Hurst sees red but Shrews start climb
SHREWSBURY boss Paul Hurst was delighted to see his makeshift side pick up their second league win on the bounce, despite watching much of the second half from the stands after being dismissed from his technical area.
The Shrews were without Ivan Toney, Gary Deegan, and skipper Adam El-Abd due to suspensions, while AJ Leitch-Smith and Ryan McGivern were out injured.
But victory over Bristol Rovers saw them climb off the foot the League 1 table.
“The fact that we’ve got back-to-back wins is big, particularly with the squad that was available,” Hurst said.
“That’s credit to the players that have come in and took the opportunity to show what they can do.”
Visitors Rovers had been within inches of taking a first-minute lead when Peter Hartley’s header grazed the crossbar, but were soon behind after goalkeeper Lee Puddy’s failed attempt to gather a dipping cross left Louis Dodds with the simple task of passing the ball into an unguarded net.
Rovers boss Darrell Clarke made two changes at half-time, sending Chris Lines and Ellis Harrison on in place of Charlie Colkett and Hiram Boateng.
But the visitors were unable to parlay pressure into efforts on goal, and saw the deficit doubled when Ian Black scored from the spot after Hartley handled Brown’s cross in the box 18 minutes from time.
“The longer the first half went, the more I thought we were the better side,” Hurst reflected.
“They did start the second half very well, but I don’t think my keeper’s been forced into too many saves. We defended well, and looked dangerous on the break.”
And the Shrews boss insisted there were no hard feelings after referee Sebastian Stockbridge dismissed him for kicking the ball away when Rovers were awarded a free-kick beside his technical area.
“The ref explained that he had no option but to ask me to leave the technical area,” he added.
“I think he understands there was no malice in it
But opposite number Darrell Clarke was in no mood to mince his words, branding his side’s display as “woeful”.
“I feel frustrated, angry, disappointed, and let down, we’ve let our supporters down,” he said.
“The performance, bar the first three minutes, was absolutely woeful. We had 1600 fans here. They’re an honest set, and they booed us, and rightly so. I think we deserved it.”