Good first half from Town but another home defeat in the endShrewsbury Town’s poor run continued as they failed to reverse their hoodoo against Scunthorpe United. The 1-0 defeat means Town have now failed to beat the Humberside club in 16 attempts since 1998. The loss leaves Shrewsbury languishing in the relegation zone with Scunthorpe rising to the summit of the table.
The goal from David Mirfin late in first-half stoppage time was enough to seal the win at the Greenhous Meadow. Town failed to create enough clean-cut chances and seemed to be missing the presence of striker Ivan Toney. The 20-year-old had scored three goals in his last three games but was absent today through injury.
The home side were agonisingly close to taking the lead after just three minutes. Shaun Whalley whipped in an inviting corner onto the head of Junior Brown who directed it goal bound but Stephen Dawson stopped it on the line and keeper Luke Daniels smothered.
Ten minutes later Gary Deegan did well to twist and turn on the edge of the box and ultimately win a free-kick in a great area. Captain Jim O’Brien stepped up but he could only send the ball narrowly over the bar.
Good work from Sylvain Ebanks-Blake out wide led to a corner and after being cleared once Shaun Whalley curled in a brilliant cross but there was no one in the six yard box to capitalise.
There was nice build-up play again from Shrewsbury just before the half hour mark which culminated with Whalley striking the ball from outside the box but his effort didn’t have enough power to trouble Daniels.
Deegan received an early booking on 30 minutes for a high foot which left Josh Morris on the ground.
The first real chance for the away side came with less than 10 minutes left of the first half. Morris floated a cross from out wide into the area but Kevin VanVeen timed his jump too early and couldn’t stay in the air long enough to head home.
Moments later VanVeen wriggled free again after a quick throw-in but he dragged his shot past the post of Jayson Leutwiler.
Shrewsbury had given away a few needless free kicks and one on the stroke of half-time cost them. Iron captain Stephen Dawson was brought down out right and Morris took the resulting free kick. The midfielder’s floated delivery was met by David Mirfin who directed his header into the bottom corner past a helpless Jayson Leutwiler.
Scunthorpe started better after the break and they had a good chance when Harry Toffolo played Morris in but the winger could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
Shrewsbury countered well with 30 minutes to play as Deegan won the ball back deep in his own half. Abu Ogogo turned his marker cleverly and surged forward before threading the ball into Sylvain Ebanks-Blake who fired his shot into Richie Smallwood. The midfielder managed to block the effort at the expense of a corner.
The Iron had a gilt-edged chance to double their lead with twenty minutes left but Paddy Madden failed with a sitter inside the six yard box. Smallwood burst forward out wide before fizzing a through ball past Leutwiler into an onrushing Madden who had an open goal but the 26-year-old poked his effort past the far post.
The game was opening up as the home side pushed forward to try and find an equalizer. Their tactics nearly paid off when AJ Leitch Smith was played in out wide in ample space, he cut back into the path of Louis Dodds in the box but the ball was cleared out before it could reach him.
Shrewsbury brought on target-man George Waring and with five minutes remaining the plan nearly came to fruition. Mangan lofted a ball into the 21-year-old in the box and he chested down to Dodds but his effort was blocked. The resulting corner fell to Ogogo who did well to bring it down before firing but again his effort was blocked to safety.
Shrewsbury: (58) Ebanks- Blake off Mangan on (61) Whalley off Leitch-Smith on (80) O’Brien off Waring on.
Scunthorpe: (45) Holmes and Mirfin off Goode and Smallwood on (74) Madden off Wiseman on.