Andres Gurrieri's first goal in English football puts Plymouth Argyle into last 16
ARGYLE moved into the last 16 of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy when a makeshift side beat Aldershot at Home Park last night.
It took the Pilgrims only 33 seconds to take the lead in the second round tie as Paris Cowan-Hall coolly slotted into the net.
Aldershot equalised in the 12th minute when top scorer Craig Reid fired home from 15 yards.
But a first goal in English football for Argentine attacker Andres Gurrieri then put the Pilgrims 2-1 up on the half-hour.
Gurrieri hit a post with another shot as Argyle played some excellent football before the break.
Aldershot had the better of the second half, but they could not get on level terms.
Argyle included three debutants in their starting line-up – goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin, plus defenders Scott Griffiths and Jamie Richards.
Gilmartin was signed as a free agent from Watford in the summer but has been the back-up to Jake Cole this season.
Cole was given the night off by manager Carl Fletcher, with Ollie Chenoweth the cover for Gilmartin on the bench.
Griffiths had signed on a one-month loan from Championship club Peterborough United earlier in the day.
The left-back, 26, was brought in because Robbie Williams had a stomach muscle injury and Onismor Bhasera is away on international duty with Zimbabwe.
Richards, 18, played at centre-back alongside Curtis Nelson, who is only a year older than him.
Argyle's starting line-up showed six changes from the 2-1 home defeat by AFC Wimbledon in League Two on Saturday.
In addition to Bhasera, Cole and Williams, also dropping out were Rhys Griffiths, Alex MacDonald and captain Darren Purse.
Griffiths was on the bench and Purse was serving a one-match suspension while MacDonald's loan from Championship club Burnley had expired.
Coming into the side for that trio were Nick Chadwick, Gurrieri and Joe Lennox.
Chadwick was the Pilgrims' captain in the absence of Purse, as well as the injured duo of Maxime Blanchard and Paul Wotton.
Argyle attacked the Barn Park End in the first half and they took the lead after only 33 seconds.
Cowan-Hall stroked the ball into the net from close range after being picked out by a perfect low cross from Lennox.
Aldershot were on level terms in the 12th minute, though, with an opportunist goal from Reid.
A fierce shot from midfielder Peter Vincenti was blocked but the ball broke to Reid and he crashed it into the net from 15 yards.
It was a superb finish from Reid and was his seventh goal of the season.
Aldershot almost went 2-1 up in the 17th minute when the frame of the goal twice came to Argyle's rescue from the same attack.
First, centre-back Troy Brown headed the ball against the crossbar and then Reid's follow-up attempt rebounded off the right post.
Gilmartin scooped the ball away to safety before Argyle were awarded a free-kick for a foul inside the penalty area.
The Pilgrims had Chadwick leading their attack in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Gurrieri was in a central position behind him, with Cowan-Hall out wide on the left and Lennox on the opposite of the pitch.
Conor Hourihane and Luke Young were the two holding midfield players.
Young fired over the bar from 25 yards before Hourihane's break into the box ended with his shot deflecting into the arms of goalkeeper Glenn Morris off Brown.
Argyle then restored their lead in the 30th minute with a fine finish from Gurrieri.
Lennox provided another assist as he passed the ball inside to Gurrieri, who side-footed his shot into the bottom left corner of the net from 20 yards.
Aldershot left-back Myles Anderson was having a torrid time against Lennox and was replaced by substitute Anthony Tonkin soon afterwards.
Argyle twice went close to grabbing a third goal before half-time, with Gurrieri firing the ball against the base of the right post in the 40th minute.
Moments later, Cowan-Hall dispossessed Aldershot right-back Ben Herd and raced clear but shot straight at Morris.
Reid continued to provide an attacking threat for the visitors, though, and volleyed over the bar just before the break.
First-year professional Jared Sims was a substitute for tight-hamstring victim Cowan-Hall at the start of the second half.
Lennox made another raid into the Shots' penalty area in the 48th minute and created an excellent chance for Chadwick with an accurate cut-back.
The Pilgrims' skipper should have scored but his close range shot was saved by Morris.
Nelson made a crucial clearance inside Argyle's penalty area in the 60th minute after Reid sent in a menacing, low cross
Aldershot were having more of the possession, but Lennox was a good outlet for the Pilgrims with his pace and direct running.
Gurrieri had moved out to the left to replace Cowan-Hall and was not seeing as much of the ball as in the first half.
Sims was in the central role behind Chadwick as he made his second appearance of the season.
Argyle made their second substitution in the 73rd minute as Rhys Griffiths took over from Chadwick as the spearhead of their attack.
Chadwick passed the captain's armband to Hourihane as he made his exit from the action.
Rhys Griffiths crashed a 25-yarder high and wide with one of his first touches of the ball before Sims went close with a superb dipping shot.
Morris was stranded but the ball bounced past the outside of the right post.
Gilmartin then made a fine save to deny Reid, who opted to shoot from an angle rather than setting up team-mate Danny Hylton in a more central position.
Vincenti headed wide of the far post in the second minute of stoppage time as Argyle held on for victory.
Nelson and Richards both had fine games for the Pilgrims in the centre of defence and Scott Griffiths did very well on his debut.
He had only arrived in Plymouth yesterday afternoon following a long trip from Peterborough, so his pre-match preparation was far from ideal.
But the pick of the players was Lennox, who staked a strong claim to retain his place when Argyle travel to Barnet in League Two on Saturday.