Shrewsbury Town 0 - 1 Bradford City | League One | 25/11/2017


Pre-match
I was excited for the visit of Bradford City as I thought they’d set a good benchmark as to how far Shrewsbury have come this season and it would be a good opportunity to bounce back from a couple of defeats recently.

Bradford started the day in fifth and were unbeaten away from home this season, averaging three goals a game when they were the visitors. Shrewsbury were still top, despite being beaten by Bury in their last match.


Teams

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Beckles, Sadler (John-Lewis ‘90); B Morris; Whalley, Godfrey (C Morris ‘74), Nolan, Rodman; Payne
Subs: MacGillivray, Riley, C Morris, Dodds, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, Adams


Bradford City: Sattelmaier, Reeves, Kilgallon, Vincelot, Law (Robinson ‘54), Wyke, Taylor (Thompson ‘76), Gilliead, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, McMahon
Subs: Raeder, Thompson, Poleon, McCartan, Pybus, Patrick, Robinson


First Half

The game started in very even fashion, with both teams looking dangerous, Shrewsbury had more of the ball but Bradford looked effective with their long passes over the top of the defence.

Ben Godfrey placed a header just wide from a Shaun Whalley free kick, who in turn had a left footed shot which curled a couple of feet over. Shots continued to rain down on the Bradford goal but none really tested their goalkeeper.

Second Half

Shrewsbury started the second half well and Jon Nolan should have tested the goalkeeper, but unfortunately he didn’t make contact with the ball with a half-volley. The chances continued with Shaun Whalley out jumping the Bradford left back and placed straight at the goalkeeper.

Against the run of play, Bradford took the leader when Toto Nsiala sliced a block into his own net. Bradford had cleared the ball and a simple knock on took Beckles out of the game, leaving Sadler to chase back the Bradford forward, but couldn’t get goal side of him. The ball was crossed in and Nsiala, at the near post, tried to intercept the ball but sent the ball spinning passed Henderson who was left flat footed on the opposite side of the goal.

Shrewsbury continued to press and forced the goalkeeper into several good saves as the game wore on. First Carlton Morris, then Whalley drew the goalkeeper into parrying the shot, but Shrewsbury couldn’t capitalise.

Final Thoughts

There was an understandable feeling of disappointment at the end of the game. Bradford didn’t look like a team at the top end of the table, with negative tactics and a ‘hoof’ it up the field mentality, but it worked as they nicked a goal and Shrewsbury failed to score.

Having gone a good way into the season, and had the pleasure of watching some really strong performances by the team, it felt disappointing that things didn’t quite click for the team. Perhaps some players are in need of a rest because most of the team have played a lot of games.


On reflection Shrewsbury can count themselves unfortunate, as Bradford hardly troubled their hosts whereas Shrewsbury had a few good chances to score but failed to find the net. On another day, Shrewsbury would have got a couple of goals and a clean sheet, walking away with the three points.


Man of the Match - Shaun Whalley

Whalley was probably the brightest spark for Shrewsbury and gave the Bradford left back a torrid time. He showed glimpses of why fans love him, but regrettably no-one could finish off the chances he created.


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