MELLON NOT TAKING FORM FOR GRANTED AT SHREWS
Bobby bags two and causes riot
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
TUSSLE: Portsmouth’s Wes Fogden and Shrewsbury’s Mickey Demetriou in action