Town earn an opening day point on the road against Kenny Jackett's Portsmouth.
Town’s first league fixture of the 2020/21 campaign came to an end with the Shrews securing a valuable point against a strong Portsmouth side.
Despite chances for both sides in a highly competitive 90 minutes, neither side were able to break the deadlock as the points were shared on the opening day of the season on the south coast.
After a heavily contested first 10 minutes, Shrewsbury Town had a golden chance to take the lead from Shaun Whalley’s corner-kick. Brad Walker jumped well in the Pompey box but unfortunately saw his headed effort bounce back of the post and cleared away from goal. Despite the near-miss, Town were on the offensive at any given chance and continued to cause the home side issues.
Jason Cummings proved to be a continual threat to Kenny Jackett’s men as the forward continually pressed and looked to force mistakes from the home side’s back four. In the 25th minute, the striker’s persistence nearly resulted in a goal for Salop but his left-footed effort from inside the box was quickly closed down and cleared from danger.
The home side came close to nicking the lead against the run of play shortly before the 30-minute mark. Lee Brown struck a powerful curling free-kick which narrowly whistled past the Salop post.
Walker’s positive performance continued after the break as the midfielder picked up from straight where he left off. Town’s number 16 displayed a strong passing range as he looked to unlock the Pompey back four. Effort was nearly rewarded as Walker almost gave Salop the lead shortly before the 50th-minute mark but his effort from a tight angle flashed across the box.
Matija Sarkic was made to work with 65 minutes on the clock. Jack Whatmough struck a powerful half-volley towards the Salop net but Town’s shot-stopper continued his trend of calmly claiming the ball for his team and danger was averted.
Town came agonisingly close to securing all three points late on at Fratton Park as Rekeil Pyke forced a strong save from Craig MacGillivray with four minutes left on the clock. The forward latched onto a bouncing ball inside the box but was unable to poke home the winner as Town earned a point on the road.
Pompey: Craig MacGillivray, Callum Johnson, Jack Whatmough, Sean Raggett, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor, Bryn Morris (Ben Close, 80), Marcus Harness (Ryan Williams, 69), Gareth Evans (Andy Cannon, 55), Ronan Curtis, John Marquis.
Subs: Duncan Turnbull, Cameron Pring, James Bolton, Ryan Williams, Ben Close, Andy Cannon, Ellis Harrison.
Town: Matija Sarkic, Ro-Shaun Williams (Marlon Fossey, 72), Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Aaron Pierre, Scott Golbourne, Brad Walker, Josh Vela (Ollie Norburn, 78), Scott High, Jason Cummings (Ryan Barnett, 84), Shaun Whalley, Rekeil Pyke.
Subs: Harry Burgoyne, Donald Love, Marlon Fossey, Ollie Norburn, Josh Daniels, Daniel Udoh, Ryan Barnett.
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Assistants: Mike Desborough & Michael Chard
Fourth Official: Paul Yates
Jason Cummings was shown an early yellow card for a late challenge on Pompey number 26 Gareth Evans.
Aaron Pierre was the next player in the books as the defender fouled John Marquis who was closing in on the Town net.
A third booking came for Town in the 34th minute as Shaun Whalley was deemed to have fouled Ronan Curtis.
Former Town player Bryn Morris was next to be carded for a foul 35-yards out from the Portsmouth net.
A fifth booking came with just over 15 minutes left on the clock for Josh Vela who made a late challenge in the middle of the park.