Match Report: Plymouth Argyle 2 – 1 Shrewsbury Town

Shrewsbury Town suffer consecutive defeats as a late penalty heaps the pressure on Sam Ricketts’ side.

Graham Carey dispatched an 89th minute penalty for The Pilgrims with Shrewsbury’s latest defeat further piling on the pressure at a crucial stage of the season.

The home side created a catalogue of opportunities in the first half; but only had one goal to show for it courtesy of ex Town loanee Freddie Ladapo.

Shrewsbury’s equaliser arrived on the hour mark with former Plymouth midfielder Ollie Norburn haunting his old side.

But the late penalty was a gutting moment for Shrewsbury Town, who are only above the drop zone on goal difference.

Sam Ricketts made four changes from the side that lost 2-1 against Rochdale at the weekend. Anthony Grant, Josh Laurent, Scott Golbourne, and Stefan Payne were drafted in at the expense of Dave Edwards, Greg Docherty, Ryan Haynes, and Fejiri Okenabirhie.

Almost half of Plymouth’s starting eleven used to represent Shrewsbury at some stage during their career; and a former employer almost gave his ex-side a nightmare start.

Antoni Sarcevic should have profited from Steve Arnold’s decision to head the ball rather than claim it; but the former Gillingham keeper was let off the hook as Sarcevic’s shot lacked the required power.

Shrewsbury must be sick of the sight of ex-players, particularly as James Collins and Alex Rodman have netted against them recently. This time David Fox and Freddie Ladapo; who both had loan spells at the club some 13 years apart, combined to net the opener.

Graham Carey rolled the ball to Fox who fired a cross towards Ladapo, and the ex Crystal Palace striker applied a simple finish. The corner shouldn’t have stood as the ball had not fully crossed the line; but the defence switched off and were made to pay for their lack of concentration.

Plymouth continued to exert pressure but could have been accused of being wasteful. David Fox saw his volley comfortably collected by Steve Arnold.

The barrage of pressure continued, as Shrewsbury were penned in and unable to clear their lines. Ruben Lamieras got his angles all wrong and skewed wide from close range, when he really should have buried the chance. Then Freddie Ladapo was inches away from making a vital connection to steer home, but he couldn’t quite connect to a cross.

Shrewsbury’s attacking response was limited. Ollie Norburn’s deflected strike drew ironic cheers from the away fans who were visibly frustrated by their sides lack of ingenuity.

The last action of the first period saw Shaun Whalley’s whipped free-kick diverted to safety by Matt Macey; but the visitors were very fortunate to only be one goal behind.

Plymouth continued where they left off in the first period. Ruben Lamieras appeared to complete all the hard work in his approach play, but the ex Tottenham Hotspur academy product dragged his effort wide.

Town finally came to the party having largely been spectators. Omar Beckles was unable to take advantage of a whipped delivery, but Shrewsbury were at least showing some ambition.

They equalised, albeit undeservedly on the hour mark. Ollie Norburn who won the penalty following a clumsy Graham Carey challenge, was initially denied by Matt Macey but he managed to turn the rebound home.

Shrewsbury seemed to take confidence from Norburn’s ninth goal of the campaign. Josh Laurent and Shaun Whalley were causing Argyle’s defence all sorts of problems, but Macey remained largely untroubled.

Despite a brief revival, Town ultimately came away from Home Park with nothing as they conceded a late penalty. Anthony Grant wiped out Ruben Lamieras in the box, and Graham Carey placed the ball beyond Steve Arnold.

Shrewsbury will hope to avoid a third successive defeat when they welcome Wycombe on Saturday. Plymouth who have risen to 12th, travel to Fleetwood.

Attendance: 8,572 (174 Town fans)

Team Line Ups:

Plymouth Argyle: (4-2-3-1)
1. Macey, 2. Riley (57), 5. Edwards, 14. Canavan, 3. Sawyer, 4. Songo’o (81), 8. Fox, 10. Carey, 7. Sarcevic, 11. Lamieras (91), 19. Ladapo

Subs: 6. Ness (81), 9. Taylor (91), 13. Anderson, 20. Jones, 23. Smith-Brown, 26. Threlkeld (57), 31. Cooper

Subs Not Used: 13. Anderson, 20. Jones, 23. Smith-Brown, 31. Cooper

Shrewsbury Town: (3-5-2)
15. Arnold, 2. Williams, 22. Waterfall, 6. Beckles, 7. Whalley (85), 28. Laurent, 29. Norburn, 42. Grant, 23. Golbourne, 50. Payne (53), 11. Campbell (71)

Subs: 1. Mitchell, 4. Edwards, 5. Sadler, 8. Docherty (85), 12. Okenabirhie (71), 20. Holloway (53), 27. Sears

Subs Not Used: 1. Mitchell, 4. Edwards, 5. Sadler, 27. Sears

Other League One Results:

AFC Wimbledon 1 – 0 Peterborough
Barnsley 0 – 0 Sunderland
Blackpool 1 – 1 Doncaster
Bradford 0 – 1 Luton
Charlton 2 – 1 Burton
Coventry 2 – 1 Fleetwood
Gillingham 0 – 1 Bristol Rovers
Rochdale 0 – 0 Oxford
Scunthorpe 4 – 1 Southend
Walsall 2 – 3 Portsmouth
Wycombe 1 – 3 Accrington

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Ryan Hillback
Ryan Hillback keeps us updated on match previews and reports as well as all the big Shrewsbury Town Football Club news.
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