Shrewsbury Town suffered a late 2-1 defeat at Montgomery Waters Meadow against Portsmouth on Tuesday night in Sky Bet League One.
There was a nervy moment for Salop with ten minutes on the clock when a loose pass from Elliott Bennett was picked up by Ronan Curtis just inside the Shrewsbury box but, thankfully for Town, Curtis failed to hit the target and dragged his shot wide of the post.
The home side reacted well and three minutes later, a ball from George Nurse found Matthew Pennington driving into the box. He struck a fierce shot but Louis Thompson did well to head his shot off the line and put it out for a corner. Salop did take the lead from the resulting corner following Pennington’s shot. Bennett’s corner on the far side found Luke Leahy lurking at the back post where he headed home to make it 1-0.
However, the lead didn’t last long, and the visitors found their equaliser in the 29th minute when a shot from Aiden O’Brien came through a crowd of defenders before hitting Ethan Ebanks-Landell and crossing the line by the narrowest of margins. Marko Marosi did get a hand to it getting it clear of the goal, the linesman however waved his flag on the far side, meaning the goal stood.
Salop had given a mountain to climb two minutes later when in the 31st minute, Josh Vela was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Ronan Curtis. Salop managed to hold on until half-time thanks to the help of Marosi in the Salop goal. He made a great save in first-half stoppage time as he managed to keep out a George Hirst header from point-blank range.
Despite the man disadvantage, Salop did create chances in the second half. Pennington came agonisingly close 72 minutes in when he rose highest from a Luke Leahy free-kick but his header missed the target by inches. Marosi then made another good save two minutes after that when he managed to get down quickly from a cheeky Hirst flick and push away the danger.
It was always going to be tricky for Salop as the game entered the later stages. The visitors pushed for a winner with their man advantage in the last ten minutes and they did manage to get their winner in the 84th minute when Thompson received the ball on the edge of the box from a corner and curled his shot in the back of the net.
Salop were brave in the final minutes trying to find an equaliser, but it wasn’t to be for Steve Cotterill’s side as Pompey stole the three points in Shropshire.
Salop: Marko Marosi (GK), Ethan Ebanks-Landell (C), Matthew Pennington, Josh Vela, Daniel Udoh, David Davies (Tyrese Fornah, 22’), Elliott Bennett (Saikou Janneh, 87’), Tom Bloxham (Ryan Bowman, 75’), George Nurse, Tom Flanagan
Subs Not Used: Harry Bugoyne (GK), Aaron Pierre, Matty Bondswell, Joshua Daniels,
Portsmouth: Gavin Bazunu, Denver Hume, Clark Robertson (C), Aiden O’Brien (Tyler Walker, 65’), Ryan Tunnicliffe, Ronan Curtis, Marlon Romeo (Reece Hackett, 80’), Hayden Carter (Marcus Harness, 46’), George Hirst, Sean Raggett, Louis Thompson
Subs Not Used: Connor Oglive, Jay Mingi, Ollie Webber, Harry Jewitt-White
Josh Vela was shown a straight red for Salop in the 31st minute for a late challenge on Ronan Curtis.
Louis Thompson was then booked for the visitors in the 69th minute for a late challenge on Luke Leahy.
Referee Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistant Referees: Ian Smedley, Billy Smallwood
Fourth Official: Paul Graham