Paul Hurst hails Shrewsbury Town resilience
Boss Paul Hurst admired his unbeaten Shrewsbury Town side's resilience as they dug in to stave off a Southend onslaught.
Town secured the 1-0 Montgomery Waters Meadow success over the Shrimpers to record their sixth win in seven games and go three points clear at the summit of League One.
Jon Nolan's first-half goal, his first for the club, was the difference, but Southend peppered Town's during the second period as the hosts survived due to, in part, some fine Dean Henderson goalkeeping.
One blot on Shrewsbury's copybook was a first-half injury to Stefan Payne, who rolled his ankle, leaving Hurst fearing a repercussion of the striker's previous foot injuries.
"It was hard work and certainly not the fluid football we've seen to date," said Hurst.
"To keep another clean sheet and win another game is credit to them. But I still want more.
"I half expected it, in truth. So I'm delighted to get the win.
"It's the first time we've had a massive effort on Saturday to beat a top team to then come midweek and win.
"Hopefully we can learn something moving forward when we face a similar fixture list.
"We looked like we didn't have that energy in our legs, whether that was the case.
"Credit to the players for digging in. There was a fantastic save from Deano (Henderson), some hairy moments, a lot produced by ourselves."
In-form striker Payne was in flying form before going off injured. Hurst opted to send on Lenell John-Lewis with Carlton Morris another option from the bench as the on-loan Norwich man returned from a hamstring injury.
James Bolton missed the game with a knee complaint, meaning Joe Riley returned for his first league start.
"He twisted his foot trying to control it. It's the same foot where he's had issues before," added the Town chief.
"He's a very frustrated figure in there. I'm not going to panic yet about how long he might be out, it might be nothing but it is certainly a concern.
"He started very well. He looked like he had too much pace and strength for the back line.
"I thought when Lenny came on he did very well but the service up to him wasn't as good to him."