Nathaniel leads the way for Shrews

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Phillips

SHREWS­BURY Town’s as­sis­tant man­ager Michael Jack­son heaped praise on his side’s match-win­ner Nathaniel Knight-Per­ci­val af­ter a well de­served vic­tory at Southend United.

Knight-Per­ci­val headed home the only goal of the game in the 56th minute at Roots Hall.

And the ef­fort se­cured a far hap­pier af­ter­noon for the cen­tre-back who suf­fered a cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in­jury against the Shrimpers at the start of Fe­bru­ary.

“I’m de­lighted for Natty,” said Jack­son, af­ter the de­fender’s third game back from the in­jury.

“He’s worked so hard to get back fit and he’s hit the ground run­ning.

“He’s a great pro, he was calm at the back and it wasn’t just his goal ei­ther be­cause he made a great block at the back there.

“We’re de­lighted to have him back be­cause he’s a top, top player and he showed that again.”

Shrews­bury could and prob­a­bly should have seen off the Shrimpers by more goals.

But Jack­son was still thrilled to pick up the three points.

“It was ex­cel­lent, the work-rate was there and so was the belief,” said Jack­son.

“We put ev­ery­thing into prac­tice that we asked of them.

“It’s an ex­cel­lent re­sult and we’re de­lighted with it be­cause Southend are a good side and we fully de­served to beat them.”

Shrews­bury had the bet­ter of an un­event­ful first half with Lar­nell Cole fir­ing wide from a nar­row an­gle.

But, with 56 min­utes on the clock, the visi­tors grabbed the only goal of the game when Knight-Per­ci­val rose well to head home a left wing free-kick from Liam Lawrence.

The Shrimpers al­most net­ted an im­me­di­ate equaliser when An­thony Wordsworth sent a 20 yard shot crash­ing against the top of the left post be­fore David Mooney’s fol­low up ef­fort was de­flected over the cross­bar.

How­ever, Shrews­bury piled the pres­sure on at the death and only some stun­ning saves from goal­keeper Daniel Bent­ley stopped them in­creas­ing their lead. The high­lyrated shot-stop­per twice de­nied Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro be­fore also do­ing well to keep out an ef­fort from James Collins.

And Southend boss Phil Brown was left bit­terly dis­ap­pointed by his team’s dis­play.

“It was frus­trat­ing to watch,” said Brown.

“I want the play­ers to step up to the plate and not be fear­ful. It was a poor per­for­mance from us.

“We weren’t good enough on the ball. The de­ci­sion mak­ing was er­ratic and I hold my hands up. I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for team se­lec­tion and tac­tics.”


AL Shrews


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