Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury 1 Stoke City 1 - Player ratings

Digital Football Journalist Tom Leach rates the players after their FA Cup clash with Stoke City.

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Steve Arnold - 7

Arnold did not find himself with much to do in the first half, but he kept his concentration to deny Tom Ince when the former Blackpool man found himself in and behind. You know what you get with Steve Arnold. He commanded his area brilliantly and was dominant in the air. 7/10

James Bolton - 7

Bolton can be very predictable with the ball, but he was a different beast today. Defensively he was as sound as can be and made life very hard for James McClean and Erik Peters down Stoke's left. One moment springs to mind: McClean's threatening cross dipped into the six-yard box, begging to be buried, but Bolton was brave enough to put his head where it hurts to direct the ball away from danger. Good performance. 7/10

Luke Waterfall - 6

Very lucky not to give away a Stoke penalty mid-way through the second half, but don't let that take away from another good Waterfall performance against a Potters forward line worth tens-of-millions in today's market. Unsure who was at fault for Stoke's leveller, but it looked a near-impossible cross to defend and was flicked across goal too. 6/10

Mat Sadler - 6

Sadler was instrumental to keeping Town's defence in shape. A lot of his hard work went unnoticed, but he was always there to mop up at the back and rid Town of any danger. It was a testament to his performance that Stoke were forced to repeatedly try their luck from range. 6/10

Ryan Haynes - 7

Defensively, this was a strong performance from Ryan Haynes. A man who has been criticised heavily for his defensive capabilities, this was exactly the sort of performance that both Town fans and Sam Ricketts would have wanted to see from the former Coventry man. Sure, there were a few times that Tom Edwards, Stoke's flying right-back, got in and behind him during the first half but it would be unfair not to see this a step in the right direction for the 23-year-old. 7/10

Anthony Grant - 7

Town legend, Bernard McNally said at half-time that this was one of Grant's best performances so far this season. He was not quite his imposing ever-present self, but that could be the change in system that left him less exposed in the middle. He looked a little as if he was chasing shadows but what you get Anthony Grant is a feeling of dependability and a monstrous desire to win. 7/10

Alex Gilliead - 7

Gilliead really hurried and hassled the Stoke defenders thorough the first half and turned play for Town on a number of occasions. His vital intervention in first-half stoppage time saw the ball fall to Amadi-Holloway who then won the penalty. He did fade a lot in the second half however, and it was easy to forget he was still there on the left touchline. Gilliead has an awful lot of talent and provides town with something different. If you were to rate his first half alone, you'd have to be tempted to rate him a 9. 7/10

Ollie Norburn - 7

Norburn was very fired up for this one and that maybe got the better of him in the opening fifteen minutes. A booking from referee David Webb calmed him down a little and he settled into what was another positive performance and helped Town to win the midfield battle. 7/10

Greg Docherty - 7

Docherty's delivery was as strong as every and he looked comfortable on the ball even against the toughest opposition he has faced all season. He did have a quiet period after half-time, but he came back into the game just after that and was brilliant in the final ten minutes to ensure Town weren't robbed entirely. 7/10

Lenell John-Lewis - N/A

John-Lewis has his critics, but he worked really hard down that left-hand side, in a role so unfamiliar to him, and even found himself back inside Town's area a couple of times to get the ball away from danger. It was a real shame to see him go down after just a quarter of an hour. The injury itself looked bad. As he twisted his studs dug into the turf. His knee turned but the bottom half of his leg didn't, and that is how ligaments are torn. Hopefully it will be good news, but it looked bad.

Josh Laurent - 8

Yet another determined and hard-working performance from Laurent. He is the engine of this Town side when they are on form and Stoke really struggled to get the ball away from him. He needs to improve his footwork and when to give or go, but that is me being overly critical of what could be Laurent's best performance in a Town shirt to date. 8/10.

Aaron Amadi-Holloway - 7

AAH is proving to be a really good hold-up man and getting better and better every time he takes to the field. He uses his body brilliantly to win fouls and did exactly that in the area to give Town their first half penalty. Could have doubled Town's lead ten minutes after the break with a free-header in the area but could not hang in the air for long enough. Plenty argue that he is not hardworking enough to play up-top on his own, and he did find himself flagged offside repeatedly, but also floats into some fantastic areas with his movement. 7/10

Omar Beckles - N/A

It took Beckles a few touches to warm to the game but he did really well under some fairly intense pressure in the final stages. N/A.

Lee Angol - N/A

Angol did not have a chance to really make an impact on the afternoon. N/A.

MOTM - Josh Laurent