Rodman and Ogogo goals give Town victory in the derby
Town: Dean Henderson, Ben Godfrey, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley (Nathan Thomas, 80), Abu Ogogo, Carlton Morris (Stefan Payne, 76), Luke Hendrie, Jon Nolan (Lenell John- Lewis, 90), Aristote Nsiala and Alex Rodman.
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Max Low, Nathan Thomas, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John- Lewis, Bryn Morris, Stefan Payne.
Walsall: Liam Roberts, Luke Leahy, George Dobson, Jon Guthrie, Nicky Devlin, Adam Chambers, Erhun Oztumer, Kieron Morris (Flo Cuvelier, 71), Julian Ngoy (Justin Shiabu, 86) , Amadou Bakayoko and Kory Roberts.
Subs: Mark Gillespie, Flo Cuvelier, Liam Kinsella, Justin Shaibu, Reece Flanagar, Jack Fitzwater and Maz Kouhyar.
Referee: Stephan Martin
Assistants: Darren Blunden and Mark Russell
Fourth Official: Ollie Yates.
Team News: Luke Hendrie is back in the starting line up after being cup tied against Yeovil, he replaces Bryn Morris at right back. Ben Godfrey returns back to his natural position in centre midfield.
Town ran out two nil winners over local rivals Walsall in a very tightly contested game. Similar goals from Alex Rodman and Abu Ogogo gave Town all three points after both players scored from close range.
Town started the game well and were putting pressure on the Walsall back four from the off. It only took un-till the fifth minute for Town to have a clear chance. Jon Nolan’s driving play into the box opened up an opportunity to cross the ball. Nolan found the feet of Alex Rodman and the winger placed the ball in the bottom left hand corner giving The Shrews the lead.
Two minutes later, Town had a golden opportunity to double the lead. Shaun Whalley delivered a low driven cross into Carlton Morris who had his shot saved by Sadlers keeper Liam Roberts.
Town were awarded a free kick in the 18th minute due to a foul on Nolan. Whalley delivered in a ball and found Aristote Nsiala at the back post but the defender couldn’t hit the target and the ball fizzed over the bar.
Walsall had their own chance in the 21st minute; some slick play from Erhun Oztumer on the wing crafted a cross for The Sadlers. Jon Guthrie latched onto the ball but Dean Henderson calmly collected the headed shot.
As the game was becoming more open for both sides, Walsall’s Nicky Devlin hit the post from a tight angle but couldn’t find the back of the net. Town’s defence cleared the ball to keep the one goal advantage intact.
Luke Hendrie was given a yellow card in the 28th minute. Hendrie was deemed to have brought down Oztumer as the attacking midfielder looked through on goal.
The rest of the half lacked any real goalmouth action with both teams battling for possession in the middle of the park. Nolan had an opportunity in the 44th minute from outside of the box but the centre midfielder dragged the ball wide of the post.
Town went into the half time break with a one-goal advantage over the visitors.
Adam Chambers was given a yellow card shortly after the half resumed as he brought down Whalley in the middle of the park.
Town were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box in the 52nd minute after Nolan was brought down as he tried to drive the ball towards The Sadlers box but Whalley couldn’t beat Walsall’s wall with the free kick.
Town continued to play well and have the better of the possession over the visitors. A corner in the 62nd minute fell to Nsiala, who headed the ball over the line but the referee blew for a foul on Walsall’s goalkeeper, denying Shrews the two goal advantage.
Oztumer had a chance shortly after, as his team broke on the counter attack but The Sadlers midfielder blazed the ball into the back of the stand.
Town had another positive spell in the 67th minute with some one touch passing around the Walsall defenders. The ball made its way to Nolan just inside the box but the midfielder miss timed the shot and couldn’t make a solid connection with the ball.
Almost ten minutes went by until another chance arrived. Ben Godfrey got on the end of a poor clearance but couldn’t keep the half volley shot down and put the ball over the bar.
In the 83rd minute, Kory Roberts hit the corner of the woodwork from a Sadlers corner. Missing out on goal by a matter of inches.
As the game was drawing to a close, with neither team having clear-cut chances, The Shrews doubled the lead in the 89th minute. Alex Rodman’s perfectly timed driven cross into the box was prodded home by captain Abu Ogogo from three yards.