Shots 1-2 Plymouth Argyle

By James Beavis

The Shots dropped into League Two’s bottom-two on goal difference as Jason Banton’s brace proved
decisive as they were beaten 2-1 by fellow strugglers Plymouth.

Argyle took the lead after five minutes through Jason Banton deflected strike but six minutes later
Peter Vincenti equalised for the hosts.

However, the Pilgrims retook the lead before the interval as Banton scored his second goal and
despite late pressure and a number of penalty shouts, Dean Holdsworth’s side were unable to draw
level.

The Shots made one change to the starting eleven that took a well-earned point in Devon against
Exeter with top scorer Craig Reid replacing Asa Hall, while Aaron Morris returned to the substitutes’
bench following a hamstring problem.

Former Aldershot defenders Guy Branston and Anthony Charles lined up in central defence for the
Pilgrims.

The Shots came into the game on the back of an impressive start to 2013 defensively in which they
had kept four clean sheets in their five League Two matches but it wasn’t to be a fifth in seven.

With five minutes on the clock, Pilgrims’ captain Conor Hourihane’s free kick from the right-hand
side was passed across to Jason Banton 25 yards out and he took a touch before unleashing a fierce
low shot on his right foot that took a heavy deflection wrong-footing Shots’ number one Jamie
Young.

It didn’t take the Shots long to hit back though – just six minutes in fact.

Following good pressure from Kieran Cadogan, Craig Reid collected the ball and threaded a neat
through-ball to Danny Hylton and his low strike was parried by Jake Cole, leaving Peter Vincenti to
tap into the empty net from eight yards out.

After drawing level the hosts continued to threaten and Reid went close with a header on the
quarter-hour mark but it was now end-to-end stuff and two minutes later Reuben Reid’s free kick
was hit straight into the wall for the visitors.

Three corners in quick succession came to nothing for the Shots although the second from Danny
Rose was punched away under his crossbar by Cole.

Then six minutes before the interval and totally against the run of play the visitors took the lead for
the second time in the match and it was the classic counter-attacking goal.

After the ball escaped Danny Rose on the edge of the opposition’s area Reuben Reid collected the
ball for the Pilgrims and ran 50 yards before squaring the ball in the area to Banton, who checked
onto his right foot before curling a low shot past Young.

Back in December’s home clash with Rochdale referee Fred Graham contentiously sent off Shots’
skipper Ben Herd and he was once again in the spotlight as the ball appeared to strike the hand of
ex-Shots’ defender Guy Branston in the penalty area from Cadogan’s shot but the official waved
away the protests.

The Shots went close to levelling the scores in injury-time as Sonny Bradley’s stab towards goal
following a free-kick from the right-hand side trickled just wide of the post with Cole beaten in the
visitors’ goal.

On the hour mark the Shots went even closer to getting the equalising goal as Rose’s low 25-yard
half-volley ricocheted off of the post before being cleared to safety.

The corners were continuing to come for the Shots and they had a golden opportunity to draw level
half-way through the second period as Rose’s corner was knocked over the bar from six yards out by
Danny Hylton.

With 15 minutes left to play, and after Lionel Ainsworth and Adam Mekki entered the field in a
double substitution for the Shots, the visitors went close to adding a third as Lee Cox’s shot was
deflected over the bar by Sonny Bradley.

From the resulting corner Charles’ header from eight yards flashed inches wide with Young beaten.

With seven minutes remaining Asa Hall made his home debut for the hosts, replacing Rose, and two
further penalty shouts in the final minutes were turned down by Graham, much to the annoyance of
the home supporters and Holdsworth.

With four minutes added on, the Shots continued to pressurise with two quick-fire corners, and after
being waved up by Holdsworth, Jamie Young twice got his head on the ball but to no avail as the
Shots lost 2-1 at home for the second successive game.

Shots: Jamie Young, Ben Herd (c), Sonny Bradley, Troy Brown, Anthony Tonkin; Kieran Cadogan
(Lionel Ainsworth), Oliver Risser (Adam Mekki), Danny Rose (Asa Hall), Peter Vincenti; Craig Reid,
Danny Hylton

Substitutes not used: Glen Morris, Aaron Morris, Michael Rankine, Terrell Forbes.

Att: 3241(907 away fans)