Bideford battle hard but are unable to prevent Argyle making Cup progress
Holders Plymouth Argyle moved smoothly into the quarter-finals of the Devon St Luke's Challenge Cup with a 3-0 victory at Bideford.
The Pilgrims led 1-0 at half-time, courtesy of a header from Isaac Vassell, and added two more goals late on from striker Tyler Harvey and midfielder River Allen.
Argyle sent a strong team to north Devon, with ten professionals in their starting line-up. Nick Chadwick made his comeback from a pre-season knee injury as the strike partner to Harvey.
There was a chance for those players to impress and stake a claim for a place in the first team for the Devon derby against Exeter City at St James' Park on Saturday. However, there were few stand-out performances in what was a hard-fought game.
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Argyle took the lead in the ninth minute when a corner from Luke Young was powerfully headed home by Vassell. Harvey headed wide of the near post after the ball was driven towards him by Andre Blackman in the 24th minute.
Then Vassell made a speedy break and his wayward cross was caught in the wind and bounced off the bar, while Hamza Bencherif had a shot deflected wide for a corner after a free-kick was tapped to him by Andres Gurrieri.
Bideford, second in the Southern League Premier Division, had a good spell towards half-time. Midfielder Ethan Phillips saw his curling 20-yard shot headed over the visitors' bar by Bencherif for a corner in the 43rd minute.
Bideford had the better of the play at the start of the second half and striker Owen Howe had a decent chance in the 59th minute. The ball broke to him inside the Argyle penalty area, and his fierce shot was parried away by goalkeeper Jake Cole.
Moments later, Harvey went close to putting Argyle 2-0 up. The 18-year-old striker charged down an attempted clearance from goalkeeper Steve Oliver and the ball ricocheted wide of the goal.
Bideford were giving as good as they got and midfielder Steve Orchard had a good chance to equalise in the 64th minute. Saul Halpin beat a couple of players and cut the ball back to Orchard, whose low 20-yard drive went wide.
Argyle increased their lead in the 72nd minute with a confident finish from Harvey. He latched on to a slide-rule pass from Gurrieri and coolly slotted the ball low past Oliver.
The Pilgrims then went 3-0 up in the 81st minute with a deflected long-distance shot from Allen.
Bideford: Oliver; Sampson, Farkins, Milton, Barker; Phillips, Bye, Orchard (Squire 75), Halpin; Downing (Duff 68), Howe. Substitute (not used): Clifford.
Plymouth Argyle: Cole; Bencherif (Purrington 75), Blanchard, Richards; Vassell (Lane 65), Young, Allen, Gurrieri, Blackman (Hutchinson 84); Chadwick, Harvey. Substitutes (not used): Hannah (gk), Wheatley.