Pompey fall short in Shrews fightback

Pompey almost staged a stunning fightback but slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Shrewsbury as their season was brought to an end.

Shrewsbury's Connor Goldson scores the opening goal against Pompey   Picture: Joe Pepler
Shrewsbury's Connor Goldson scores the opening goal against Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham’s men were, for the most part, a shadow of the side which had impressed so much in recent months.

They found themselves behind in the sixth minute following a Connor Goldson free header for Graham Turner’s side.

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Dave McAllister had an effort ruled out for offside, while Joe Jacobson and Akwasi Asante netted with deflected efforts as the Shrews reached 3-0 after 56 minutes.

It appeared to be game over, then Ashley Harris - making his first start for almost three months - scored in the 61st minute to spark hope.

With 12 minutes left Patrick Agyemang reduced the deficit further, turning home Jed Wallace’s cross from close range.

But the Blues couldn’t quite find the equaliser as they finished life in League One with defeat after another eventful campaign.

Whittingham made just one change to the side which last week defeated Sheffield United, with Harris recalled.

He replaced David Connolly, who dropped to the bench, while Ricardo Rocha’s hamstring injury again kept him out.

It would take just six minutes before the deadlock was broken with Shrewsbury taking the lead.

Jon Taylor swung in a corner from the left and Goldson rose unopposed to plant a free header into the net from close range.

The Blues then had a let-off in the 33rd minute after Taylor’s shot from outside the box took an awkward bounce in front of Simon Eastwood and the keeper couldn’t hold it.

Tom Bradshaw followed up, squaring for Dave McAllister to slot the ball into the empty net, but the offside flag was already up.

The Shrews did extend their lead in the 37th minute, though, after Therry Racon was adjudged to have made a foul on the edge of the area.

Jacobson stepped up to take the free-kick and saw it take a wicked deflection off the wall and loop in at the far post to leave Eastwood wrong-footed.

Whittingham’s men went 3-0 down in the 56th minute through another generous deflection.

The move originated down the left and Asante saw his shot strike a visiting player and bounce into the far corner of the net.

At least Pompey did pull one back in the 61st minute when Harris squeezed a shot home at the second attempt after Wallace’s shot was initially saved.

With 12 minutes remaining Wallace pulled the ball back from the right byline and it was touched home by Agyemang to spark an exciting finale.

A total of four minutes were added on but that third goal couldn’t come for the visitors as it finished 3-2.

League One

SHREWSBURY TOWN 3 (Goldson 6, Jacobson 37, Asante 56)

POMPEY 2 (Harris 61, Agyemang 78)

Att: 8,021 (1,620 Pompey fans)

Shrewsbury Town: Weale, Jacobson, Summerfield, Bradshaw, Taylor, Goldson, McAllister, Wildig, Mambo, Asante, Gayle. Subs: Anyon, Purdie, Richards, McGinn, Parry, Woods, Hurst.

Pompey; Eastwood, Moutaouakil (Maloney 75), Gyepes (Webster 60), Sodje, Butler, Wallace, Cooper, Ertl, Racon, Harris, Agyemang. Subs: Smith, Walker, Awford, Akinde, Connolly.