Town earn a point on the road against Walsall
Walsall: Liam Roberts, Luke Leahy, George Dobson, Jon Guthrie, Nicky Devlin, Andy Cook, Zeli Ismail, Josh Ginnelly, Morgan Ferrier, Jack Fitzwater, Isaiah Osbourne (Liam Kinsella, 84).
Subs: Chris Dunn, Kieron Morris, Liam Kinsella, Connor Johnson, Kane Wilson, Josh Gordon, Connor Ronan.
Town: Joel Coleman, Josh Emmanuel, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Lee Angol, Alex Gilliead (Josh Laurent, 65), Aaron Amadi-Holloway (Lenell John- Lewis, 90), Luke Waterfall, Ollie Norburn, Anthony Grant.
Subs: Steve Arnold, Greg Docherty, Fejiri Okenabirhie, James Bolton, Lenell John-Lewis, Josh Laurent, Ryan Barnett.
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Assistants: Mark Russell and Darren Treleaven
Fourth official: Samuel Allison
Attendance: 4555 (806)
Shrewsbury Town earned a point on the road at the Banks’s stadium.
An end-to-end fixture looked set to create goals, but neither team could claim all three points.
Team News: John Askey makes one change to his starting line-up that faced Gillingham last week. Greg Docherty starts on the bench and is replaced in the starting 11 by Alex Gilliead.
The first 10 minutes of the game started as everyone expected -with both teams battling hard for the ball. Despite starting well, the best chance of the game fell to the home side. Zeli Ismail struck a fine ball towards goal from a free kick, but Joel Coleman was equal to it and made a great save to deny the winger.
A great counter-attacking move from Alex Gilliead nearly ended with a Town goal. The winger ran at the Saddlers back four and slipped the ball to Shaun Whalley on the edge of the box. Town’s other winger beat his man but narrowly missed the target with a curling effort.
Ollie Norburn was inches away from catching out the Walsall goalkeeper, Liam Roberts, with a long-range effort. The central-midfielder found a pocket of space on the edge of the box and let off a powerful shot, but Roberts got down well to parry the ball away.
Ismail had a golden opportunity to put the Saddlers in the lead in the 27th minute. The winger latched onto a great cross, but Ismail skied the ball from three yards.
Anthony Grant came to Town’s rescue just two minutes after Walsall’s previous chance with a goal-line clearance. Josh Ginnelly did well to beat Coleman with a powerful shot, but Grant did equally well to clear the ball of the line for Town.
The game settled down and was starting to be come a more tight affair as the half was drawing to a close. Neither team were having clear-cut chances in the backstretch.
Right on the stroke of half-time Town had a chance to take the lead. Whalley delivered in a cross from a free kick, which resulted in a Town corner. A Walsall head met Whaley’s delivery and the half-time whistle went.
Both teams went into the break having had good spells during the half, but neither team could get the ball over the line to take the lead.
The second-half started identically to the first. Town and the Saddlers were battling ferociously to retain possession in the middle of the park.
The ever-present Shaun Whalley came close to putting Town in the lead with a half volley within five minutes of the half starting. The winger struck the ball from just inside the box, but Jon Guthrie did well to block the ball.
Ginnelly was given a yellow card in the 57th minute for a late challenge on Grant just outside of the box.
A great save from Coleman kept the score level in the 65th minute. Ginnelly broke through the Shrews back four and was one-on-one with Town’s keeper. Coleman stood strong and parried the ball away.
Clear goal-scoring chances were hard to come by as the game was reaching the latter stages. Both teams were doing well to trouble each other’s back four, but neither side could muster up a shot at goal.
George Dobson came close for the Saddlers five minutes before time. The Saddlers captain let off a long-range effort that whispered just over the bar.
End to end would have described the fixture perfectly. Up the other end of the pitch Norburn almost nicked the lead for Town in the 90th minute. Whalley slipped Norburn through, but Roberts made a great save to deny the midfielder from a tight angle.
The game came to an end with the scores as they started. An end-to-end game didn’t create any chances and the points were shared.