Shrewsbury Town earn all three points with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland AFC.
Both sides started the game looking to instantly put the opposition on the back foot, Sunderland having a positive spell of ball retention but Town managing to win the ball back comfortably, attempting to warm their toes in the bitterly cold conditions.
The first effort on either side’s goal came in the 20th minute when Josh Vela pulled the trigger from just outside the box, with Town’s recent form from long-range shooting, it was certainly worth the effort.
Despite the early Town pressure, it was the away side who broke the deadlock in the 21st minute. Aiden O’Brien managed to break the Town offside trap and slot the ball past Sarkic in the Town net.
Town created some space for a cross on the right wing and it was Donald Love who whipped a ball into the danger area and it was met by Curtis Main, who couldn’t generate enough power with his header and Sunderland keeper Remi Matthews picked up comfortably.
Town then tested Matthews again on the 39th minute of the game, Main turned and drove a powerful left-footed shot towards the Sunderland goal, luckily for the away side, there was no deflection and Matthews took safely into his midriff.
The game was asking for someone to take control of the game and with a weaving run from Harry Chapman, he almost created the equaliser. Beating three players on his way into the Sunderland area, but a 6-yard box scramble denied any clean contact from the arriving Main.
Donald Love had a chance represented to him to get the equaliser for Town as the ball sat back to him just outside the area but his shot had no clean execution and sliced wide of the Sunderland goal.
The first chance of the second half was taken by Ethan Ebanks-Landell when the ball was floated in by Love and the Sunderland keeper found himself in no man’s land, Main climbed high and won the headed flick which found Ebanks-Landell who was there to bundle the ball into the net and get Town back on terms.
Town then had a chance to take the lead just moments later as the ball was hoisted towards the back post and Chapman watched it all the way to volley frustratingly into the legs of Matthews in the Sunderland goal.
Aiden McGeady stung the gloves of Matija Sarkic on the 55th minute with a looping effort from range. The following corner resulted in another chance for the away side but again, Sarkic stood tall and blocked well.
Town took the lead through Harry Chapman on the 68th minute when Shaun Whalley whipped in a deep cross and like Chapman did earlier when his volley was denied, he watched the ball perfectly onto his foot and expertly guided the ball into the roof of the net and Matthews couldn’t do anything. Chapman has consistently displayed expert attacking content and pinpoint positioning and just cannot stop scoring.
Town then started after the Sunderland kick in electric fashion, again drawing a deep foul from Sunderland and Town were able to whip the ball into the area in a dangerous fashion. The ball was bundled into the net but to the home side’s frustration, the linesman on the far side had raised his flag for a foul on Matthews, ruling out a Town third.
An even final 15 minutes as the game presented one final chance to the visitors who couldn’t grab a late equaliser due to a flying Sarkic to keep out McGeady’s free kick. Town held strong and firm in defence to ensure they picked up back to back league wins.
Salop: Matija Sarkic, Donald Love, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ro-Shaun Williams, Nathanael Ogbeta, Josh Vela, Ollie Norburn, Sean Goss (David Edwards, 85), Shaun Whalley, Curtis Main (Dan Udoh, 88), Harry Chapman (Josh Daniels, 74).
Subs: Harry Burgoyne, Scott Golbourne, David Edwards, David Davis, Josh Daniels, Rekeil Pyke, Dan Udoh.
Referee: Will Finnie
Assistants: Christopher Husband and John Flynn
Fourth Official: Peter Wright
Josh Vela was shown a yellow card for a foul in the dying moments of the fixture.