It’s joy for Shrews but Payne for Hill...

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Les Scott

A GOAL from Barns­ley loa­nee Ste­fan Payne gave Shrewsbury their first win in seven – and at just the right time – as Paul Hurst’s side climbed out of the bot­tom four.

Whilst Shrews boss Hurst was de­lighted with his side, coun­ter­part Keith Hill was left fum­ing with his charges, stat­ing that some of the play­ers have played their last game for the club.

But it was a vi­tal win for the Shrews, lift­ing them to 19th place, one point above the rel­e­ga­tion places with four games left.

“We still have a lot to do but our destiny is in our own hands,” said Hurst.

“It was a mas­sive win and we de­served it. Rochdale are a good side but we closed them down in mid­field and worked hard to limit them to scraps.

“What also pleased me was the play­ers did not let the pres­sure get to them. We knew we had to win and it was an ex­tremely cool fin­ish that won us the three points.”

Hurst’s post-match de­meanour was in sharp con­trast to that of Dale boss Hill.

“Our play­ers have to find ways to win games,” he fumed.

“Some of the play­ers out there have played their last game for me.

“I have play­ers who, when away from home, don’t play the way they do when we are at home. That’s no good, we need play­ers to per­form ev­ery game.

“We have im­por­tant games com­ing up, I’ve told the play­ers I won’t be look­ing to lift them, I want them to lift me with good dis­plays.”

The Shrews came close to open­ing the scor­ing on six min­utes as Bryn Mor­ris’ full­blooded ef­fort was blocked by Dale de­fender Har­ri­son McGa­hey.

The home side dom­i­nated the first half with Rochdale re­stricted to break­aways. As the home pres­sure mounted, Mor­ris fizzed two ef­forts nar­rowly wide be­fore the break­through came on 15 min­utes.

Dale cen­tre­back Jimmy Mc­Nulty slipped when at­tempt­ing to clear and the ball broke to Payne who raced clear to fire low past Con­rad Lo­gan.

Rochdale im­proved af­ter the break but for all their en­deav­our could not breach a Shrewsbury de­fence well mar­shalled by Aristote Nsiala and Mat Sadler.

The clos­est the Shrews came to in­creas­ing their lead was Ju­nior Brown’s an­gled drive from the left and a dip­ping shot from Mor­ris.

Nathaniel Men­dezLaing thought he’d earned a point at the death, only for his far­post header to be cor­rectly ruled off­side.

STAR MAN ARISTOTE NSIALA Shrewsbury

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