SHREWS CAN’T BREAK HABIT

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Blair Fer­gu­son

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.”

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