Shrewsbury Town and Hull City share the spoils in a contest that will not receive much airtime on the end of season DVDs.
The referee was the busiest man at the Montgomery Waters Meadow. Gavin Ward issued 7 bookings and over 35 fouls which disrupted the flow of the game.
Former Manchester City youngster Nathanael Ogbeta wheeled away in celebration seven minutes after the interval. However, his free-kick struck Matt Ingram prior to crossing the line. A familiar face equalised for the visitors as Greg Docherty’s sumptuous 62nd minute strike evened the scores.
There were four changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Charlton Athletic last time out. Matija Sarkic was reinstated in goal at the expense of Harry Burgoyne. Sean Goss was a surprising omission following his man of the match display against the Addicks, whilst Harry Chapman and Curtis Main dropped to the bench. Ollie Norburn returned from a pelvic injury and there were also starts for Shaun Whalley and Dan Udoh.
Tributes were paid to the late Steve Jagielka with a minute’s silence prior to kick-off. The ex-midfielder passed away tragically at the age of just 43 this week.
Prior to this afternoon, The Tigers had netted 40 away goals. Perhaps Shrewsbury expected an onslaught, but it was the complete opposite in an insipid 45 minutes of football. Town did start brightly – popping the ball around and looking to set Shaun Whalley and Josh Daniels free down the channels. They did have early appeals for a penalty turned down. It looked as if Ethan Ebanks-Landell was hauled to the ground by Wilks as he tried to connect to a free-kick. The referee turned down the calls for a spot-kick.
A series of fouls prevented any kind of rhythm and it took 26 minutes for the first shot on target to be registered. Whalley’s strike was blocked by Alfie Jones and the ball found Josh Vela on the angle. The ex-Bolton midfielder saw his shot comfortably gathered by former QPR stopper Matt Ingram.
Brad Walker could be set for another period in the treatment room. He had only recently come back from a three month lay-off with an ankle injury, but was withdrawn on the half hour mark. To add salt to the wound, the referee booked Walker for hobbling off at a slow pace.
The visitors offered absolutely nothing of note going forward. The city has two prominent rugby clubs and perhaps Wilks was auditioning for a new job when his shot from close range ballooned over the crossbar. In the last action of a poor first half, Shaun Whalley drifted beyond Gavin Whyte and Matt Ingram was equal to the final attempt.
Thankfully the second period was a better watch and Town were ahead with the first meaningful opportunity. Dan Udoh’s persistence resulted in a free-kick roughly 20 yards from goal. Nathanael Ogbeta took the responsibility and his well-connected effort crashed off the crossbar prior to striking Ingram and finding the back of the net.
The goal sparked a previously uninspiring Hull into life; and they equalised 10 minutes later. Former Sunderland midfielder George Honeyman drove forward and switched the play to Josh Magennis. The Northern Ireland international laid it off for Greg Docherty who gave Sarkic no chance with a powerful shot from outside the area.
The home side reacted well to conceding. Ollie Norburn and Shaun Whalley linked up superbly with the latter’s low drive pushed behind by Matt Ingram. At the other end, an intricately worked free-kick eventually saw George Honeyman whip a cross toward the back post for Alfie Jones. The central defender’s header found the roof of the net.
Nathanael Ogbeta was centre stage toward the end of the match. He blazed over from the edge of the area, and his looping cross almost deceived Ingram but the keeper scrambled back to tip over. The left-back was also booked for allegedly diving after he hit the deck following a marauding run.
The officials indicated five minutes of stoppage time, but in reality, you could sense neither side were going to locate the winner. However, it is a good point for Town against the league leaders. They travel to Burton on Tuesday night, whilst Hull are at home to Gillingham next Saturday.
Team Line Ups
31. Sarkic, 29. Pennington, 5. Williams, 16. Walker (31), 24. Ebanks-Landell, 14. Ogbeta, 10. Vela, 8. Norburn (80), 22. Daniels, 7. Whalley (80), 23. Udoh (73)
Subs: 1. Burgoyne, 4. Edwards (80), 6. Goss, 9. Pyke, 20. Main (73), 28. Davis (31), 32. Chapman (80)
Subs Not Used: 1. Burgoyne, 6. Goss, 9. Pyke
13. Ingram, 2. Coyle, 5. Burke, 24. Greaves, 3. Elder, 33. Docherty, 15. Jones, 23. Whyte (45), 10. Honeyman, 19. Lewis-Potter (75), 7. Wilks (90)
Subs: 1. Long, 9. Eaves (90), 11. Scott, 12. Emmanuel, 18. Slater, 20. Crowley (75), 27. Magennis (45)
Subs Not Used: 1. Long, 11. Scott, 12. Emmanuel, 18. Slater
Other League One Results
Accrington 3 – 1 Wigan
AFC Wimbledon 2 – 2 Charlton
Burton 1 – 2 MK Dons
Fleetwood 0 – 2 Swindon
Gillingham 2 – 2 Doncaster
Northampton 0 – 1 Crewe
Oxford 0 – 2 Blackpool
Portsmouth 2 – 1 Ipswich
Plymouth 2 – 0 Bristol Rovers
Rochdale 3 – 3 Peterborough
Sunderland 1 – 1 Hull