Shrewsbury Town suffered defat on Saturday afternoon at the hands of Oxford United
The opening ten minutes were incredibly lively as both sides looked energetic and determined.
Town had the best of this period and the returning Josh Vela looked dangerous down the right flank as he cut the ball back across the face of goal on two occasions but to no avail. Elliott Bennett was also causing similar problems and when one of his cutbacks struck the outstretched arm of an Oxford defender, Town were certain they’d have a penalty, but the referee wasn’t interested.
After a dominating display, Luke Leahy was dispossessed on the edge of the Oxford box and the visitors began a rapid counter-attack. Herbie Kane played a ball down the line to Gavin Whyte, but the forward’s effort on goal was well saved by Marko Marosi. Unfortunately for Salop, Matty Taylor was in the right place to sweep the rebound home and give Oxford the lead in the 11th minute.
They had the ball in the net a second time when, in the 32nd minute, an effort from the edge of the box was deflected goalward by Taylor who was offside.
This was almost the end of goalmouth action for the next half an hour of play until Town carved an opportunity for themselves in the 60th minute. Bennett put in another cross and Salop finally got that decisive touch that they so badly needed as Ryan Bowman stepped up and turned the ball home with the inside of his right boot from 12 yards out.
Shrewsbury were controlling the second half and Bowman was so close to getting another when Bennett dribbled along the by-line and played the ball across the face of goal to the striker. Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep his shot down, and the game remained level.
However, this wasn’t the case for much longer as Ryan Williams went down under Elliott Bennett’s challenge and was awarded a penalty. Cameron Brannagan stepped up and scored what proved to be the winner, slotting it into the bottom right-hand corner.
There was one more positive to come from the fixture as Shaun Whalley - who has been absent for four months with injury - came back into the squad and earned his 250th appearance for the club.
Salop: Marko Marosi (GK), Luke Leahy, Ethan Ebanks-Landell (C), Matthew Pennington, Tyrese Fornah, Josh Vela (Shaun Whalley, 85), Daniel Udoh (Saikou Janneh, 87), Ryan Bowman, Elliott Bennett (Tom Bloxham, 85), George Nurse, Tom Flanagan
Subs Not Used: Harry Burgoyne (GK), Aaron Pierre, Matthew Bondswell, Joshua Daniels
Oxford: Simon Eastwood (GK), Ryan Williams, Cameron Brannagan, Matty Taylor, Mark Sykes, John Mousinho (C), Luke McNally, Gavin Whyte (Marcus McGuane, 77), Herbie Kane, Nathan Holland (Billy Bodin, 68), Steve Seddon
Subs Not Used: Sam Winnall, Anthony Forde, Oisin Smyth, James Golding
Matt Pennington and Mark Sykes were booked in the 82nd minute following the penalty that was given against Elliott Bennett.
Referee: Andy Davies
Assistant Referees: Sam Lewis and Mark Russell
Fourth Official: Tom Nield