By Matt Johnson
Graham Turner cut a distraught figure after his Town side’s 18-month and 34 match unbeaten home record came to an end at the hands of Alan Knill’s Scunthorpe.
Leon Clarke’s fifth minute header was enough to inflict the 1-0 defeat at the Greenhous Meadow to give the visitors their first win of the season and, in truth, Shrewsbury never really looked like troubling their iron-faced opponents.
“We didn’t play well enough to be perfectly honest,” said Turner. “I thought that, having given them the lead, which was a terrible goal to concede from a throw-in, we were second best for the vast majority of the game in a vast majority of positions.
“They had got confidence from the early goal and they knocked it about and passed it extremely well and their good players really came out on top. I have no complaints about the outcome given the circumstances of the game, but we’ve got to look at the way we played and we didn’t work hard enough.”
In previous games this season, Town have kept it tight at the back and looked a threat on the attack, but against Scunthorpe, Turner was left distressed by the apparent lack of cohesion in his team and picked out only Chris Weale as a man who performed at his peak.
“I think there have been two features of our play this season. That we’ve been able to create chances and that Chris Weale has had very few saves to make in previous games. Today he has worked hard and we might have conceded one or two more had he not been right at the top of his game because we left him exposed and at the other end of the pitch, we’ve barely worked their goalkeeper at all. So those two aspects that were so good early on have been poor today, what we need to do now is look at ways of putting it right.”
Incidentally, it was Knill, then managing Bury, that was the last manager to walk away with all three points at the Greenhous Meadow way back in March 2011, though Graham insists that he isn’t bothered about records – just about winning football matches starting again with Coventry on Tuesday night.
“We don’t even think about it, what we’ve lost is three points. It’s probably other people who look at it and think ‘it has been a long time since we’ve lost at home’, but to me that’s not important. We’ve not played very well and we’ve lost the points from the match – and that’s the crucial thing.
“I think we’re probably glad we’ve got another one so quickly, we’ve got to rise to the challenge now. Coventry are a big club, we have played well so far this season up until the setback today and its how players react to that. What we haven’t got to do is get anxious or lose any confidence; it is a matter of keeping things in perspective. We deservedly lost the game today, but it’s a new match on Tuesday.”