into the net off the inside of the post.
The Legends made a number of pre planned substitutions for the second half introducing Garry Penhaligon, Ryan Cross, Jason Rowbotham, John Uzzell and Marcus Crocker for Rhys Wilmot, Darren Tallon, Chris Harrison, Leigh Cooper and Mark Rowe.
The second period of 40 minutes started with the Legends on the offensive with Digby saving well from Crocker and Darren Garner.
Not to be denied the Legends made it 3-2 in the 50th minute when the unmarked Garner headed home from close range after a pinpoint cross from Hodges.
United equalised for a third time in the 61st minute when Tom Flynn, one of four players who had paid to play for United, squeezed his shot past Penhaligon and into the back of the net. Shortly afterwards Penhaligon was replaced by Ryan Draper in another pre planned substitution.
With Garner and Barlow outstanding in midfield and Crocker and Tommy Tynan linking well up front the Legends went ahead again in the 67th minute when Martin Barlow fired low past substitute United goalkeeper Andy Notman.
With Darren Tallon back on for the injured Rowbotham, the Legends gave run outs to both Spencer Cooper and Paul Smith, on for Garner and David Byrne.
Every Legends player had made an impressive contribution, none more so than second half substitute Marcus Crocker and it was fitting that he scored the fifth and final goal in the 73rd minute.
Shortly afterwards Tynan came off with a slight hamstring injury and was replaced by Leigh Cooper.
With five players across the middle of the park the Legends closed the game out for a famous 5-3 victory.
|Argyle Legends Line Up|
|Geoff Battams (Kevin Hodges 30 mins)|
|Second Half Substitutes|
|Manchester United Legends|
|Andy Ritchie (Deniol Graham 13 mins)|