JORDAN RETURNS TO HAUNT TYKES
MICKY Mellon was left singing the praises of Jordan Clark after the former Barnsley man scored in stoppage time at Oakwell to give Shrewsbury their first win back in League One.
Clark joined Shrewsbury in the summer of 2014 after being released by his boyhood club, and the Barnsleyborn attacker made them regret their decision with his last-gasp winner.
“You always believe in football that you’re going to get your roll of the dice,” Mellon said, reflecting on the Shrews’ change in fortune after last week’s stoppage-time defeat at home to Burton.
“We’re absolutely delighted to come to a really tough place and pick up all three points.
“I thought Jordan Clark was absolutely fantastic, for the whole 90 minutes. But we know he’s capable of that, so we’re very pleased for him.
“I don’t know if relief is the right word to describe my emotions but it was important that we got the result, and that we carried on the good work that we believe we’ve shown.”
The Shrews had taken a sixth-minute lead when a goalmouth scramble ensued following a Liam Lawrence corner. The delivery ricocheted off Barnsley’s Marc Roberts, and when Adam Davies failed to connect cleanly with his attempted clearance, the ball crept over the line.
But the home side were undeterred, with Conor Hourihane repeatedly going close from distance and Marley Watkins drawing a superb fingertip save from Jayson Leutwiler after 18 minutes.
Watkins was presented with another chance in the 33rd minute, but elected to square the ball when he should have gone for goal.
But he made up for his wastefulness five minutes later, when he played the ball into the feet of Sam Winnall, who spun away from Jermaine Grandison to smash a stunning 20-yard equaliser past Leutwiler.
The hosts saw claims for a penalty rejected by referee Stuart Attwell when Daniel Crowley went down in the box nine minutes into the half.
Substitute Kadeem Harris threatened Shrewsbury with his direct dribbling as the home side pushed for a late winner, seeing two shots blocked, and going just wide with a third.
Another substitute, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, was presented with two chances to win the game in quick succession for the Shrews ten minutes from time, first firing wide when the ball came to him at a tight angle, then heading straight at Adam Davies from point-blank range.
But just as the game look to be petering out into a draw, Clark came to life. The Shrews attacker had showed great feet in the box before firing just wide two minutes into stoppage time.
But this time he would not be denied, driving into the box in the dying seconds to hit a deflected shot beyond Davies to snatch all three points for the visitors.
But Barnsley boss Lee Johnson believes the outcome of the game turned on ref Attwell’s failure to award a penalty when Crowley went down early in the second half.
He said: “I didn’t think we played that badly. I thought we were good in patches.
“The one criticism I’ve got of my team is that I thought we resorted to going too long in the last 15 or 20 minutes.
“We lost that patience and started trying to go forward too early.We were unlucky, we should have had an absolute stonewall penalty.
“I don’t know why the referee hasn’t given it, but he was in a very good position, and he should have seen it. If we score that, then the game changes.”
COMEBACK: Jordan Clark returned to his boyhood club to net a last-gasp winner. Inset: He celebrates the goal
STAR MAN JORDA
N CLARK Shrews