Sam Ricketts: Shrewsbury Town let the fans down
Sam Ricketts feels Shrewsbury Town let their fans down today by blowing a lead and the likelihood of mathematical League One safety against 10-man Oxford.
Town crashed spectacularly in a poor second half where they went through the motions as Gavin Whyte's brace sealed a stunning hat-trick to steal the points for the visitors, who had 10 men for an hour.
Shrews were 2-1 up through Ollie Norburn and Greg Docherty and, at the time, mathematically safe thanks to a superior goal difference but their cushion was sliced to four points with the disastrous late showing.
The home reverse, watched by a boosted crowd of 6,200 home fans, made it back-to-back Easter defeats for Salop, leaving them 16th and just four points clear of the drop with two games to play.
A bitterly disappointed Ricketts said: "We know we've disappointed and let ourselves down but more importantly we've let the supporters down, especially at home.
"We're expected to go and see the game out, I don't know whether sub-consciously the opposition going a man down plays a part in it.
"It happened to Leeds last week against Wigan, expecting to win the game but didn't.
"Playing against 10 men, sub-consciously - but not through a lack of effort - switched off and went through the motions in the second half, which can never be the case in football.
"I'm bitterly disappointed in the second-half performance. We gave ourselves a great opportunity in a great position but didn't see the game out."
Ricketts' side were asleep after the break and never got going. They were caught out by simple passes for both the second and third goals, where speedster Whyte profited from sluggish Town defending.
The boss added: "We ended up being far too passive, even then it's still taken two disappointing bits of defending to lose the game.
"You expect them to go on and at least see the game out, especially the way we've been playing recently.
"In the second half we never got going with tempo. I tried to make changes to get a spark into the game.
"We just got caught with two long balls and slight lapses of concentration. We never moved the ball.
"If we'd have won we'd be mathematically done. We gave ourselves a great opportunity in a great position but didn't see the game out."