Shrewsbury Town end their 2020/21 Montgomery Waters Meadow campaign with a goalless draw against Ipswich.
It was by no means a classic, but it was certainly not ‘pre-season’ esque either. Despite neither side having nothing tangible to play for, they put on a decent show with a goal the only missing feature.
Steve Cotterill made two changes from the side that lost 3-2 against Oxford. Ethan Ebanks-Landell was missing entirely, whilst Harry Chapman dropped to the bench – Donald Love and Shaun Whalley came into the eleven. Sean Goss returned to the bench following a few weeks out with a hamstring problem.
Town started brightly with the streaming sun in their eyes. Sustained pressure on the edge of the area eventually saw Nathanael Ogbeta’s attempted cross diverted behind for a corner. The delivery was met by Matthew Pennington but the Everton loanee couldn’t keep his header down.
The visitors were below par and slow in the build-up. James Norwood did have a sight of goal, but the striker’s header was off-target. At the other end, Shrewsbury had calls for a penalty turned down. Ogbeta’s free-kick was cleared only has far as Ollie Norburn. The Town captain drilled the ball into a sea of bodies but despite possibly hitting an Ipswich hand, a penalty would have been extremely harsh.
The contest soon livened up after an insipid 30 minutes. Tottenham loanee Troy Parrott tested Harry Burgoyne from distance, but the keeper parried the effort to safety. Then, nimble footwork from Armando Dobra saw the Albanian glide beyond Shaun Whalley. The youngster went for goal and Burgoyne could only push the effort into a dangerous area – thankfully, Town managed to scramble clear.
Shrewsbury had the final opportunities of an even first half. The visitors relinquished possession high up the pitch and Ollie Norburn eventually picked up the baton. The former Plymouth midfielder threaded a pass to the advancing Shaun Whalley who dug out a shot that was palmed clear by David Cornell.
Youngster Tom Bloxham saw his name in lights as he seeks his first senior goal. The striker was sent free by Donald Love and he probably took one too many touches prior to working Cornell. The ex-Swansea keeper spilled the initial attempt but recovered.
Ipswich dominated the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Firstly, Dozzell’s corner was cleared only as far as Gwion Edwards. Harry Burgoyne flapped at the former Peterborough winger’s driven shot, and James Norwood couldn’t steer home from close range. Roles were reversed when Norwood supplied Edwards – with the goal at his mercy the Welshman ballooned his strike over the crossbar.
Ipswich continued to probe. Northern Ireland international Troy Parrott let fly from distance once more and Harry Burgoyne was equal to the effort as he pushed it out of harms way. It was Town’s turn to try and break the deadlock – substitute Dave Edwards was in acres of space as he patiently awaited Whalley’s delivery. However, the latter overcooked the cross and the chance was gone.
Ipswich then conspired to miss another wonderful opportunity. The busy Gwion Edwards moved through the gears and cut the ball back for Troy Parrott. The forward should have at least tested Burgoyne but instead skied his shot.
Shrewsbury rallied toward the end of the contest as they sought a winner. Harry Chapman’s disguised reverse pass was perfectly waited for Dave Edwards. He tried to chip Cornell, but the keeper stood up to the task although the ball fell fortuitously for Edwards once more. The veteran picked out a totally unmarked Dan Udoh and with Cornell stranded, the Nigerian only had to guide his header on target. Instead, it clipped the bar on it’s way into the concourse.
James Norwood was on the hunt for his 10th goal of the campaign and he attempted to achieve that feat after receiving possession from Dobra. The striker fired well over though. Moments later, the ex-Tranmere marksman engineered some room on the edge of the box but could only skew wide.
Ipswich full-back Kane Vincent-Young sustained a shoulder injury in added time. The referee had no desire to add on the extra minutes that were spent giving treatment to the full-back, but neither bench would mind considering the nature of the game.
However, there were definitely enough positives for Cotterill and co to take. Shrewsbury’s final match of the season sees them visit Crewe for a midday kick-off on Sunday, whilst Ipswich are at home to Fleetwood.
Team Line Ups
1. Burgoyne, 17. Love (61), 29. Pennington, 2. Pierre, 16. Walker, 14. Ogbeta (72), 28. Davis, 10. Vela, 8. Norburn, 7. Whalley (76), 39. Bloxham (61)
Subs: 4. Edwards (61), 5. Williams, 6. Goss (72), 20. Main, 23. Udoh (61), 32. Chapman (76), 41. Bevan
Subs Not Used: 5. Williams, 20. Main, 41. Bevan
28. Cornell, 24. Vincent-Young (96), 6. Woolfenden, 2. McGuinness, 30. Kenlock, 23. Dozzell, 21. Downes, 7. Edwards, 40. Parrott, 36. Dobra, 10. Norwood
Subs: 1. Holy, 4. Chambers, 15. Bishop, 17. Bennetts, 22. Nsiala, 32. Hawkins (96), 33. Harrop
Subs Not Used: 1. Holy, 4. Chambers, 15. Bishop, 17. Bennetts, 22. Nsiala, 33. Harrop
Other League One Results
Blackpool 2 – 0 Doncaster
Charlton 3 – 1 Lincoln