Match Report


Sat 28 Apr 12

Town:Chris Neal, Jermaine Grandison, Joe Jacobson, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, Ian Sharps (c), Mark Wright, Matt Richards, Nicky Wroe, James Collins, Terry Gornell (Morgan, 71), Aaron Wildig (Taylor, 89)

Subs:Ben Smith, Sean McAllister, Jon Taylor, Marvin Morgan, Carl Regan

Dagenham & Redbridge:Chris Lewington, Damien McCrory, Scott Doe (c), Josh Scott, Medi Ellito (Gain, 74), Luke Howell, Abu Ogogo, Brian Woodall (Abdulla, 85), Billy Bingham (Green, 74), Matt Baudry, Michael Spillane

Subs:David Hogan, Richard Rose, Peter Gain, Dominic Green, Ahmedi Abdulla

Referee:Mr. J. Waugh

Assistants:Mr. M. Astley & Mr. D. Meeson

Fourth Official:Mr. N. Radford

Attendance:9,441 (147 from Dagenham)

Martin Wild reports from the Greenhous Meadow

Shrews boss Graham Turner once again goes unchanged for this vital last home game of the season against Dagenham. Promotion to League One - in front of a record crowd at the Greenhous Meadow - rests in their own hands, as long as the side match either of the Crawley or Torquay results.

The teams came out to a tumultuous welcome with this stadium packed to the rafters and awash with colour. Expectation is all around as Town look to preserve a 31 game unbeaten home record, in their quest to land a very special prize.

Both sides made a purposeful start to the game with Dagenham now not needing to look over their shoulders, having put together a decent run of form to pull clear of the danger zone in recent weeks.

On 11 minutes Town almost had the dream start. Mark Wright's cross was met by the diving figure of James Collins and the striker's header was cleared off the line by Damien McCrory. Shrews kept the ball alive and skipper Ian Sharps curled the ball towards the far corner but saw his effort curl wide of the target. The noise around this place whenever Town threatened made the hairs on your neck stand on end - it was a terrific atmosphere and gave the team every encouragement to help see them home.

Jermaine Grandison almost had the masses in ecstasy from a deep corner but in a packed area a Daggers defender was again well placed to hack the loose ball clear of the goal line. Then, within a minute, Medi Ellito had the home crowd with hearts in mouths as his daisy cutter flew past Neal but thankfully drifted a yard wide of the upright.

Understandably, there was much tension around the Greenhous but Town were still showing signs of their ability with one or two promising moves, and some excellent long range passing to switch play when the opportunity arose. Shrewsbury were seeing plenty of the ball but had yet to seriously ask questions of Chris Lewington in the Londoner's goal with 33 gone.

Dagenham were getting plenty of bodies behind the ball and were frustrating the hosts, who were struggling to pick their way through any gaps that might exist in the visitor's well-drilled rearguard.

The vital breakthrough goal came after 38 minutes via the head of top scorerCollins. Nicky Wroe's ball in landed plum on the Irishman's napper and he simply directed it into the bottom corner of the North Stand net to bring the Meadow alive as more than 9,000 fans dared to dream.

"The Town are Going Up!" roared the West Stand, and it was nice to see the chant ring around all four sides of the stadium with the players now on an obvious high - demonstrated when Collins was denied a second thanks to a brave block from Lewington, 5 minutes after his goal.

Half Time: Town 1 D&R 0

Salop resumed kicking towards the Salop Leisure Stand with half the job done - particularly in light of the two 0-0 scorelines coming in from Crawley & Torquay.

Terry Gornell came close to making it 2-0 after 55 minutes when a typical Grandison burst created an opening but he was blocked off at the front post.

A new record attendance at the Greenhous Meadow was confirmed as 9,441 with 9,300 of those wearing the blue and amber favours and still in exceptionally good voice.

Dagenham were causing a problem or two with some decent set plays - McCrory's corners were varied and were certainly keeping the Town defence on high alert. 22 minutes remained for Shrewsbury to see out the game and win promotion on their own merit without relying on assistance from other teams - this despite Hereford's shock lead at Crawley!

Gornell was replaced by Marvin Morgan for the last 20 minutes as Turner looked for fresh impetus in a hope of getting a killer second goal, and the applause was generous once the switch had been completed. Morgan won a couple of quick corners in succession to help raise the decibel levels and keep the Daggers pinned back in their defensive third.

A second for Hereford at Crawley increased the noise levels to a crescendo meaning an incredible turnaround would be required within a 10 minute time frame to deny Turner's heroes of their moment of glory. Wright curled a belter just wide or the champagne corks could have been popping with time to spare.

The full repertoire of promotion songs were now being rolled out and a stunning third goal for Hereford helped relax any nerves that may exist left in the stands - el magico! And boy, the atmosphere here - simply fantastic. The whistle couldn't come soon enough for many of the fans who were now congregating around the perimeter with the outcome now a formality.

Aaron Wildig was replaced by Jon Taylor for the last couple of minutes and I swear I saw The TellyTubbies whooping it up as the clock ticked round to added time.

Unbeaten at home for only the second time in the club's history and a first league promotion in 18 years. Does it get any better?

The whistle sounded - maybe a minute earlier than it should have - and the well natured mass invasion followed. It's been a long time but this was our moment. A proud, proud day for everyone.

Full-Time: Town 1 D&R 0

    Data provided by Press Association

    Recent Match Reports