SHREWS CAN’T BREAK HABIT
SHREWSBURY have never got into the habit of winning at the Abbey, but boss Mickey Mellon felt his side have paid enough penance.
The Shrews have not triumphed at the Abbey Stadium since October 1974 and extended their streak of winless encounters on the U’s home turf to 13 as they spurned numerous chances.
Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro missed two excellent opportunities before the break, with the Shrews also striking the bar twice in four minutes in the second period, through Nat Knight-Percival and Bobby Grant.
They had to replace goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler with Mark Halstead at the interval.
Leutwiler had already required treatment on 20 minutes, yet neither stopper was regularly troubled by Cambridge.
Despite seeing his side miss the chance to go second in the table, Mellon is confident the result will mark an end to his side’s mixed fortunes on the road this season.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Cambridge and a lot of respect for Richard Money,” he said.
“I’ve got no doubt that Richard is honest enough to know that his team got off the hook here.
“We totally dominated for most of the game and gave a really good away performance with lots of control.
“It’s a performance we were delighted with, so I feel we should have come out on top.
“We had some great chances but you’ve got to take those opportunities.
“We are honest enough to know that you’ve got to do the hardest thing in football and put the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t take those great opportunities.
“It’s pleasing that we are creating those chances away from home.
“It’s a really difficult place to come and get a result, but probably from the first minute to minute 94 we were the better side.”
Shrewsbury started brightly as Liam Lawrence lashed a volley wide of the left post after being set-up by Grant, before AkpaAkpro shot over and wide respectively when twice well placed as half-time approached.
Cambridge’s brightest spell also came before the break when Kwesi Appiah’s low ball across the box looked like it was going to be turned in by Ryan Bird.
However, Knight-Percival got in an impressive block. And, although Cambridge were indebted to goalkeeper Chris Dunn for a 91st-minute save on Grant, boss Money was heartened by his side’s resolve.
It was embodied by the return of captain Ian Miller from an injury sustained in last season’s play-off victory over Gateshead.
“We saw it through and some days you’ve got to walk off the pitch and say that was a really hard-earned point,” said Money. “This game was one of those.
“It was great to get the opportunity to put last year’s back four together and see what Ian could do.
“He can be pleased with his first game back, that’s for sure.”