Shrewsbury Town lose out 3-0 against Plymouth Argyle at home.
Tuesday’s performance against table-toppers Portsmouth showed signs of promise for Salop, and they started today’s game brightly, pressing well and looking eager to take control of play. Taking the lions-share of possession, Cotterill’s side were free-flowing in their passing. Town came close to an opener in the 12th minute, with Sam Cosgrove’s effort being dragged a few yards wide of the goal, in the striker’s first game at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
It took five minutes for Town to test the Argyle defence again, with Sam Cosgrove at the centre of it all once more. The striker cut inside onto his right foot, striking a low driven effort that glided inches wide of ‘keeper Michael Cooper’s far post. Just a minute after, it was Dan Udoh who tested the gloves of Cooper, his strike being hit straight down the middle of the goal and comfortably held by the Argyle shot-stopper.
Despite Salop’s lively start to the game, it was the Pilgrims who took the lead, arguably against the run of play. A passage of play saw the Argyle strike force of Luke Jephcott and Ryan Hardie collaborate, the latter taking a touch inside that gave him ample space and time to strike the ball home and give the visitors the lead.
Following Argyle’s opener, the momentum of the game started to equal out, with both sides battling to take a hold of the game. A pass across the edge of the Argyle area in the 37th minute fell to Cosgrove, whose powerful left-footed effort towards the top corner struck the stanchion of Cooper’s goal.
The second-half kicked off with both sides searching for a goal, and it was the visitors who found the net first. Just five minutes on from kick-off, striker Luke Jephcott found the net to double Argyle’s lead, his fourth goal of the league campaign. Despite Matthew Pennington’s sliding block that prevented first-half goalscorer Hardie from taking his chance, the striker squared it to his partner Jephcott, who rolled the ball into the back of the Salop net – evading the outstretched leg of ‘keeper Marko Marosi.
Despite Town’s best efforts of attacking play, it was Argyle who found the net again. Calls for a handball in the visitor’s area were waved away by referee Ryan Howards, and the Pilgrims broke away on the counter. An incisive pass-through to Ryan Hardie left him with a clear chance on goal, and despite Elliott Bennett’s attempts to thwart the striker’s approach on goal, the number nine calmly chipped the ball over Marko Marosi, giving him his second of the game.
Entering into the last ten minutes, the Pilgrim’s continued to defend strongly in search of a clean sheet. Manager Ryan Lowe made his second change of the game, replacing Ryan Broom with Adam Randell in the 83rd minute. Shortly after, it was two-time goalscorer Hardie at the centre of play once again, winning the ball off Salop wing-back Elliott Bennet and hitting a long-ranged effort that forced high diving save from Marosi. With full-time quickly approaching, Lowe made his third change, with goalscorer Jephcott making way for new signing and debutant Jordon Garrick two minutes from time. Despite an additional five minutes past the 90, Salop failed to find a consolation.
Salop: Marko Marosi, Luke Leahy, Matthew Pennington, Aaron Pierre, Sam Cosgrove (Rekeil Pyke 62’), Josh Vela, Daniel Udoh, Nathanael Ogbeta (Shaun Whalley 62’), Elliott Bennett, Tom Bloxham (Khanya Leshabela 71’), George Nurse.
Subs not used: Harry Burgoyne, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Charlie Caton, Joshua Daniels.
Argyle: Michael Cooper, Macaulay Gillesphey, Jordan Houghton, Dan Scarr, Ryan Broom (Adam Randall 83’), Joe Edwards, Ryan Hardie, Conor Grant (Ryan Law 57’), Brendan Galloway, Panutche Camara, Luke Jephcott (Jordon Garrick 88’).
Subs not used: Callum Burton, George Cooper, Ollie Tomlinson, Rhys Shirley.
Attendance: 5,737 (892)
Referee: Paul Howards
Assistants: Dumitru Cheosiaua, Declan O’Shea
Fourth Official: Danny Gratton
Salop defender Luke Leahy was booked in the 39th minute, following a tussle between Argyle midfielder Ryan Broom.
Argyle midfielder Ryan Broom was also booked in the 39th minute, following his tussle with the booked Leahy.
Josh Vela was awarded a yellow card in the 77th minute, following a mistimed challenge on Argyle midfielder Panutche Camara.