Match report: Swindon Town 1 - 3 Plymouth Argyle

By Alfie Howlett - 22 September 2022

Sport

A match report from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.

Swindon's hopes of advancing in the EFL Trophy were dashed by a clinical Plymouth display.

Two goals in quick succession combined with a Ryan Hardie second half strike trumped Rushian Hepburn-Murphy's late consolation.

In their second group M game of the EFL Trophy Scott Lindsey fielded a strong team making just eight changes. Only Sol Brynn, Tyrese Shade and Tom Clayton remained from the side which triumphed over Doncaster on Saturday.

Their visitors, Plymouth, made ten changes to their previous eleven. Flying high in League 1 Steven Schumacher's side beat Bristol Rovers on penalties in their opening group game. On the other hand, Swindon fell to a two-goal defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace's brightest youngsters.

In an open start to precedings Swindon claimed the first corner of the contest five minutes in. Three minutes later, Plymouth had their first sight of the Town goal. Sam Cosgrove's deflected effort was saved by Sol Brynn from 18 yards.

Brynn was next called into action just shy of 20 minutes when Oscar Halls goal bound header was denied from close range. Next to test Brynn was Will Jenkins-Davies. The 17-year-old drove a powerful low effort down Brynn's throat. However just one minute later Jenkins-Davies would come out on top beating Brynn as he converted a low range shot.

Then, on the stroke of the half hour mark, Plymouth doubled their advantage. A deep Jack Endacott cross saw Oscar Halls rise above Reece Devine looping his header over the outstretched Brynn.

Swindon would respond with their first shot on target of the evening. Ricky Aguiar played the ball back to Ellis Iandolo who's low left footed effort was saved by Burton, and three minutes before the interval Swindon went close again. Tyrese Shade, on the byline, cut the ball back to Mo Dabre who had his goal bound effort blocked. It would see an impressively clinical Plymouth go in two goals to the good.

Despite the scoreline, Swindon did play some decent football in the first half with the only key difference being the most important stat in football. Town were just unable to find the ball whereas the visitors Plymouth were testing Brynn on every occasion.

The second half began with summer signing Morgan Roberts dragging a left footed attempt wide of the post. Ten minutes later, James Wilson was on hand to stop Mo Dabre from converting Shade's cross into an empty net. Then prior to the hour mark Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was introduced for his Town debut.

Moments later, the striker was involved in the action as his low left footed shot was saved for a corner. From the resulting short corner Ricky Aguiar sent a curling effort into the gloves of Burton. Town were certainly the dominant team in the second half with Hepburn-Murphy adding a new dimension upfront.

On 70 minutes, Jordan Houghton had a shot deflected for a corner. Then ten minutes later Morgan Whittaker burst through the Town back line only to stab an effort at Brynn. With the contest drawing to a close substitute Ryan Hardie added the gloss on to the scoreline.

After both Ciaran Brennan and Tom Clayton failed to win the ball Hardie stole through to race towards Brynn and calmly slot beneath the keeper. However in injury time Swindon did take something out of the contest when Hepburn-Murphy scored his first goal in Town colours.

After a defensive mix-up Hepburn-Murphy capitalised on Brendan Galloway's wayward header to finish past the onrushing Burton. It meant nothing in terms of the scoreline but it could be important for Hepburn-Murphy's career going forward.

Next up for Swindon is a return to the bread and butter with a trip to Grimsby in League 2 on Saturday 25 September. 

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