NO TAMING ‘AVERAGE’ SHREWS
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.
WRONG WAY: Shaun Whalley scores Shrewsbury’s second from the spot
GOING THROUGH: Shaun Whalley celebrates
STAR MAN SHAUN WHALLEY Shrewsbury