Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Fleetwood Town | League One | 21/10/2017

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Fleetwood Town | League One | 21/10/2017

Shrewsbury had returned to winning ways on Tuesday as they eased themselves to a 4-0 victory against Bristol Rovers. Paul Hurst named an unchanged team for the visit of Fleetwood Town, who came into the game off the back of two draws. Interestingly, both teams had managed to score in each of their games this season and both would be looking to extend this record.

The game was due to be played as a storm hit town, which would have an impact on the type of football played, it would be interesting to see which team adapted to the conditions best.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton (Payne 72), Nisiala, Sadler, Brown (Beckles 76); Whalley, Godfrey, Agogo, Rodman; Nolan; C Morris (John-Lewis 85)
Subs: MacGillivray, Beckles, Dodds, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, B Morris, Payne

Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Pond, Cargill, Bell, Dempsey, Schwabl (Hunter 75), O'Neill (Grant 62), McAleny (Hiwula-Mayifuila 63), Cole
Subs: Neal, Hiwula-Mayifuila, Burns, Grant, Rodgers, Hunter, Sowerby

First Half
It quickly became apparent that Fleetwood had come to the Montgomery Waters Meadow, playing a defensive 5-3-2 and when the ball went out of play, you witnessed a team instructed to waste time, this was bourn out with the first booking of the game being issued for repeatedly taking too long to take a throw in.

The half ended with Juinor Brown having two efforts on goal. The first saw him come off the left wing finding some space to release a right footed drive at the goalkeeper. The second chance came from the left backs head as a corner was swung in, but the goalkeeper was equal to it.

Second Half
With the wind now working against Shrewsbury, a few supporters around me thought it might work against the team, but if anything Shrewsbury were more dominant after the break. However Fleetwood probably had the best opportunity to take the lead as a loose pass out from the back resulted in a quick two on one break. Fortunately, and probably deservedly given the negative tactics employed, the attacker with the ball slipped on the wet surface as he was bearing down on goal.

With the game heading towards full time, Shrewsbury won a corner. Shaun Whalley send the ball over for Nisiala to win a header and loop the ball towards goal, just over a defender on the post to send the supporters wild... the players reactions weren’t too bad either. This left only a few minutes added time to see out the game.

Final Thoughts
Against a team, obviously set up to frustrate Shrewsbury with the intentions of trying to get a draw, it felt very satisfying to nick a goal right at the death to win the game. With the goal coming in the 88th minute, there was no way Fleetwood come mount any pressure to try and force an equaliser.

Fleetwood never really looked like threatening Shrewsbury’s unbeaten record, it was whether Shrewsbury could force a winning goal.

The biggest concern amongst most supporters was the injury sustained by Juionr Brown just before he was substituted.

Man of the Match - Toto Nisiala
In a game that was hugely influenced by the stormy conditions, Toto was the defender we’ve come to love against Fleetwood. Quick across the ground to cover danger, strong in the tackle and dominant in the air. In the first half there was a perfect example of this as he raced back to make strong crunching tackles in quick succession, to really endear himself to the Salop faithful. His goal at the death to keep Shrewsbury at the top of the league was the cherry on the cake.

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