Loan star Ladapo is the hero for Hurst
A FIRST-HALF goal from on-loan Crystal Palace striker Freddie Ladapo gave improving Shrewsbury a deserved win against a Bradford City side that lacked a killer punch.
Shrewsbury have conceded just one goal at home since Paul Hurst took the reigns in October and this latest win delighted the Shrews boss, albeit he found it a nervous watch.
“When you are protecting a one-goal lead against a team like Bradford City it is never going to be an enjoyable, relaxing watch for a manager,” said Hurst.
“I thought we were excellent and created the best chances. It’s disappointing to get three points and drop into the relegation places but, generally speaking, we feel we are forever developing and going in the right direction.
“We pushed higher up here to try and help Freddie Ladapo on his home debut, especially in the second-half. Freddie did well, he should have given us the lead earlier but he made up for it.
“Not being disrespectful to anyone, for us to get results we have to have every player producing a performance and I felt we did that here.”
Bradford enjoyed the lion’s share of the play in the first period but found the home defence in uncompromising mood. The closest City came to opening their account was a stinging shot from dangerman Mark Marshall, which was palmed away by Jayson Leutwiler.
The Shrews lacked City’s quality and slick play but were full of effort and endeavour and took the lead just before the break. Nathaniel Knight-Percival’s stumble allowed Louis Dodds to break clear and when the former Port Vale striker’s shot was parried by Colin Doyle, Ladapo was on hand to side foot home.
The Shrews had the upper hand in the second period and the closest City came to an equaliser was Tony McMahon’s free-kick which was palmed to safety by Leutwiler. At the other end, a fabulous ball from the left by Ladapo found Shaun Whalley unmarked on the right, but the home substitute side-footed across the face of goal.
“I thought we had more quality but lacked Shrewsbury’s tenacity and desire, “said Bradford City boss Stuart McCall.
“There were times we tried to play out from the back and Shrewsbury never allowed us the time or space to do that effectively.
“Bottom line, we didn’t play well. But we will learn and improve.”