Shrewsbury Town defy the odds once more as the visitor’s stun Lincoln City to take all three points.
The Steve Cotterill revolution is slowly gaining momentum. Even the most ardent Shrewsbury fan would have not predicted taking maximum points from the teams that occupy the top two spots in League One.
But that’s exactly what Town has done – following up their impressive victory at home with a narrow success against the Imps thanks to Shaun Whalley’s 38th minute goal. The defence, heavily criticised for shipping goals under Sam Ricketts, has become miserly with the second shutout in as many games.
Steve Cotterill elected to name the same eleven that won in Humberside at the weekend. The bench also remained unchanged.
Shrewsbury began the game looking full of confidence. Charlie Daniels’ corner was punched by keeper Alex Palmer with former Swansea City defender Joe Walsh eventually managing to scramble clear. Town were retaining the ball superbly and limiting Lincoln’s attacking threat.
Michael Appleton’s side may have come into this one with confidence at a low point following Saturday’s 4-0 home loss to Sunderland. But Lincoln were endeavouring to right their recent wrong. A quickly taken corner was drilled into the box and the delivery could have ended up anywhere, but fortunately for Town it ricocheted off James Jones and went behind for a goal kick.
Lincoln were enjoying a decent spell in the contest. Remy Howarth’s barnstorming run culminated in Tom Hopper receiving possession. The striker produced a whipped delivery which Shrewsbury were able to clear.
A few strong challenges caught the attention of the referee and at one point three players were in need of treatment.
When play resumed, the visitors took the lead. Dutchman Lewis Montsma relinquished possession and Shaun Whalley pounced – the winger calmly slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper Alex Palmer to notch his 31st Shrewsbury Town goal.
Lewis Montsma almost made amends for his error as the half drew to a close. He didn’t know much about it as the ball struck him from the corner, but Montenegrin Matija Sarkic produced an instinctive save from close range.
The second half began with Town sitting deep and looking for the counter-attack. Lincoln were reduced to half chances – Johnson blazed well over. The home side had penalty appeals turned down when Hopper and Sarkic tangled; the referee rightly rejected the calls.
Shrewsbury’s resilient performance deserved some fortune to go their way and they got it just before the hour mark. Eyoma’s cross was cleared only as far as Remy Howarth and the midfielder cracked the woodwork with a fine effort.
The Imps continued to pile on the pressure. A free-flowing move culminated in Brennan Johnson striking the side netting from an acute angle. However, despite Lincoln dominance Shrewsbury still posed a threat. Shaun Whalley was inches away from doubling his and Shrewsbury’s lead, but his effort flew narrowly wide.
Lincoln continued to throw men forward, but the visitors’ defence was extremely impressive, and they eventually managed to get over the line.
Town will look for their third win on the trot when they host Sunderland on Saturday – Lincoln go to Northampton.
Team Line Ups
1. Palmer, 22. Eyoma (78), 4. Montsma, 16. Walsh, 7. Edun, 8. Jones, 17. Howarth, 10. Grant, 11. Scully, 9. Hopper, 20. Johnson
Subs: 3.Melbourne, 24. Gotts, 25. Elbouzedi, 26. Anderson (78), 30. Roughan, 31. Long
Subs Not Used: 3.Melbourne, 24. Gotts, 25. Elbouzedi, 30. Roughan, 31. Long
31. Sarkic, 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 14. Millar, 8. Norburn, 6. Goss (75), 10. Vela, 15. C. Daniels, 7. Whalley (86), 23. Udoh (80)
Subs: 1. Burgoyne, 3. Golbourne, 4. Edwards (75), 20. Tracey, 22. J. Daniels (80), 27. Pugh, 35. Cummings (86)
Subs Not Used: 1. Burgoyne, 3. Golbourne, 20. Tracey, 27. Pugh
Other League One Results
Blackpool 3 – 2 Hull
Charlton P – P Bristol Rovers (COVID-19 concerns)
Crewe 2 – 1 Plymouth
Doncaster 2 – 1 Swindon
Gillingham 0 – 2 Accrington
Ipswich 2 – 1 Burton
MK Dons 1 – 1 Peterborough
Oxford 4 – 0 Northampton
Portsmouth 0 – 0 Fleetwood
Sunderland 1 – 1 AFC Wimbledon
Wigan 0 – 5 Rochdale