Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 AFC Wimbledon | League One | 24/03/2018



Pre-match

Shrewsbury had missed their chance to overtake Blackburn by playing out a 1-1 draw with Northampton in mid-week.  The game also saw club captain Abu Ogogo sent off for being caught up in a scrap with one of the Northampton players.

With Ogogo serving the first of a four game ban, he was replaced by Stefan Payne which in turn saw the formation tweak to be 4-4-2.

Wimbledon arrived at the Montgomery Waters Meadow flirting with the relegation positions of League One.

Teams
Shrewsbury: 
MacGillivray; Hendrie, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Whalley (Thomas 80), B Morris, Nolan, Rodman; C Morris (John-Lewis 90+2); Payne (Lowe 89)
Subs: Rowley, Lowe, Thomas, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, Jones; Eisa


Wimbledon: Long; Fuller (Pigottat); Oshilaja; Nightingale; Meades; Francomb; Abou (Kaja 82); Barcham (Parrett 68); Trotter; Forrester; Taylor
Subs: Robinson; Parrett; Soares; Kaja; Kennedy; McDonnell; Pigott

First Half
Wimbledon had the first chance of the day, playing neat passes before the ball was laid on for a midfielder to strike the ball first time, but the shot lacked power and Craig MacGillivray was able to collect the ball at the second attempt.

MacGillivray launched the ball forwards and Carlton Morris nodded the ball on, which Stefan Payne to playing the ball to Alex Rodman. Rodman ran with the ball towards the centre of the field before unleashing a shot that the keeper could only parry. but Payne couldn't make the most of the rebound putting his effort wide.

Second Half
The second half started with Carlton Morris flicking Luke Hendrie's first time cross towards goal, although it was going wide, a defender was on hand to clear the ball.

Carlton Morris also had the next chance, glancing Rodman's cross narrowly wide as he went for subtly when power would have been the better option. Next to have an opportunity to score was Payne, but his header lacked power again and the ball fell comfortably to the goalkeeper.

Shrewsbury got the goal their second half performance deserved, as Luke Hendrie played his third cross in quick succession and the ball ricocheted off Carlton Morris to Payne who tucked the ball away first time.

Alex Rodman was the next to try his luck, picking up the ball after the breakdown of a corner and unleashing a powerful shot that the keeper pushed away, before the attack fizzled out.

Wimbledon had their first meaningful effort after a substitution.  The substitute picked the ball up and beat a man before playing a low cross through the box that their striker tried to back heal into the net, however MacGillivray was alert and on hand to stop the effort.

The only downside to the performance was that Bryn Morris picked up two quick yellow cards and was rightly sent off. The first was for breaking an attack up and taking one for the team, whilst the second was for a silly block right in front of the referee.

Final Thoughts
After an uneventful first half Shrewsbury sprung to life in the second, and it would have been a travesty if they hadn't won - the only downside was Morris' daft sending off.

Man of the Match - Toto Nsiala
I might have chosen a number of players that appeared, as the two Morris' (Bryn and Carlton) played really well and a few other also caught the eye, but I really thought that Toto Nsiala marshalled the Shrewsbury defence well that Wimbledon didn't have many chances of note.

In recent weeks Nsiala has looked more comfortable in League One and cut out the mistakes that arguably overshadowed his performances earlier in the season, which can only be a good thing for Shrewsbury Town.

Shrewsbury Town 2 - 0 Walsall | League One | 10/03/2018



Pre-match

After sealing their place in the Checkatrade Throphy, Shrewsbury welcomed a mid-table  (13th) Walsall to the Montgomery Waters Meadow.

Luke Hendrie had come in for Bryn Morris, pushing Ben Godfrey back into the holding midfield role, but otherwise a very familiar side took to the pitch. Walsall on the other hand only contained one player that I recognised, Erhun Oztumer, their playmaker that became in demand a few seasons back after a good season.

Teams
Shrewsbury: Henderson; Hendrie, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (Thomas 80), Ogogo, Nolan (John-Lewis 90), Rodman; C Morris (Payne 76)
Subs: MacGillivray, Lowe, Thomas, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, B Morris, Payne

Walsall: Roberts, Devlin, Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy, Morris (Cuvelier 71), Chambers, Dobson, Ngoy (Shaibu 86), Oztumer, Bakayoko
Sub: Gillespie, Cuvelier, Kinsella, Shaibu, Flanagan, Fitzwater, Kouhyar

First Half
Shrewsbury started on the front foot and took the lead after 6 minutes. Jon Nolan attempted a one-two with Shaun Whalley, but he still got the ball back from the defenders interception. He darted into the box and teased a low cross to the back post, where Alex Rodman snuck in to steal the opening goal.

A few minutes later Carlton Morris struck the post with a half volley from Shaun Whalley's cross as Shrewsbury continued to dominate the game.

Walsall grew into the game as the half wore on, striking the post and making Dean Henderson make a couple of routine saves.

Second Half
Shrewsbury had the ball in the back of the net for the second time of the afternoon following Whalley’s corner, but the referee spotted an infringement as the ball was bundled passed the goalkeeper.

They did however get the second goal that the team performance deserved with Abu Ogogo stealing in at the near post to connect with Alex Rodman’s right wing cross.

Final Thoughts
The result reflected the match - Shrewsbury were always dominant and Walsall had few chances to score. After the first goal went in it looked like the Shrewsbury faithful would be rewarded with a big over their local rivals, however chance after chance were spurned and it did give Walsall some confidence to push forwards, but their attacks didn’t really threaten, but at 1-0 you are always wary of the opposition. Fortunately Abu Ogogo popped up with his second goal of the calendar year to make sure of the result.

As much as the team performed on the pitch, there should be a special mention to the Shrewsbury fans in the stands. They kept behind their team from the off and the three home stands managed to keep one chant going for over 10 minutes in the second half with even the corporate seats joining in! It really seemed as if everyone was pulling in the same direction after the home form had a bit of a wobble.

I’ve got to say I was quite disappointed in Walsall. As anticipated Oztumer stood out as their best player and all there best play came through him, but there wasn’t the usual fight from them that I’ve come to expect.

Man of the Match - Abu Ogogo
The team played well as a unit, generally controlling the game well, and every player doing their job which maked picking a man of the match difficult. In the end I selected Abu Ogogo who rounded off a strong performance with a fantastic finish putting the game to bed.

My Sunday Photo - Empty Playground



I'm trying to make sure I participate each week in #MySundayPhoto. My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

This week’s subject is the playground in Telford town park. I chose this photo for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is the contrast from my previous visit. I had been in the park on Saturday as part of the Pokémon Go Community Day and the park was heaving, with people staring at their phones and children running amok in this playground in particular. Fast forward two days, the weather had turned with the first signs of the ‘beast from the east’ and Storm Emma were in the air and the park was empty.

Normally I like to take bright photographs with lots of colour and light, but this photograph represents the bleakness of the day and weather. With hardly a soul in the park and the wind whipping round the open area it wasn’t the ideal time to be in the park.


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