This Saturday, the Young Exiles host Plymouth Argyle in their second fixture of their Merit League Two campaign, with County looking to build upon a 2-2 draw against AFC Wimbledon two weeks ago.
We preview Argyle’s last five matches, previous fixtures between the two sides and a lowdown on their backroom staff ahead of our home fixture against the Devon-based side.
Last season, County’s U18’s played Argyle three times - drawing the first fixture and then winning the next two fixtures during the 16/17 season.
The fixture was twice hosted at Lliswerry School last season, with a 2-2 draw in August contributing to a 6th place finish in the Youth Alliance League South.
A 3-0 win at Lliswerry School in February put the Young Exiles on their way to winning the Merit League One for the first time in their history.
The first meeting between the two sides this season was a 3-2 victory for the Young Exiles, after a double from forward Michael Cook and a goal from Joe Hunt saw the County pick up their first win of the season, after trailing 2-0 at half time on September 30th, 2017.
County’s most recent fixture against the Pilgrims was a brilliant 4-2 victory, with goals from Michael Cook, Josh Williams, and a double from Owura Edwards leading the Young Exiles to their first league double over Argyle since joining the Youth Alliance. It would also turn out that Edwards would be nominated for the club goal of the month for his second goal!
Plymouth’s academy is currently lead by Academy Manager Kevin Hodges – an ex-player who has clocked-up over 500 appearances and 81 goals for The Pilgrims.
The role of Head of Academy Coaching is currently occupied by the man who was co-caretaker for Argyle’s first-team in 2013, Kevin Nancekivell.
Former Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Plymouth 'keeper Rhys Wilmot began his second spell as Academy Goalkeeping Coach in 2015 - after working with the first-team as a goalkeeping coach.
Interesting, the ex-professional keeper was born in Newport. He worked his way through Arsenal’s youth sides before making his first-team debut in 1980 under Terry Neill.
Last Five Fixtures
Despite a brilliant run in the FA Youth Cup which gained national coverage after they beat Manchester City on penalties, Plymouth were knocked out of the competition on February 7th against Fulham (After Extra-Time).
The Pilgrims’ league form has been steady over the last five games, with wins against Forest Green Rovers and Swindon Town the high points of February for Kevin Hodges’ side. A 4-0 loss against Oxford United and a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth meant that Argyle missed out on 6th place and entry into the Merit League 1.
The visitors have played two games in the Merit League 2 – With a win against Forest Green Rovers and a loss against Barnet meaning that they currently sit 6th in the league standings.
The game will take place at Dragon Park, (Pitch 2) with the game kicking-off at 11:00. Spectators are encouraged to come down and support the future of the club against Plymouth Argyle, so if you aren’t headed down to Somerset for the Yeovil game; make sure to support the Young Exiles at Dragon Park!
If you can’t attend the fixture, you can follow match updates on the official academy Twitter @Youth_County as the Young Exiles look to beat the Pilgrims for the second time this season.