Sam Ricketts disappointed with poor Shrewsbury display despite victory

Sam Ricketts condemned a poor performance from his Shrewsbury Town side despite picking up a first league win of the season in dramatic late circumstances.

Sam Ricketts (AMA)
Sam Ricketts (AMA)

Leon Clarke pounced for his first Town goal in added time to down AFC Wimbledon, who had been the brighter side throughout at QPR's Loftus Road.

Ricketts, whose team chalked up a first win at the fifth attempt, felt maximum spoils made up for points Shrewsbury had deserved but not taken earlier in the season.

"I'm pleased to get some points which we've definitely deserved in previous games before today," Ricketts said.

"Our performances have been much better than our points total. We're unbeaten in five now and it helps towards the points total.

"Were we good today? No. There's an awful lot that was wrong. We set up to play a certain way and to be honest I didn't see it all game, which was disappointing.

"But what I did see was a lot of determination, commitment, blocks, everything we've come to expect from this team and sometimes you take it for granted.

"There are some quality blocks late on, bodies on the line and some quality from a set-piece wins the game."

Ricketts handed a debut to new loan goalkeeper Deyan Iliev and he was by far the busier of the two shot-stopper, making a couple of key saves while Wimbledon were wasteful on numerous other occasions.

Salop struggled to create anything of note, failing to register a shot on target in the first period. Their only opening came early in the second period before the Dons again took charge.

But Shrews forced a corner early into six minutes' added time and Clarke, 35, converted at the back post from Josh Vela's corner.

Ricketts added: "I think it puts a few more points on the board we should've had already.

"The performance levels before this game deserved it and today we just had to grand it out, fight and battle.

"We were poor today. no argument, that's the first time this season and for a long time I can say we didn't move the ball, pass it, our touch was poor, everything was poor.

"Maybe it was that not playing last week hurt us, even though the training has been very good, today it wasn't."

The Town boss felt his side's build-up play was well below par in West London, also criticising his side for poor control and use of the ball.

"We didn't play well. It wasn't the final third that was an issue, it was the build-up play, that's why we didn't get efforts on goal," Ricketts continued.

"There's a little bit of misconception going on that we're not creating chances. We've had 19 shots in games.

"We didn't have a load of attempts. The bit of play we did do should've ended in a goal when Ro-Shaun crosses for Jason or Barney should score the rebound.

"The build-up play and not the final third was the problem today."

Ro-Shaun Williams filled in at right-back for the injured Marlon Fossey and Matt Millar, with Donald Love still out of favour.

Iliev, on loan from Arsenal, was selected ahead of Harry Burgoyne between the sticks.

"We've got a few players fighting for positions which is what you want. In goal is one of them," the manager explained.

"I'm a big believer in Harry, that's why I brought him to the club. He has to keep working hard and - not wait for the opportunity - because he will certainly get games. We win and lose as a team and today won as a team."

The three points kickstarts an intense period for Town, who have home games against Bristol Rovers and Rochdale next week.

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