NO TAMING ‘AV­ER­AGE’ SHREWS

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP - By James Owens

ON PA­PER, Shrews­bury made light work of book­ing their place in the third round at the ex­pense of More­cambe, but Paul Hurst isn’t get­ting car­ried away just yet.

First-half goals from wide duo Alex Rod­man and Shaun Whal­ley saw the Shrews ease past the League Two strug­glers for a place in Mon­day night’s third round draw, de­spite what Hurst felt was a medi­ocre dis­play.

“The per­for­mance was okay in bits, av­er­age in oth­ers, but I think we were rel­a­tively com­fort­able for most of the af­ter­noon,” Hurst said af­ter­wards.

But the former Rother­ham de­fender was pleased to see his pro­mo­tion hope­fuls get back to win­ning ways af­ter two straight de­feats in the league.

“The lads aren’t jump­ing for joy in there. They know it’s job done, and maybe not too much more than that,” Hurst added.

“But we can look for­ward to the draw, and ul­ti­mately it’s a much bet­ter feel­ing then if we’d been stood here talk­ing about a re­ply, or even a de­feat.”

The hosts took the lead shortly af­ter the half-hour when Whal­ley drove a pacy low cross in from the right for Rod­man to stroke home at the far post.

And Whal­ley dou­bled the Shrews’ ad­van­tage from the spot within five min­utes, con­fi­dently side-foot­ing to Barry Roche’s left af­ter the More­cambe keeper had brought Jon Nolan down as the mid­fielder at­tempted to round him.

More­cambe boss Jim Bent­ley re­placed Pa­trick Brough and Alex Kenyon with Aaron MacGowan and Vadaine Oliver for the sec­ond half, but the vis­i­tors were un­able to claw their way back into the tie.

Their third sub­sti­tute Cal­lum Lang could have set up a tense fi­nale when he broke in be­hind the home de­fence on 85 min­utes, but Shrews keeper Craig MacGil­livray did su­perbly to push the shot wide.

Many Shrews fans will be dream­ing of the ro­mance and fi­nan­cial re­wards of a big away tie against a Premier League giant ahead of the third round draw, but Hurst took a more prag­matic view: “I think I’d prob­a­bly like an­other home tie against a team that we’ve got a re­al­is­tic chance of beat­ing, and hope for the Premier League op­po­si­tion maybe the round af­ter.” Op­po­site num­ber Bent­ley saw some pos­i­tives his side’s dis­play, but had no qualms over the re­sult. “I’ve got no com­plaints, we were beaten by the bet­ter side,” Bent­ley con­ceded. “We played some very good stuff in the mid­dle third but like I’ve been say­ing all year, it’s just that cut­ting edge in the fi­nal third. “Com­ing up to 30 min­utes, you’re think­ing ‘great’, and then we con­ceded a lit­tle bit eas­ily. “The killer for me is the sec­ond one be­cause while it’s 1-0 you’re al­ways in with a chance.”

SHREWS­BURY: (4-1-4-1): MacGil­livray 7, Bolton 6, Nsiala 6, Beck­les 6, Sadler 6, Mor­ris B 6; Whal­ley 8 (Mor­ris C 80 6), Nolan 7, God­frey 6 (Dodds 59 7), Rod­man 7 (Gna­houa 70 5), Payne 6 Subs not used: Gre­gory, Ri­ley, John-Lewis, Adams. MORE­CAMBE: (4-2-3-1): Roche 6; Lund 6, Muller 4, Old 4, Brough 4 (McGowan 46 5), Kenyon 5 (Oliver 46 5), Flem­ing 6, Thomp­son 5, Wildig 5, Camp­bell 6 (Lang 78 6), McGurk 5 Subs not used: Nizic, Win­nard, Os­borne, Rose.

PICTURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

WRONG WAY: Shaun Whal­ley scores Shrews­bury’s sec­ond from the spot

GO­ING THROUGH: Shaun Whal­ley cel­e­brates

STAR MAN SHAUN WHAL­LEY Shrews­bury

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