Town: Chris Weale, Jermaine Grandison, Darren Jones, Luke Summerfield, Asa Hall (Purdie, 82), Lee Collins, Paul Parry, Matt Richards (c), Joe Jacobson, Sam Winnall (Taylor, 46), Terry Gornell (Bradshaw, 63)
Subs: Gavin Ward, Rob Purdie, Tom Bradshaw, Mark Wright, Jon Taylor, Aaron Wildig, Michael Hector
Yeovil Town: Marek Stech, James McAllister (c) (Blizzard, 59), Byron Webster, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Ed Upson, James Hayter (Williams, 89), Sam Foley, Paddy Madden, Daniel Burn, Korey Smith (Johnson, 63), Joe Edwards
Subs: Luke Ayling, Richard Hinds, Dominic Blizzard, Gavin Williams, Reuben Reid, Gareth Stewart, Daniel Johnson
Referee: D. Coote
Assistants: M. Perry & G. Johnson
Fourth Official: A. Scregg
Attendance: 4,711 (125 from Yeovil)
Martin Wild reports from Greenhous Meadow
Matt Richards’ 81st minute penalty proved little more than a consolation as Town lost for the third time in the league at home. Two goals from Paddy Madden – one in each half – plus another from James Hayter had given the visitors a three-goal cushion before the skipper scored from the spot.
Boss Graham Turner made a number of changes to his starting line-up after the weekend defeat at Pompey, one of which was enforced. Marvin Morgan’s indiscretion at Fratton Park means he has to sit out the next two games so Terry Gornell and Sam Winnall are tasked with bringing some firepower to the Town attack. Jon Taylor had to be satisfied with a place on the bench with Aaron Wildig and Michael Hector both joining the young Scouser, and that paved the way for a return to left-back for Joe Jacobson with Darren Jones partnering Lee Collins at the heart of the Shrews defence.
The game started against a misty backdrop with Town attacking the Salop Leisure End of the Greenhous Meadow, in this first of a double-header on home soil with Colchester the visitors at the weekend.
There were a few nervy moments around the five minute marker when James McAllister’s free-kick deep into the penalty area took an inordinate amount of time to clear, but Town got plenty of bodies in the way and Chris Weale was very well protected.
He wasn’t so well protected four minutes later though as Yeovil were gifted the opening goal. Richards conceded an unnecessary free-kick down by the corner flag for a crass looking tackle on Joe Edwards and from Keanu Marsh-Brown’s delivery, Madden was left completely unmarked to steer his header into the bottom corner.
Yeovil had started the brighter of the two teams and would have been delighted to go ahead early doors, as their last four trips away from Huish Park have yielded the princely points return of nothing.
Town did construct a patient move ten minutes after the goal but the end product was missing – although in fairness to Asa Hall, he might have needed a neck like a giraffe to head home Paul Parry’s probing ball into the back stick. The atmosphere inside the ground was flatter than the proverbial pancake but there was little happening out in the middle to raise the decibel levels in the stands.
Parry saw a deflected set-piece lead to a corner and Jermaine Grandison perhaps should have done better with his final pass when he was played in behind The Glovers defence, but Town were labouring for the most part and anything but at their best on the evidence of the first half hour.
Ten minutes before the break Weale kept his side in it with a magnificent flying save high to his right to keep out Marsh-Brown’s 25-yarder as Yeovil continued to knock the ball around well.
Hall saw his left-footed effort deflect behind off McAllister and that was the first of a couple of corners, with Marek Stech easily able to gather Lee Collins’ downward header from the second of them to make his first save of the evening. He made another one in first half stoppage time from Jacobson’s nod at the far post but Salop went in a goal behind.
Half-Time: Town 0 Yeovil Town 1
Winnall failed to appear when the teams came back out and Taylor was the man brought on in his place, with the on-loan striker appearing to have been carrying a knock during the closing stages of the first-half.
Collins headed a Taylor corner wide of the near post in the opening 60 seconds but there was no throwing of the kitchen sink with Collins seeing yellow for dumping Hayter on his backside to compound his, and the side’s frustration.
They did create the first real chance of the half when Hall again tried his luck from distance but the power was lacking and again Stech saved routinely. Moments later, skipper McAllister was replaced by Dominic Blizzard as Gary Johnson made his first change and within seconds they had stretched their advantage as the home defence dozed off. Marsh-Brown was all too easily allowed to put the ball into the danger zone on the hour and Hayter did the predatory stuff by converting at the near post.
If Shrewsbury’s task appeared mountainous at the break, this now looked like K2 and Kilimanjaro rolled into one. Gornell was soon hooked for Tom Bradshaw, with Turner’s hopes of a strike partnership bailing him out while Morgan takes a rather ill-timed Sabbatical, now both sat on the sidelines.
It really was game over when substitute Daniel Johnson pinged a cross-field ball right into the path of Madden who allowed it to bounce before directing his header past the once again exposed Town stopper. Madden was enjoying himself and even attempted a reverse somersault with pike in a bid to secure his hat-trick but this time Weale was able to gather.
Three-nil behind and with 20 minutes left it could have got even worse for the beleaguered hosts. Jacobson nodded the ball sweetly into the path of Hayter 10 yards out and all alone, but the Yeovil marksman was so taken by surprise that he could only manage a Johnny Wilkinson-esque strike on goal in a massive let off for Shrews.
With nine minutes left Town were given a glimmer of hope when Bradshaw tumbled in the area and Richards calmly slotted in from the spot, and for the minutes that followed the home supporters finally found some vocal chords to stretch.
Rob Purdie was Turner’s third switch with Hall the man to make way and the Town manager elected to push Grandison further forward for the time that remained.
It was frenetic and purposeful stuff from the side in Blue & Amber as they looked to salvage some pride, but the damage had been done well before Richards had finally given the fans something to cheer.
Full-Time: Town 1 Yeovil Town 3