Shrewsbury Town fall to a home league defeat for the first time in eight games as a solitary Crewe goal settles the contest.
It is also the first time that Shrewsbury have failed to register a home league goal since Bristol Rovers sealed a 1-0 win on October 20th. Owen Dale’s 27th minute goal was enough for David Artell’s side to take all three points.
Shrewsbury made one enforced change from the side that beat Peterborough 2-0 on Saturday. Donald Love was ruled out through illness – Ryan Sears was his replacement. David Davis was in the squad after completing a spell of self-isolation. Curtis Main was not included as the ex-Aberdeen man did not make registration prior to Monday nights 6pm deadline.
Harry Chapman was on fire against Posh at the weekend – netting his first competitive goal in over three years; and subsequently his first brace. The Blackburn loanee almost capped off a perfect few days with the opening goal against Crewe. He seized on Whalley’s pass and manoeuvred into the box – the final effort was a delicate chip that just dropped the wrong side of Dave Richards’ goal.
Shrewsbury’s possession game was on point, whilst they nullified Crewe’s attacking threat. The visitors did have a chance through former MK Dons forward Daniel Powell – but Matija Sarkic comfortably dealt with the danger.
At the other end, neat interchange play between Harry Chapman and Dan Udoh saw Ryan Sears receive possession out wide. The full-back’s cross was diverted over by Josh Vela, who later saw his effort stopped by Dave Richards.
Crewe began to get a foothold soon after. Oliver Finney’s deflected shot whistled wide, and moments later, Crewe nabbed the only goal of the contest. Ethan Ebanks-Landell couldn’t properly deal with Travis Johnson’s delivery and the ball fell invitingly for Owen Dale who had the simplest of tasks to guide home.
Shrewsbury responded well to going behind. Aaron Pierre has made a name for himself as a goalscoring defender, but he almost turned provider. The Grenadian’s low cross was gathered by Harry Chapman, but his strike was blocked at the vital moment.
Toward the end of the first period, Josh Vela’s marauding run culminated in a lofted cross that flew over ex-Cardiff City keeper Dave Richards – but no Town player could make a telling connection.
The hosts continued to probe in the second half. Nathanael Ogbeta picked out Shaun Whalley with ease and the long-serving Town winger’s ferocious drive narrowly missed the target. Wave after wave of Shrewsbury attack was the order of the day – Ollie Norburn was denied by a smart Richards stop.
Nathanael Ogbeta decided to go alone, and his mazy run ended with a powerful attempt that Richards tipped over. The former Manchester City defender was in the mood, but found his radar slightly askew moments later.
Dan Udoh made 20 appearances for Crewe during a two-year spell that yielded just one goal. The Nigerian almost netted against his former club but his header from a Harry Chapman corner went agonisingly wide.
The final chance of a contest which will leave the Town staff baffled by its outcome, fell to Shaun Whalley. His jinking run and fine strike had Crewe panicking – but Richards intervened, and the Railwaymen scrambled clear.
Town will hope to bounce back away to Swindon on Saturday, whilst Crewe visit Peterborough.
Team Line Ups
31. Sarkic, 12. Sears (57), 5. Williams (89), 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 14. Ogbeta, 8. Norburn, 32. Chapman, 10. Vela, 7. Whalley, 23. Udoh (77)
Subs: 1. Burgoyne, 3. Golbourne, 4. Edwards, 6. Goss, 9. Pyke (89), 22. Daniels (57), 28. Davis (77)
Subs Not Used: 1. Burgoyne, 3. Golbourne, 4. Edwards, 6. Goss
13. Richards, 23. Johnson, 16. Lancashire, 29. Beckles, 3. Pickering, 28. Murphy, 4. Wintle, 14. Finney (79), 7. Powell (77), 12. Mandron (91), 19. Dale
Subs: 1. Jaaskelainen, 8. Lowrey (79), 9. Porter (91), 10. Kirk, 21. Adebisi, 31. Walker (77), 32. Evans
Subs Not Used: 1. Jaaskelainen, 10. Kirk, 21. Adebisi, 32. Evans
Other League One Results
Accrington 6 – 1 Bristol Rovers
Blackpool 2 – 0 Northampton
Charlton 1 – 3 Portsmouth
Swindon 1 – 0 Wigan