Town narrowly lose out 1-0 to Rochdale.
Dale: Robert Sanchez, Rhys Norrington Davies, Eoghan O’Connell, Stephan Dooley (Matt Done, 56), Jimmy Keohane, Ollie Rathbone, Paul McShane, Aaron Wilbraham (Tyler Smith, 67), Jimmy Ryan, Aaron Morley (Ryan McLaughlin, 76), Ian Henderson.
Subs: Ryan McLaughlin, Jim McNulty, MJ Williams, Tyler Smith, Jay Lynch, Matt Done, Fabio Tavares.
Town: Max O’Leary, Scott Golbourne, David Edwards, Ro-Shaun Williams, Omar Beckles, Callum Lang (Shaun Whalley, 71), Donald Love, Conor McAleny (Sean Goss, 82), Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Josh Laurent, Jason Cummings (Dan Udoh, 76).
Subs: Joe Murphy, Aaron Pierre, Shaun Whalley, Brad Walker, Sean Goss, Daniel Udoh, Sam Hart.
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Assistants: Steven Rushton and Matthew Parry
Fourth official: Peter Gooch
Attendance: 2829 (391)
An 88th minute goal settled the game as Rochdale secured all three points against Town.
Tyler Smith was the player on the score sheet for the home side as he managed to notch a goal in the 88th minute.
Debutant Conor McAleny nearly began his Town career in the perfect way by going close to taking the lead for his team. The forward intercepted a Dale pass but the home side defender recovered well to block his shot.
The home side continued to pass the ball around the pitch, as Town would have expected. However, it was Town who looked the most dangerous on the break. The Salop front three continually pressured The Dale defence and began to force mistakes.
Town had a penalty claim denied in the 25th minute. McAleny danced around a number of Dale defenders before Eoghan O’Connell barged the forward onto the floor.
Jason Cummings was the next player to go agonisingly close for Town. Josh Laurent counter-attacked well towards The Dale box and played the striker through. Cummings let off a powerful effort but Robert Sanchez was equal to the shot and parried the ball away.
The half came to an end with the score level. Town grew into the game and began to control vast amounts of play and continually troubled The Dale but didn’t find the finishing edge.
Town started the second-half brightly and were the team in the ascendancy. Donald Love was key for Town as his crosses into the box repeatedly made the home side work to keep Salop away.
Laurent came close to breaking the deadlock in the 58th minute. Love fired in a driven cross and Laurent was in the box to meet the ball. Unfortunately for Town, his contact wasn’t strong enough and the keeper cleared the ball.
The Shrews were knocking on the door and nearly broke through with just over 60 minutes on the clock. Callum Lang got on the end of a ball inside the box but his driven effort was well denied by the keeper.
With less than five minutes on the clock, the home side managed to nick a goal against the run of play. After a goalmouth scramble, Tyler Smith managed to stab home from close range to find the opening goal in the 88th minute.
The game came to an end with the home side securing all three points.