Robbery, cries an irritated Edinburgh
NORTHAMPTON boss Justin Edinburgh was left to rue two controversial refereeing decisions as Shrewsbury nicked an opening day victory at the death.
A goal two minutes into added time by Lenell John-Lewis gave Paul Hurst’s Shrewsbury the perfect start, but the scoreline was tough on Northampton, who were deserving of a point.
Cobblers manager Edinburgh was extremely disappointed his side were not awarded two penalties.
Two might be pushing it, but Edinburgh had a case as far as the second appeal was concerned, with referee Sebastian Stockbridge awarding a free-kick on the edge of the box when Chris Long’s heels were clipped by Aristote Nsiala, with the offence taking place inside the penalty area.
“If the referee had not given the free-kick, I would have no grumbles,” said Edinburgh.
“But he saw the foul, gave it and it should have been a penalty because Chris Long was brought down inside the box.
“Until Shrewsbury scuffed one in at the death, we didn’t look like conceding. We kept our shape and we were well-organised. I can’t recall Shrewsbury having an effort of note on target until the goal.
“To concede so late is very disappointing but we saw enough to make us believe we are on the right track.”
Shrewsbury dominated the first period but couldn’t find a way through a Northampton defence well-marshalled by debutants Ash Taylor and Aaron Pierre.
It was Northampton, against the run of play, who came closest to breaking the deadlock. Dean Bowditch’s effort from the right beat onloan Manchester United keeper Dean Henderson, only for Nsiala to clear off the line.
Northampton played much better in the second period, David Buchanan and substitute Alex Revell both going close.
Shrewsbury continued to prod and probe and two minutes into added time, John-Lewis secured the points for the home side when his left-foot effort found the corner of David Cornell’s net.
“I am delighted with the performance and the points,” said Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst. “If we had resorted to the long-ball game, we would have lost for sure.
“I said before the game, this match would be close and tight.
“We told Lenell JohnLewis to get out there, put himself about and have a go. He did and, credit to him – he won us the game.”