Shrewsbury Town narrowly lose out to Burton Albion.
The opening fixture of Shrewsbury Town's 2021/22 campaign came to an end with Burton Albion securing all three points after a one-goal win away from home.
Despite Steve Cotterill's men putting in a solid performance and being the stronger team in the second half, the Brewers held on to register the win at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
The first real chance of the game fell the way of the visitors. Jacob Maddox found himself through on goal but Town's goalkeeper - Marko Marosi - converged well on his opponent to parry away a powerful shot from close range.
Jonny Smith was next to test Town's number one with a curling effort from outside the box with just under 30 minutes gone. However, Marosi leaped emphatically to get two strong hands on the ball - parrying the shot away for a corner. Town stood firm and managed to clear the ball from danger.
The away side did find the breakthrough with 31 minutes on the clock. A corner was fired into the box and John Brayford rose highest to knock a looping header over Town's number one.
Newly named Salop Captain Ethan Ebanks-Landell came agonisingly close to giving Salop an equaliser with 60 minutes on the clock. The defender jumped well to meet an Elliott Bennett cross but his header was well blocked by the Brewers' defence.
Luke Leahy drew a brilliant save from Brewers shot-stopper Ben Garratt in the 68th minute. Rekeil Pyke found the defender in a yard of space on the edge of the box, and with his weak foot, Leahy curled an effort towards the corner of the net - only to be denied by a fingertip save.
Town continually pushed for the next goal and troubled the away side with every foray forward. David Davis remained a calm influence in the middle of the park and looked to spark an attack with every ball. Leahy's delivery into the box gave Town chances but Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's men remained solid at the back.
The game came to an end with the away side seeing out the narrow advantage.
Salop: Marko Marosi, Luke Leahy, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Matthew Pennington, Aaron Pierre (George Nurse, 45), Shaun Whalley (Nathanael Ogbeta, 45), Josh Vela, Daniel Udoh, Ryan Bowman (Rekeil Pyke, 63), David Davis, Elliott Bennett.
Subs not used: Harry Burgoyne, Ollie Norburn, Charlie Caton, Josh Daniels.
Albion: Ben Garratt, John Brayford, Deji Oshilaja, Lucas Akins, Jonny Smith, Omari Patrick (Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, 82), Tom O'Connor, Conor Shaughnessy, Ryan Leak, Jacob Maddox (Joe Powell, 37), Tom Hamer.
Subs not used: Ellery Balcombe, Bryn Morris, Danny Rowe, Frazer Blake-Tracy, Terry Taylor.
Attendance: 5903 (555)
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Assistants: Garry Maskell and Oliver Bickle
Fourth Official: Kevin Morris
Ryan Leak was shown the first yellow card of the fixture for a foul on Dan Udoh. 61'
Luke Leahy was shown a yellow card in the 76th minute for a foul in Town's half.
Elliott Bennett was shown a harsh yellow card for an apparent foul in the 85th minute.
Joe Powell was booked in the 87th for pulling down Nathanael Ogbeta in the middle of the park.
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