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


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.

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.

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