Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 0 – 0 Rochdale

Neither side were able to break the deadlock as Shrewsbury Town and Rochdale played out a goalless draw.

A clean sheet was much needed after Shrewsbury Town’s horror show in midweek. But the slight worry will be the lack of goals with just one scored from four matches.

But Town fans were given a boost yesterday afternoon with the signings of Sean Goss and Louis Thompson. Goss, a former Manchester United product signs on a free transfer, whilst Thompson joins on loan from Premier League Norwich City.

Goss was handed an immediate debut in one of many changes from the side that lost 4-0 against Rotherham United. Max O’Leary, Donald Love, David Edwards, and Ryan Giles, were amongst those that came back into the team.

Town started positively with Shaun Whalley’s bundle of energy winning an early corner. Wolves loanne Ryan Giles floated the set-piece toward Aaron Pierre, but the Grenada internationals header flew comfortably wide of Robert Sanchez’s goal.

At the other end midfielder Oliver Rathbone engineered himself some room and let fly from 25 yards. His strike cleared the crossbar.

Brighton loanee Robert Sanchez is highly rated at the Amex stadium, but he was almost caught out by Shaun Whalley who charged down. Thankfully for the Spaniard his mistake went unpunished.

Rochdale are synonymous with relegation scraps, but under Brian Barry-Murphy the Greater Manchester side are demonstrating more ambition. The 47-year-old has won 57% of his games in charge since taking over from club legend Keith Hill.

The visitors are currently unbeaten this season, and they were on the front foot in this one, but Matt Done angled his effort wide.

A heart in mouths moment came when former Celtic defender Eoghan O’Connell was unmarked inside the area, but he diverted his header wide of the goal. Prior to that Oliver Rathbone struck over the crossbar, as Rochdale grew in confidence.

Steve Morison was left frustrated at the back stick, when Shaun Whalley and Ryan Giles led a counterattack. A switch to Morison would have surely made it 1-0, but he wasn’t picked out and the chance was gone.

Shaun Whalley and Ryan Giles were the outlets for Town, and whilst the duo showed excellent ball retention, the deliveries were slightly off the requirements.

Luke McCormick, on loan from Chelsea, is on the hunt for his first professional goal. His latest attempt didn’t trouble Robert Sanchez.

The home side were much better toward the end of the first period– Robert Sanchez was called into action when Steve Morison volleyed goalward. The stopper just about did enough to palm to safety.

Spectacular bicycle kicks are usually associated with esteemed forward players rather than central defenders. However, Aaron Pierre was out to prove that point wrong, when his acrobatic effort narrowly missed the target.

Shrewsbury were penning Rochdale in, and took to the second half in the same way that they finished the first. Sean Goss’ expert delivery was flicked on by Steve Morison and agonisingly missed the attention of Ebanks-Landell who was lurking inside the area.

Sam Ricketts sent on Louis Thompson for his Town debut, and he won the adulation of his new fans early on, with excellent tracking back and a perfectly timed challenge.

Rochdale’s first attacking foray in the second half saw Callum Camps power a free kick that had O’Leary called into action. Oliver Rathbone fired over once more as Rochdale were finding their feet again. Stephen Dooley’s low drive was tipped around the post by Max O’Leary.

Shrewsbury were presented with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock. Fejiri Okenabirhie had clear sight of goal from close range, but the former Dagenham striker skewed wide.

Rochdale thought they had won the match as it drew to a close. Callum Camps diverted home from a corner, but the linesman muted premature celebrations, as the flag was raised for an offside.

A relatively entertaining 0-0 draw was just about enough to make amends for midweek. Shrewsbury travel to Accrington on Tuesday night, whilst Rochdale welcome Sunderland.

Attendance: 5,641 (425 away fans)

Team Line-Ups

Shrewsbury Town: (3-4-1-2)

25. O’Leary, 6. Beckles, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 17. Love, 22. Goss (91), 4. Edwards, 11. Giles, 18. McCormick (57), 7. Whalley, 20. Morison (62)

Subs: 1. Murphy, 3. Golbourne, 10. Okenabirhie (62), 15. Walker (91), 19. Barnett, 21. Thompson (57), 26. Rowland

Subs Not Used: 1. Murphy, 3. Golbourne, 19. Barnett, 26. Rowland

Rochdale: (4-5-1)

25. Sanchez, 13. Keohane, 6. O’Connell, 4. McNulty, 3. Norrington-Davies, 16. Done (57), 14. Rathbone, 8. Williams, 10. Camps, 7. Dooley (72), 40. Henderson

Subs: 5. Delaney, 9. Andrew (72), 21. Magloire, 28. Morley (57), 31. Wade, 37. Tavares, 41. Matheson

Subs Not Used: 5. Delaney, 21. Magloire, 31. Wade, 41. Matheson

Other League One Results

AFC Wimbledon 1 – 1 Accrington
Blackpool 2 – 1 Oxford
Burton 0 – 1 Rotherham
Coventry 2 – 0 Bristol Rovers
Doncaster 3 – 2 Fleetwood
Lincoln 4 – 0 Southend
Peterborough 2 – 2 Ipswich
Sunderland 2 – 1 Portsmouth
Tranmere 5 – 0 Bolton
Wycombe 3 – 2 MK Dons

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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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