Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 2 – 1 Wycombe Wanderers

Shrewsbury Town seal three points in dramatic fashion as they leave it late to ease the pressure on Sam Ricketts.

When former Southampton defender Jason McCarthy put the visitors ahead in the 67th minute; the chorus of boos could be heard loud and clear.

Cries of “you’re worse than the Askey” – in reference to sacked boss John, as well as chants for Danny Coyne and Paul Hurst made for an uncomfortable afternoon.

But Omar Beckles and a stoppage time Ollie Norburn penalty, his 10th goal of the season, gave Shrewsbury an unlikely three points and perhaps saved Sam Ricketts’ job.

The former Wrexham manager made three changes from the side that lost 2-1 against Plymouth. James Bolton returned from an ankle injury, whilst Dave Edwards and former Wycombe striker Aaron Amadi-Holloway came into the eleven.

Shrewsbury had not beaten Wycombe on home soil in 25 years, but they began the game brightly. Aaron Amadi-Holloway cushioned a header into the path of Shaun Whalley, but his low effort was stopped by ex Chelsea goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay.

Then former Shrewsbury Town hardman Adam El-Abd produced a crucial intervention to prevent James Bolton nodding home.

But the pendulum soon swung in the visitors’ favour. Steve Arnold never made a first team appearance for Wycombe during the two years he was at the club, and he showed his former employers exactly what they are missing with a string of fine saves.

Firstly, Jason McCarthy’s fierce cross escaped the attentions of Town’s defence, and made its way to Paris Cowan-Hall. The former Millwall midfielder was denied by the knee of Arnold.

Town should have been behind when Ro Shaun-Williams sliced a clearance and Alex Samuel pounced. However, the striker was denied by Arnold who tipped the ball over the bar.

Wycombe were very much on the front foot. Dominic Gape’s ambitious shot was comfortably collected by Steve Arnold, whilst ex Shrew defender Joe Jacobson assisted Gape, but his header was far too tame.

Steve Arnold was the only reason why Shrewsbury were on level terms heading into the break. Luke Bolton’s teasing cross was inviting for Anthony Stewart, but the defender was thwarted by the leg of Arnold.

Shrewsbury needed a reaction following the first half, but they lost possession cheaply whilst the attackers were feeding off scraps.

The fans began to air their frustrations, and their misery was to be compounded with a blockbuster of an opening goal.

Alex Samuel was upended on the edge of the box, and Jason McCarthy bent a tremendous free-kick beyond the goalkeeper who stood absolutely no chance.

The decision to take Tyrese Campbell off the park bemused the home support, but Town reacted to going behind. Aaron Amadi-Holloway spurned a gilt-edged opportunity when he lashed a shot over the bar from inside the area.

Wycombe were playing on the counter-attack and almost doubled their lead. Former Swansea City striker Alex Samuel drove the ball narrowly past the target.

The introduction of Rangers loanee Greg Docherty appeared to galvanise the home side. His deep free-kick was met by Omar Beckles who planted a header beyond Yves Ma-Kalambay to level the scores.

And Adam El-Abd handed his old employers a gift when he tripped Shaun Whalley inside the area in stoppage time. And Ollie Norburn sent the keeper the wrong way to steal the win.

Shrewsbury can count themselves fortunate to beat Wycombe, but will undoubtedly feel they must build on the win at homes to Portsmouth next Saturday. Wycombe visit Oxford in a key relegation clash.

Attendance: 6,001 (360 away fans)

Team Line Ups:

Shrewsbury Town: (3-4-1-2)
15. Arnold, 2. Williams, 22. Waterfall (58), 13. Bolton, 7. Whalley, 29. Norburn, 4. Edwards (80), 23. Golbourne, 28. Laurent, 20. Holloway, 11. Campbell (71)

Subs: 5. Sadler, 6. Beckles (58), 8. Docherty (80), 12. Okenabirhie (71), 30. Charles-Cook, 42. Grant, 50. Payne

Subs Not Used: 5. Sadler, 30. Charles-Cook, 42. Grant, 50. Payne

Wycombe Wanderers: (4-3-3)
30. Ma-Kalambay, 26. McCarthy, 6. El-Abd, 5. Stewart, 3. Jacobson, 8. Bean, 18. Thompson (94), 4. Gape, 17. Bolton (65), 25. Samuel, 12. Cowan-Hall (89)

Subs: 1. Allsop, 2. Jombati, 10. Bloomfield (94), 15. Owens (89), 16. Harriman, 20. Akinfenwa, 22. Freeman (65)

Other League One Results:

Bristol Rovers 0 – 0 Charlton
Burton 3 – 0 Blackpool
Fleetwood 2 – 0 Plymouth
Luton 2 – 2 Gillingham
Oxford 1 – 0 Bradford
Peterborough 1 – 2 Coventry
Portsmouth 2 – 0 Scunthorpe
Southend 0 – 1 AFC Wimbledon
Sunderland 2 – 1 Walsall

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Ryan Hillback
Ryan Hillback keeps us updated on match previews and reports as well as all the big Shrewsbury Town Football Club news.

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