Shrewsbury Town stun promotion chasing Peterborough United as a Harry Chapman brace seals all three points.
The Blackburn loanee had not scored a league goal since September 2017. But just like London buses, when one arrives so does another and that proved to be the case for Harry Chapman. The midfielder put Town ahead in the 51st minute and confirmed victory with four minutes remaining.
Aaron Wilbraham was in charge once more, with Steve Cotterill’s return no closer as the Town boss continues to recover from COVID-19. There were two changes from the side that lost 1-0 against Sunderland last weekend. Matthew Pennington sustained a shoulder injury in training and was replaced by debutant Nathanael Ogbeta. Dan Udoh came in for Leon Clarke who dropped out of the squad altogether.
The visitors started the game the brighter of the two sides. Jack Taylor’s exquisite pass was aimed toward Sikri Dembele who had ghosted in behind. Matija Sarkic was alive to the danger and he rushed off his line to smother the ball.
At the other end, Peterborough relinquished possession in the middle of the park. Harry Chapman moved through the gears and his deflected effort struck the woodwork – an early sign of things to come. Joe Ward struck a free-kick wayward as the contest quietened down. Josh Vela blasted a long-range shot wide of Pym’s goal, as Town looked to step up their attacking play.
Last ditch Posh defending prevented Shrewsbury from taking a first half lead. The ball fell invitingly for Donald Love whose powerful effort was heroically blocked by former Portsmouth defender Dan Butler.
Town started the second period on the front foot. Dan Udoh worked Pym, but the goalkeeper comfortably gathered. However, the home sides next clear opportunity led to the opening goal. Sammie Szmodics lost control on the edge of the box and Harry Chapman picked up the baton. The former Middlesbrough man left fly and Pym had no chance of keeping it out.
Peterborough’s response to going behind was a Clarke-Harris header that cleared the crossbar. Nathanael Ogbeta was featuring in a senior league game for the first time in his career – the new arrival from Manchester City, almost marked it with a debut goal. His drifting cross had Pym scrambling, although the keeper did manage to tip over.
The visitors won a succession of corners – the closest they came to netting an equaliser was when ex Manchester United man Ethan Hamilton diverted a header off target.
A series of fouls disrupted the flow of the contest as Town were happy to sit back and allow Peterborough to dominate possession. Ollie Norburn needed a little more luck as his volley deflected wide.
Darren Ferguson’s side were probing, but it was Town who delivered the final blow. Harry Chapman seized on a loose ball and turned his marker prior to lashing a strike beyond the helpless Pym.
Victory puts Shrewsbury five points clear of the relegation places and in 17th place – whilst Peterborough drop to 4th. Town welcome Crewe on Tuesday night, whilst Peterborough visit Tranmere in the Quarter Final of the EFL Trophy.
Team Line Ups
31. Sarkic, 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 17. Love (75), 8. Norburn, 32. Chapman (88), 10. Vela, 14. Ogbeta, 7. Whalley, 23. Udoh (90)
Subs: 1. Burgoyne, 3. Golbourne, 4. Edwards (88), 6. Goss, 9. Pyke (90), 12. Sears (75), 22. Daniels
Subs Not Used: 1. Burgoyne, 3. Golbourne, 6. Goss, 22. Daniels
1. Pym, 24. Mason (66), 4. Thompson, 5. Beevers, 23. Ward, 8. Taylor (43), 22. Hamilton, 3. Butler (56), 15. Szmodics, 10. Dembele (66), 9. Clarke-Harris (66)
Subs: 7. Eisa (66), 12. Brown (43), 13. Gyollai, 16. Burrows, 17. Jade-Jones (66), 18. Blake-Tracy (56), 19. Kanu (66)
Subs Not Used: 13. Gyollai, 16. Burrows
Other League One Results
AFC Wimbledon 0 – 2 MK Dons
Bristol Rovers 1 – 2 Rochdale
Crewe 1 – 1 Ipswich
Hull 1 – 0 Swindon
Lincoln 0 – 1 Doncaster
Oxford 1 – 0 Fleetwood
Plymouth 2 – 2 Accrington
Sunderland 2 – 2 Gillingham