Shropshire Star

Derby 1 Shrewsbury 1 - Report

Aaron Pierre's late strike helped Shrewsbury Town to get a point against promotion-hopefuls Derby at Pride Park.

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It was a game of few chances, but the hosts took the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Max Bird fired in from a low corner.

Town had kept their opponents quiet until that point, restricting them to very few clear-cut chances but would have been disappointed with the way they conceded.

It looked like Salop were going to fall to their second consecutive defeat but after brilliant work from Mal Benning on the left Pierre fired home his first Shrews goal in more than three years.

Shrews had only drawn on three occasions this season, but against Derby County, this was a very valuable point gained.


Paul Hurst made two changes to the side who lost to Cambridge last time out.

Tom Bloxham got sent off in stoppage time so he missed the game through suspension.

But surprisingly, the Town head coach selected Tunmise Sobowale to start on the right side of the front three - he was not even in the squad last week against the U's.

Jack Hinchy made his first start in a Salop shirt - he came into the side for Taylor Perry as Hurst opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The first half was a quiet affair, which Shrewsbury would have been happy with.

It was a quiet opening 20 minutes, a corner flashing across the face of the Shrewsbury goal and MaxBird failing to get a good enough connection on Joel Ward's free-kick - but there was no obvious threat which would have pleased Hurst.

At the other end, Town had a few glimpses at goal. Sobowale lashed an effort wide from just outside the area, and Jordan Shipley volleyed over when a corner fell to him on the edge of the box.

But Shrews competed well with Paul Warne's Derby despite the sides being at opposite ends of the league table.

Hurst's side played a high defensive line, and they often caught the Rams out - much to the frustration of the home crowd.

Sobowale was really bright on the wing for Salop, beating his man and getting crosses in on several occasions, but they did not fall to a red shirt.

But the home side led within 10 minutes of the re-start from a set piece.

A near-post corner from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Bird got to the ball first, and his effort snuck under Marko Marosi and into the back of the net.

After containing Derby comfortably for the first 55 minutes it was a disappointing way for Town to find themselves behind.

The issue for Town, and it has been the same all season, is that when it is 0-0 they are in games, but once they fall behind - they struggle to create anything.

Hurst made a triple change just after the 70-minute mark in an attempt for Shrews to get back in the game.

Aiden O'Brien, Roland Idowu and Elliott Bennett all came on, but it made little difference.

The Derby skipper, Hourihane forced Marosi into a good save with the clock running down. It was a powerful free-kick from a tight angle that he just tipped over the bar.

But just when all hope looked lost. Pierre popped up in the area to fire Shrewsbury level to help them secure a point at Pride Park.

Deep into stoppage time, Curtis Nelson hit the crossbar as the 1,389 fans in the Town away end held their breath but they clung on for a point.

Shrews: 4-2-3-1: Marosi, Feeney, Dunkley, Pierre, Benning, Winchester, Hinchy (Bennett 73), Bayliss (Perry 80), Shipley (O'Brien 73), Sobowale (Idowu 73), Udoh (Bowman 80).

Subs: Burgoyne, Sraha, Idowu, Bennett, O'Brien, Perry, Bowman.

Derby: Wildsmith, Hourihane, Bradley, Bird, Collins, Mendez-Laing, Sibley (Elder 72), Ward (Barkhuizen 45), Nyambe (Thompson 85), Adams (Wilson 85), Nelson.

Subs: Loach, Wilson, Barkhuizen, Smith, Thompson, Elder, Blackett-Taylor