Scunthorpe United 1 Plymouth Argyle 0: Match report
SCUNTHORPE UNITED 1 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0
ARGYLE could not turn plenty of possession into any goals as they were beaten by Scunthorpe at Glanford Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Pilgrims suffered their fifth defeat in eight League Two games this season after a 62nd minute goal from Etienne Esajas.
It was a hard to take defeat for Argyle, who created some good chances but could not convert any of them.
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Striker Reuben Reid twice had the ball in the Scunthorpe net but both attempts were disallowed.
Argyle were, all too often let down, by their final cross or pass and Scunthorpe capitalised on that with Esajas's opportunist goal.
Scunthorpe were far from impressive but they dug deep and came away with maximum points.
Surprisingly, Argyle were unchanged from the 3-0 defeat by Wycombe Wanderers at Home Park last Saturday.
It was a vote of faith in the players from manager John Sheridan, who stuck with the same substitutes as well.
That meant summer signing Dominic Blizzard and Plymouth-born midfielder Luke Young did not even make the squad.
Scunthorpe had the same team as for their 1-0 win away to Southend United on September 13.
Argyle captain Conor Hourihane fired a seventh minute free-kick over the crossbar in the seventh minute after a foul on midfielder Lewis Alessandra.
That was the only attempt at goal from either team in the opening quarter-of-an-hour.
Reid had a header saved by Scunthorpe 'keeper Sam Slocombe after a cross from left-back Jamie Reckord in the 16th minute.
Argyle right-back Durrell Berry was booked for a foul on United striker Sam Winnall in the 25th minute.
Scunthorpe almost took the lead soon afterwards, when Esajas curled the ball into the Pilgrims' penalty area.
Centre-back Niall Canavan got on the end of the cross and his powerful close range header was tipped over by Luke McCormick.
Argyle midfielder Rommy Boco then had a shot on the turn blocked by left-back Andy Dawson in the 35th minute.
Boco shot off target after a cut back from Alessandra before Reid headed over the bar at the far post.
Right-back Eddie Nolan thought he was pushed by Reid but it was a good chance for the Pilgrims' striker inside the six-yard area.
Reid was booked in the 38th minute after a needless shove on Nolan.
Argyle finished the first half on top, with a shot from Berry inadvertently blocked by Reid in front of goal, but it stayed 0-0 until the break.
Reid fired into the net in the 48th minute after a short pass from Alessandra but he was flagged offside.
Moments later, the Pilgrims' striker had a header blocked by Slocombe at point-blank range after a deep corner from Hourihane.
Argyle were doing most of the attacking but were repeatedly let down by their final cross or pass.
Reid had a powerful 25-yard free-kick saved by Slocombe, with some difficulty, as the ball swerved in the air.
Despite Argyle's pressure, it was Scunthorpe who opened the scoring in the 62nd minute.
A shot from Winnall was blocked by Berry and the ball broke to Esajas who fired it past McCormick from six yards out.
Scunthorpe suddenly came to life, with midfielder Terry Hawkridge testing McCormick with a powerful shot from distance.
Winnall hooked the ball over the bar from close range before Scunthorpe substitute Deon Burton came close to taking a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute.
Winnall cut the ball back to Burton, who sidefooted it against the underside of the bar.
That was a real let-off for Argyle because Burton would have expected to score from such a good position.
Argyle had loud appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Graham Scott in the 80th minute.
The Pilgrims were convinced a low cross from Alessandra was handled by Dawson but Scott thought otherwise.
Argyle teenage prospect Tyler Harvey was sent on as an 83rd minute substitute for Morgan.
Moments later, Curtis Nelson replaced Hamza Bencherif in the centre of midfield but those changes were to no avail as the Pilgrims were beaten by the only goal of the game.
Berry almost equalised for Argyle in the 90th minute but his 20-yard shot curled narrowly wide of the far post.
SCUNTHORPE: Sam Slocombe; Eddie Nolan, David Mirfin, Niall Canavan (Cliff Byrne 53 mins), Andy Dawson; Terry Hawkridge, Matt Sparrow, Sean McAllister, Etienne Esajas (James Spencer 75 mins); Chris Iwelumo (Deon Burton 66 mins), Sam Winnall.
Substitutes (not used): James Severn (gk), Luke Waterfall, Callum Howe, Luke Hornsey.
ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Durrell Berry, Neal Trotman, Guy Branston, Jamie Reckord; Lewis Alessandra, Hamza Bencherif (Curtis Nelson 85 mins), Conor Hourihane, Marvin Morgan (Tyler Harvey 83 mins); Rommy Boco; Reuben Reid.
Substitutes (not used): Jake Cole, Andre Blackman, Maxime Blanchard, Paul Wotton, Andres Gurrieri.
REFEREE: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)
ATTENDANCE: 3,298 (292 away)
GOAL – Scunthorpe: Esajas 62 mins