The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Owens

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

COME­BACK: Jor­dan Clark re­turned to his boy­hood club to net a last-gasp win­ner. Inset: He cel­e­brates the goal


N CLARK Shrews


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