JACKSON HAS FAITH IN HERO EAVES
Shrews leave it late to equalise
TOM Eaves left it late to deny Brentford but caretaker Shrewsbury boss Mike Jackson admits it was a timely reminder of his talents.
Eaves, who extended his loan from Bolton until the end of the season last month, has endured a difficult second spell with the Shrews.
Last season the 22-year-old hit six goals in ten games for the club – this term he has been the subject of some jeers after netting just once in ten.
But those jeers turned to relieffilled cheers at Greenhous Meadow as Eaves lashed into the top left corner in injury time to earn an unlikely point against League One leaders Brentford.
And Jackson – who has been handed extended control of the team for the games at Sheffield United, at home to Port Vale and against Notts County at Meadow Lane – claims it was almost worth the wait.
“It’s about time,” said Jackson. “I’m not being funny to him (Eaves), but credit to him, he needed that because he’s a confidence player.
“He showed glimpses of that last week, it wasn’t easy playing against them (Brentford) and he gets a bit of stick sometimes but I’m made up for the lad.
“It’s pleasing for the group, the staff and the players as well. It’s set us up on the bounce after our home form.
“It wasn’t a great day conditionswise with strong wind, the pitch was heavy, but we’re pleased with the point, I think we deserved that.
“I think their keeper has made some good saves, we got crosses in the box. But it’s just a start, I think we can play better than that.
“With the ball we were a bit sloppy, but credit to the lads they kept going and it came off in the end.”
It was a tense opening quarter but Clayton Donaldson threaded the ball through to Marcello Trotta just before the half-hour mark and he should have done better than to fire over from close range.
The Italian was then found again in the box after good work by George Saville but saw his low effort from a tight angle drift across Chris Weale and inches beyond the right post.
Brentford edged ahead on 68 minutes as Alan Judge was brought down in the box by Ryan Woods – Weale managed to push Trotta’s penalty onto the post but the striker followed up to stab in the rebound for his 11th goal of the season.
The home side fought back, though, and their persistence was rewarded in stoppage time as Eaves collected the ball inside the Brentford box and lashed it into the top-left corner.
A nervy couple of minutes ensued as the Shrews had their backs to the wall but Brentford boss Mark Warburton was content with a point – and the extension of their unbeaten run which stretches all the way back to October in the league.
“I think in the first half we dominated play, I can’t think of many saves that David Button had to make, if at all,” he said. “We had some chances, maybe not the rub of the green but we get 1-0 up and we’re in good shape.
“Tony (Craig) has been outstanding again and consistent all season.
“It’s difficult to deal with when the guy (Eaves) hits it well from 25-yards and it’s in the top corner, but that’s life and we have to deal with it.
“The boys are disappointed that we dropped two points but we’re top of the table and it’s in our hands now, simple as that.
“It’s difficult to come away with these atrocious conditions, but they’ve dealt with it well and I thought they dominated second half, so that’s fine, job done.
“We saw the goalkeepers’ kicks, it’s difficult to get it out of your area. I thought from the first whistle we looked to play, but it was difficult though.
“You can play short, but you couldn’t go longer because of the wind but you have to get on with it.”
TANGLED FEET: Shrewsbury’s Dave McAllister in action with Brentford’s Clayton Donaldson
STAR MAN TOM EAVES Shrews