Bobby bags two and causes riot

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alex Crook

SHREWS­BURY boss Micky Mel­lon was forced to de­fend two-goal hero Bobby Grant for al­most spark­ing a riot with his cel­e­bra­tions.

Mid­fielder Grant scored two stunning left-foot strikes to keep the Shrews’ pro­mo­tion push on course and pun­ish piti­ful Pom­pey.

But the Black­pool loa­nee caused an an­gry scene by rac­ing to salute his sec­ond goal in front of the home sup­port­ers, earn­ing a tick­ing off from ref­eree Lee Collins.

Mel­lon said: “I do not know what the fuss was about. This is the big­gest game we have had this sea­son and our play­ers were pumped up.

“He maybe got him­self car­ried away, but it is foot­ball. It is an emo­tional game. He has scored a goal in a very big game and he is de­lighted to do that.

“He pointed to the name on the back of his shirt be­cause he wanted to let the fan­tas­tic Portsmouth fans know who he was.

“They were two ter­rific goals. The first goal we cut Portsmouth open at a good time.

“The sec­ond one he struck it very well. It might have taken a bit of a de­flec­tion but the keeper was never sav­ing it.”

Shrews­bury dom­i­nated the first half with Jer­maine Gran­di­son’s 19thminute shot de­flected wide by Cole Kpekawa af­ter Pom­pey failed to deal

with a Liam Lawrence cor­ner.

Four min­utes later Cameron Gayle saw his shot blocked by goal­keeper Paul Jones and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro drilled the fol­low up wide.

Grant opened the scor­ing in the 25th minute with a neat left-foot fin­ish from the edge of the penalty area af­ter play­ing a one-two with Lawrence.

James Collins came close to dou­bling the vis­i­tors’ lead five min­utes be­fore half-time when his shot was beaten away by Jones.

Only a su­perb last-ditch tackle from on-loan QPR de­fender Kpekawa de­nied the ex­cel­lent Cameron Gayle a tap-in in the fi­nal ac­tion of the half.

Pom­pey im­proved in the sec­ond pe­riod and Shrews’ goal­keeper Jayson Leutwiler saved smartly from Jed Wal­lace nine min­utes af­ter the break.

Grant com­pleted his bril­liant dou­ble in the 66th minute, fir­ing a fierce 20yard shot across Jones and into the far cor­ner.

Jones pro­duced a stunning save to keep out Collins’ an­gled drive 11 min­utes from time as the hosts were well beaten.

The win cuts Bur­ton’s lead at the top to just two points but Mel­lon re­mains grounded, say­ing: “I won’t be get­ting car­ried away. It is an­other fan­tas­tic win.We won’t get too high or too low.

“We know there is work to be done. We have to keep push­ing and get­ting per­for­mances as in­di­vid­u­als and as a group.

“We will con­tinue to try and en­joy this ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing un­der th­ese con­di­tions with the stakes so high.We work re­ally hard and we stick to­gether.”

Pom­pey have now won only one of their last seven games and a sec­tion of the home crowd rounded on manager Andy Aw­ford at the full-time whis­tle.

Aw­ford, whose side were pre­sea­son pro­mo­tion favourites, said: “Shrews­bury were bet­ter than us and de­served their victory. I think they will go on and get pro­moted.

“We were not good enough in the first half and huffed and puffed in the sec­ond.

“Shrews­bury are as good a team as I have seen this year. They are a good out­fit.

“We have got a big pe­riod com­ing up, two games in four days and we have to do bet­ter. We can­not let the sea­son ebb away.

“We go to Carlisle on Fri­day and will take a big fol­low­ing of fans.

“The ex­pec­ta­tion level of our sup­port­ers is al­ways go­ing to be there. We have no di­vine right to win ev­ery game but at home we ex­pect to be bet­ter.”

BOBBY’S BALL: Shrews­bury’s Bobby Grant cel­e­brates, top, af­ter scor­ing his sec­ond goal

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

TUS­SLE: Portsmouth’s Wes Fog­den and Shrews­bury’s Mickey Demetriou in ac­tion

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