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Emphatic Opening Victory for Plymouth Argyle

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7:04am 15th August 2012
(Updated 7:04am 15th August 2012)

Plymouth Argyle have swotted aside Portsmouth in their dockyard derby.

The Pilgrims got their season off to a storming start with a three-nil victory in the League Cup on Tuesday night.

Impoverished Portsmouth fielded a team so young that the likes of Darren Purse and Paul Wotton must have felt like the child-catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Their triumph was simply finding 14 men able and proud to wear to Blue.

The fact that they matched their senior hosts for long periods – of the second half, especially – was a huge credit to themselves and their manager.

A goal in the final minute of the first half from Northern Ireland international Johnny Gorman, making the first competitive club start of his career, set the Pilgrims on their way.

Late strikes from substitute Paris Cowan-Hall and Nick Chadwick exacerbated the difference between two sides that actually had much in common.

It was certainly a poignant match-up from the Pilgrims’ point of view. A year earlier, they had been in Portsmouth’s boots, facing a future that was at best, uncertain, and, at worst, bleak.

Sympathy only extends so far, though, and the men of the Guz duly triumphed over Pompey’s callow youths to remain in the League Cup competition beyond the first stage for only the third time since 1992.

Pilgrims boss Carl Fletcher said: "It was a no-win situation really. Obviously with Portsmouth's troubles off the pitch they fielded a young side. It was a case of if we win, brilliant, well done, we were expected to. If we lose, you're making all the headlines."

7:04am 15th August 2012

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