BAD SHREWS FOR CLOUGH

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By John Brind­ley

NIGEL Clough has chal­lenged his play­ers to make amends for a “missed op­por­tu­nity” af­ter tast­ing de­feat for the first time since re­turn­ing to the Bur­ton Al­bion hot seat.

A stop­page-time goal from Shrews­bury sub­sti­tute ShaunWhal­ley knocked the lead­ers off their perch and com­pounded the man­ager’s frus­trat­ing af­ter­noon.

“I’ve told the play­ers that if we can’t get three points, we must come away with one – that would have left us in an even bet­ter po­si­tion with other re­sults gen­er­ally go­ing for us,” said Clough.

“We were pretty com­fort­able un­til their first goal when nine times out of ten a foul would have been awarded on our goal­keeper. That gave Shrews­bury the lift they needed.

“I knew it would be a tough game. Some peo­ple think you just have to turn up against a strug­gling team, score the first goal and it will be easy – it was never go­ing to be like that.

“It’s a missed op­por­tu­nity and we must now have a nice re­ac­tion from the lads in away games at Peter­bor­ough and Rochdale.”

Clough re­sisted the op­por­tu­nity to com­ment on ref­eree Gra­ham Sal­is­bury’s per­for­mance but his side barely got a de­ci­sion all af­ter­noon. Loan striker Stu­art Beavon took a par­tic­u­lar bat­ter­ing from a de­fence well mar­shalled by the ex­pe­ri­enced Zak Whit­bread.

The vis­i­tors were in­debted to a fly­ing save from re­turn­ing goal­keeper Jayson Leutwiler in the sixth minute from Tom Naylor’s rasp­ing 25-yarder.

But the guardian didn’t stand a chance from sim­i­lar range 12 min­utes later when full-back Damien McCrory ham­mered a low left- footer into his bot­tom cor­ner af­ter good work from Calum Butcher.

Shrews­bury, whose three debu­tants in­cluded el­e­gant mid­fielder Richie Wel­lens, edged first-half pos­ses­sion but made lit­tle head­way against an un­com­pro­mis­ing Bur­ton back four. The lead­ers strug­gled to find any flu­ency but Nasser El Khay­ati nearly dou­bled their lead on half-time with a ven­omous cross-shot that flew a yard wide.

An early flurry af­ter the break brought Town their 52nd-minute equaliser. Goal­keeper Jon McLaugh­lin fum­bled Ian Black’s cor­ner un­der Nathan Knight-Per­ci­val’s chal­lenge and Andy Man­gan got the de­ci­sive touch from point-blank range. Leutwiler made a vi­tal parry from the in­dus­tri­ous Mark Duffy and sub­sti­tute Ma­son Ben­nett headed over as Bur­ton piled on the pres­sure. But, af­ter re­pelling five suc­ces­sive cor­ners, the vis­i­tors broke for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro to square for Whal­ley to slot the win­ner.

Shrews boss Mickey Mel­lon said:“It’s a fan­tas­tic re­sult. Our chal­lenge re­mains to find some con­sis­tency to put a run to­gether but the lads have an­swered ev­ery ques­tion.

“We knew we had the pace to hit them on the break and that’s what hap­pened at the end.

“I was dis­ap­pointed to be a goal down at half-time but we ral­lied and kept bat­tling away. There were only fine mar­gins

be­tween the teams.”

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