Hurst has ques­tions as Shrews are tamed

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Robert Lawler

THREE calami­tous sec­ond-half min­utes saw Shrews­bury sur­ren­der the chance of a vi­tal win at Port Vale and left boss Paul Hurst ques­tion­ing whether they have the de­sire to es­cape the drop.

A goal and as­sist for the re­turn­ing Ryan Tay­lor gave Vale an in­valu­able win in the rel­e­ga­tion six-pointer, with Sam Fo­ley hav­ing opened the scor­ing mid­way through the sec­ond half.

The vis­i­tors ral­lied through Louis Dodds but his strike proved merely a con­so­la­tion, leav­ing the Shrews in a rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight – just two points clear of fourth­bot­tom Vale.

Hurst said: “We ques­tioned there whether we thought we were out of it. I kept say­ing ‘far from it’, but at least we have a nice easy game next against Bolton!

“It was frus­trat­ing. Dis­ap­point­ing. It was al­most like it was edgy, not do­ing sim­ple things I know they can with their eyes closed on the train­ing ground.

“The other ques­tion is whether some of the play­ers have got the tem­per­a­ment.

“Do they get too ner­vous and too up­tight? I said I wouldn’t build the game up, it took care of it­self as a lo­cal game.

“Which is it? Were we not up for it? Too up for it?”

The Valiants took the lead fol­low­ing a cagey first half as Fo­ley headed home Tay­lor’s cor­ner in the 66th minute, get­ting on the score­sheet him­self just mo­ments later.

On his first game since re­turn­ing to Vale, the 32-year ma­rauded his way for­ward be­fore fir­ing ex­pertly home from the edge of the area, a goal the hosts were ex­pect­ing to kill off the match.

But Shrews­bury bat­tled as sub­sti­tute and former Vale Park mid­fielder Dodds ri­fled an un­stop­pable ef­fort be­yond Deniz Mehmet.

How­ever, the hosts held on for their sec­ond home win of the week.

“We knew it was a cagey game on a very difficult, blus­tery even­ing,” said Port Vale man­ager Michael Brown.

“In the first half, ev­ery­one was quite safe think­ing about a clean sheet.

“We felt the play­ers didn’t do enough in cer­tain ar­eas and told them that at half-time.

“Then they upped the tempo and showed more de­sire and made that ex­tra run to try to make it hap­pen.

“We cer­tainly did that and when we made it 2-0 I thought we could kick on.

“But Louis came on and hit a won­der strike that you can’t do any­thing about.

“So, that pegged us back and made it difficult. But that made it sweeter when that whis­tle did go.”

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