Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Northampton Town | League One | 05/08/2017

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Northampton Town | League One | 05/08/2017

For the start of the 2017/18 season Northampton Town visited Montgomery Waters Meadow to take on Shrewsbury Town. Having finished 16th last season, the Cobblers, I'm sure, will be wanting to look further up the table this year. Salop on the other hand battled relegation all season, so we are hoping to avoid having a third season in the depths of the league most fans would be happy with mid-table obscurity, while others think we might be able to push on a little further, sneaking into the playoffs.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Brown; Whalley (Gnahouaa 79), Ogogo, Nolan, B Morris, Rodman; C Morris (John-Lewis 79)
Substitutes: Dodds, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, Adams, Jules, Ennis

Northampton: Cornell, Pierre, Barnett, Taylor, Buchanan, Powell, Crooks, Taylor (Kasimat 64), Bowditch, Richards (Revellat 73), Waters (Longat 64) 
Substitutes: Kasim, Revell, Lobjoit, Phillips, Long, Goff, Poole

First Half
With defences on top, the only real moment of note was a good passage of play that started with a Northampton player completing a drag back on the edge of the area leaving the Shrewsbury defence exposed and wide open. Henderson came out to close the striker, who knocked the ball past the goalkeeper leaving him the opportunity to chip a cross into the 6 yard box but fortunately Nsiala was on hand to clear the ball.

Despite having more of the ball, Shrewsbury were restricted to a couple long range shots, lacking both accuracy and power.

Second Half
Again both teams remained resolute in their defending and after 60 minutes Northampton had another strong attack, with several 'Hollywood' shots that were blocked as the ball ricocheted around Shrewsbury's penalty area before being cleared. The first opportunity for Shrewsbury might have arose from Ogogo bursting into the penalty area, who appeared to be brought down by a Northampton defender, but the referee gave a free kick for the cobblers, booking Ogogo for diving.

Shrewsbury make a break through at the death as John-Lewis converted Rodman's low cross from the left in the 92nd minute.

There was still time for another Northampton attack. As they attacked, the referee gave saw a foul and gave a free kick on the edge of the area, much to the dismay of the Cobblers who thought it occurred in the penalty box. The free kick was taken and end up at the feet of Rodman who broke free as the final whistle was blown.

Final Thoughts
It's always hard to judge the first game of the season, but I'm glad Shrewsbury have got their first win and important 3 points. It was a very even match, and one that would have likely been lost last season. I'm sure Northampton will be ok this season, as they looked compact and probably had the clearer cut chances.

Man of the Match - Bryn Morris
His performance may have gone unnoticed by some town fans, but he was the destroyer in midfield that allowed Abu Ogogo and Jon Nolan to pitch up the field and support attacks. His tackling was strong and decisive, and his distribution kept simple, with the odd longer pass to teammates, keeping the Cobblers on their toes. 

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