SHREWSBURY FC 0-0 COVENTRY CITY
City: Burge, Dion Kelly-Evans, Clarke (C), Turnbull, Haynes, Rose (Stevenson 2), Bigirimana Reilly, Kwame Thomas(Jones 72) ,George Thomas, Beavon. Subs: Charles-Cook, Rawson, Stevenson, Foley Reid, Vernam.
Shrewsbury Leutwiler, Whalley (Rodman 35), Sadlier, Dodds (Riley 81), Brown, Grimmer, Yates, Deegan, Nsiala, Humphreys (Lapado 60), Roberts, Subs: Halstead, Morris, Leitch-Smith, , El-Abd.
FT STFC 0-0 CCFC FT STFC 0-0 CCFC ATT 6,205
Coventry City earned a point in a dour 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury Town.
City, who not won against a side called Town in March in thirteen attempts since 1951, fielded a not unexpected side with Dion Kelly-Evans and Ryan Haynes who both played well at Bury starting and late on, Gael Bigirimana started in place of Kevin Foley.
An all ticket game at a Greenhous Meadow stadium at which City have never won a first team game, which ended up as pay on the day and there was nearly as many police and stewards (I witnessed van loads of police arriving), as there was City supporters to see City in their away kit, attack the end where the noisy support was for the first half.
The game on a cold March afternoon, was a minute and eight seconds old when there was a clash of heads between Andy Rose and Nathan Clarke who again was given the captain's armband. Rose was knocked out and body boards and an ambulance stretcher on wheels was required, as such was the concerns for Rose's wellbeing that play was held up for eighteen minutes.
Ben Stevenson came on for Rose received good applause from all four stands as the former Seattle player was put into an ambulance and taken to hospital.
Play got back underway with Leutwiler clearing one over the main stand against a. City side which was struggling to beat Shrewsbury's offside trap.
In view of a flock of sheep, who had a better view of the game than those who used to stand on the hill at Northampton , Jordan Turnbull had a shot beaten away by Leutwiler in the thirteenth minute as the City support continued to disagree with the referee's decisions including one for offside in a player's own half.
"Wembley and we're going down" sang the City support as Shrewsbury missed a good chance to take the lead. as did Stuart Beavon in the 22nd minute, when his shot was pushed away and Callum Reilly, who with the goal at his mercy blasted over before Kwame Thomas headed at the home keeper.
In the 35th minute, Whalley, who had gone down looking like he had been shot, walked off and was replaced by Alex Rodman who came on and was promptly booked for a foul with his first touch of the ball.
George Thomas fired well when he shot instead of passing to Stevenson who was in a better position. He atoned with a good ball which won City a free kick for a foul on Jordan Turnbull who got up to head over.
Shrewsbury then won a 43rd minute corner. There was a handball and a penalty was awarded. Tyler Roberts stepped up but his kick was poor and Burge saved easily to see City go in at the break still level.
City, who could be subject to a bid of £12m from former CEO Paul Fletcher and Adam Pearson, went straight on the attack and a chance within the opening seconds had to be scrambled away.
George Thomas, fired over in the 47th minute with Dion Kelly-Evans doing the same two minutes later for a City side which looked far better with the likes of Bigrimana and Stevenson in midfield.
"Sisu Out" chants and "Tim Fisher is a etc" chants echoed round the away end as this game between two sides lacking any real flare or quality continued.
Shrewsbury won a 59th minute corner which Burge, whose kicking was woeful yet again, was able to deal with. It was as woeful as the decision to give Shrewsbury a 64th free kick which transformed in a corner that Nathan Clarke, headed across his own goal and thankfully was headed over the bar.
Jodi Jones came on for the last eighteen minutes and was there as a shot brought City a 74th minute corner and something for the 615 City supporters, who had got bored of bantering the Shrewsbury fans and village idiots to our right to cheer.
With ten to go, Shrewsbury won a corner. That was cleared and four minutes, Clarke gave away another.
Balls being banged across the area to no-one and petty fouls failed to raise the level of the quality of this game with former City player Gary Deegan, who was deservedly abused for most of the game, joining Dion Kelly-Evans in the book.
City might have won in the 87th minute effort when a George Thomas effort was beaten away but it was a point and with the news that Andy Rose was out of hospital and fit enough to travel home, it was an acceptable one although not the three the Sky Blues really needed.
The City players looked to be happy enough with the point as they came over to the City support on the final whistle as did manager Russell Slade.