Jason Banton scores twice to secure a crucial win for Plymouth Argyle
ALDERSHOT TOWN 1 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 2
TWO GOALS from Crystal Palace loan signing Jason Banton earned Argyle a crucial win in their relegation 'six-pointer' against Aldershot today.
It was the Pilgrims' first victory on the road since they beat Barnet 4-1 on October 13.
Argyle arrived at the Recreation Ground with the worst away record in League Two but were boosted by a fifth minute goal from Banton.
Peter Vincenti soon put Aldershot on level terms but the Pilgrims regained the lead before half-time.
Banton, in only his second game for Argyle, curled a low 20-yard shot into the bottom corner of the net in the 40th minute.
Despite a lot of pressure from Aldershot in the second period, the Pilgrims defended resolutely and picked up maximum points.
New recruit Lee Cox was included in Argyle's starting line-up after signing on loan from League One outfit Swindon Town yesterday.
The 22-year-old midfielder was selected by Sheridan even though he had not trained with the Pilgrims.
Former Aldershot defenders Guy Branston and Anthony Charles were Argyle's centre-back pairing.
There was also a recall for 35-year-old Paul Wotton in a holding midfield role.
Dropping out of the side were Ronan Murray and Luke Young, who were both named among the substitutes.
Also on the bench for the Pilgrims was on-loan Reading striker Gozie Ugwu.
It was the first time Ugwu had been involved in an Argyle matchday squad after recovering from an ankle injury.
There was a lot at stake for both teams and it did not take the Pilgrims long to take the lead.
Argyle were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Paris Cowan-Hall by Aldershot centre-back Sonny Bradley.
Conor Hourihane shaped to curl the ball into the box, but instead rolled it across to Banton.
Aldershot were slow to shut down Banton and his low 20-yard shot took a deflection and ended up in the bottom left corner of the net.
Aldershot were on level terms in the 11th minute with a simple tap-in from Vincenti.
Striker Danny Hylton had a low, angled shot pushed away by Argyle 'keeper Jake Cole and Vincenti slotted home the loose ball.
It was, as expected, a very competitive contest and the Pilgrims had to defend a lot of long throws from Vincenti, which they did with determination.
Argyle regained their advantage in the 40th minute after a superb 60-yard run from striker Reuben Reid.
It ended with Reid passing the ball inside to Banton and he checked back before curling a shot past 'keeper Jamie Young.
Aldershot had loud appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Fred Graham before half-time.
Kieron Cadogan had a shot which hit Branston on the hand but play was allowed to continue and it remained 2-1 to the visitors until half-time.
Aldershot had plenty of the possession at the start of the second period, without creating any chances.
Argyle were always a threat on the break with the pace of Banton on the left flank and Cowan-Hall on the right.
Aldershot came close to an equaliser in the 61st minute when Danny Rose's low drive struck the inside of the right post and the ball was scrambled clear.
Cole saved a fierce 20-yarder from Craig Reid as the home side chased another equaliser.
Cox almost marked his debut for Argyle with a goal in the 78th minute when he was picked out by a pass from Reid.
His shot was on target but Bradley slid in and deflected the ball over the bar for a corner.
Ugwu was sent on as an 82nd minute substitute for Reid before Wotton made way for Maxime Blanchard.
Four minutes of stoppage time were played but despite late pressure from Aldershot the visitors held out for a vital victory.
ALDERSHOT: Jamie Young; Ben Herd, Troy Brown, Sonny Bradley, Anthony Tonkin; Kieron Cadogan (Lionel Ainsworth 75 mins), Oliver Risser (Adam Mekki 75 mins), Danny Rose (Asa Hall 83 mins), Peter Vincenti; Danny Hylton, Craig Reid.
Substitutes (not used): Aaron Morris, Michael Rankine, Terrell Forbes, Glen Morris (gk).
ARGYLE: Jake Cole; Durrell Berry, Anthony Charles, Guy Branston, Onismor Bhasera; Paul Wotton (Maxime Blanchard 90 mins); Paris Cowan-Hall, Lee Cox, Conor Hourihane, Jason Banton; Reuben Reid (Gozie Ugwu 82 mins).
Substitutes (not used): Luke Young, Ollie Chenoweth (gk), Jamie Lowry, Andres Gurrieri, Ronan Murray.
REFEREE: Fred Graham (Essex)
ATTENDANCE: 3,241 (907 away)
GOALS – Aldershot: Vincenti 11 mins; Argyle: Banton 5, 40 mins