Shrewsbury Town’s wait for their first home league victory of the campaign rumbles on as they concede an agonising late equaliser.
There was a sense of inevitability that the Robins would
leave the Montgomery Waters Meadow with a point as they lay siege to the
Shrewsbury goal late on.
And so it proved to be the case with Arsenal loanee Matt
Smith seeing his deflected shot loop into the net in the 92nd
Shrewsbury began the contest at a blistering pace and were
2-0 up inside 16 minutes thanks to headers from Aaron Pierre and Matt Millar.
However, Town’s defensive frailties were rearing their ugly
head once more and Swindon halved the deficit through Joel Grant before the
But Shrewsbury restored their two-goal lead after the
interval thanks to Dave Edwards’ first goal of the campaign and it appeared
Town were heading toward a rare league win.
Yet the Robins continued to plug away and were duly rewarded.
Hallam Hope reduced the arrears on the hour mark and the alarm bells began
Town tried in vain to see out the contest but Matt Smith
levelled things up to give John Sheridan his first point on the board as
Sam Ricketts handed league starts to the aforementioned Matt
Millar and mid-week hattrick hero Shillow Tracey. Shaun Whalley started for the
first time this season, whilst ex-Premier League man Marc Pugh operated in a
false nine position.
John Sheridan was only appointed on Friday evening and was
on the touchline – despite the expectancy that he would be watching from the
stands. The ex-Wigan and Oldham boss would have been pleased with his side’s
early showing. Former Everton forward Hallam Hope appeared to handle but the
referee waved play on. He switched possession to Jonny Smith who whipped a shot
narrowly over the crossbar.
Despite an early scare, Shrewsbury began to assert their
dominance. Australian Matt Millar bulldozed forward and found Marc Pugh who in
turn pushed the ball out wide to Charlie Daniels. The full-back’s cross just
evaded Millar who had carried on his run.
Town looked to carry on their cup exploits into the league
and managed to take an 11th minute lead. Daniels’ pinpoint corner
was attacked by Granada international Aaron Pierre and Sam Ricketts’ side were
a goal to the good.
Ex Middlesbrough stopper Joe Fryer was enduring a nervy
start. The goalkeeper slipped and gifted possession to Marc Pugh who rushed the
opportunity and dragged his final effort well wide.
Newcastle Jets loanee Matt Millar was enjoying a positive
start to the game. He had appeals for a penalty turned down when he fell to the
ground under Rob Hunt’s challenge.
In the 16th minute, Shrewsbury deservedly doubled
their advantage. Charlie Daniels’ corners were proving to be a real issue for
Swindon, and his latest delivery was cleared only as far as Marc Pugh. The
former Hull City midfielder showed his quality with his clever turn and superb
cross into the danger area. Matt Millar connected with a diving header to notch
his second goal in a week.
Swindon were on the backfoot, and couldn’t get a foothold
despite ex Shrewsbury midfielder Anthony Grant urging more from his team.
Instead, Town continued to dominate and were thwarted by the
offside flag. Ollie Norburn’s sweeping pass was met by Tottenham loanee Shillow
Tracey and his looping header found the back of the net. However, the winger
strayed slightly offside.
The visitors began to improve. Former Birmingham defender
Paul Caddis struck a long distanced free-kick narrowly wide of the target.
And the Robins pulled a goal back just before half time.
Joel Grant carved through Shrewsbury’s defence all too easily and manged to get
the ball onto his favoured left foot. The Jamaican international saw his effort
from inside the area deflect off Pierre and go beyond Harry Burgoyne.
Shrewsbury didn’t appear too downcast in the early stages of
the second period. Charlie Daniels’ fierce cross had too much on it for Pugh
and Odimayo managed to scramble behind.
Salop restored their two-goal advantage in the 55th
minute. Marc Pugh guided Shillow Tracey’s cross toward Dave Edwards and the
ex-Wales international rifled a shot into the roof of the net.
The home side were looking to put the contest to bed. Shaun
Whalley’s darting run culminated in a low drive which went agonisingly wide of
The nerves appeared to get the better of Shrewsbury as
Swindon started to seize the initiative. The Robins were enjoying the lions
share of the play, and managed to make it 3-2 on the hour mark. Paul Caddis’ cross
evaded Ethan Ebanks-Landell and found Hallam Hope who guided a shot into the
far corner past Burgoyne’s outstretched fingertips.
Sloppy play at the back almost result in an equaliser. Ro
Shaun-Williams relinquished possession and Joel Grant turned it over to Harry
Smith. The youngster narrowly missed the target with a fine strike.
Shrewsbury were in a desperate need to find the sixth goal
of a pulsating game. Charlie Daniels’ cross was only cleared as far as Dave
Edwards who ballooned his shot way over the bar.
Swindon continued to pour men forward. Veteran striker Brett
Pitman was complaining that he was fouled inside the area as he hooked the ball
Shrewsbury were indebted to Harry Burgoyne as the Ludlow
born goalkeeper produced a point blank save to deny Jonny Smith from close
But Town, despite netting more than twice in the league for
a year, were shaky at the back and couldn’t hold onto their lead. In the dying
embers of the match, Matt Smith found room on the edge of the area and his
strike took a deflection and flew beyond Burgoyne.
Sam Ricketts will be fuming with his sides failure to hold
onto a two-goal lead and this will undoubtedly fuel calls for his dismissal.
Town face a daunting trip to Ipswich next Saturday, whilst
Swindon welcome Accrington on Tuesday night.
Team Line Ups
1. Burgoyne, 14. Millar (58), 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 15. C. Daniels, 8. Norburn, 4. Edwards, 7. Whalley (85), 27. Pugh, 20. Tracey (82)
Subs: 16. Walker (58), 19. Barnett, 22. J. Daniels, 23. Udoh (82), 25. High (85), 33. Iliev, 35. Cummings
Subs Not Used: 19. Barnett, 22. J. Daniels, 33. Iliev, 35. Cummings
25. Fryer, 2. Caddis, 5. Grounds, 11. J. Smith, 15. M.
Smith, 16. Odimayo, 18. Payne (57), 20. J. Grant, 24. Hunt, 42. A. Grant, 45.
Subs: 1. Kovar, 6. Baudry, 8. Pitman (57), 21. Curran, 22. Stevens, 30. Haines, 33. Broadbent
Subs Not Used: 1. Kovar, 6. Baudry, 21. Curran, 22. Stevens, 30. Haines, 33. Broadbent
Other League One Results
Bristol Rovers 1 – 4 Fleetwood
Crewe 2 – 0 Peterborough
Hull 2 – 0 Burton
Northampton 0 – 1 Accrington
Sunderland 1 – 2 MK Dons