Wednesday slumped to a second defeat in three days in a largely lifeless display at Shrewsbury this afternoon … causing more question marks over our chances of at least making the division one play-offs come the end of the season.
The 1-0 reverse leaves us in eighth place, six points away from a play-off position, 12 adrift of second-placed Sunderland and, after some encouraging form prior to the recent Covid postponements, we have reverted to some of the weak and passionless performances from earlier in the season.
Wednesday lacked the intensity, belief and creativity to take even one point from a Shrewsbury side who, while limited in their overall abilities, showed the teamwork, effort and right attitude to earn their win.
We managed just one shot on target in the first half, a long-ranger from Lewis Wing which was comfortably saved by Marko Marosi.
At the other end, Liam Palmer blocked a close-range effort from Ryan Bowman and then Bailey Peacock-Farrell saved a header from the unmarked Nathanael Ogbeta before Shrewsbury took a deserved lead in added time at the end of the half, Matthew Pennington heading home from a corner.
Six minutes into the second half it could and should have been 2-0 to the home side, Peacock-Farrell’s weak punch from a long throw giving Bowman the chance to score but he managed to shoot over the bar from just six yards out.
Wednesday looked slightly better for a short spell in the second period, sub Fisayo Dele-Bashiru failed to connect firmly when well-placed in the box and allowed Marosi to save, Wing’s 20-yarder was kept out by the keeper and then Barry Bannan curled an effort just wide.
However, that was as good as it got and we were almost caught out in the closing minutes, Bowman breaking clear but seeing his angled effort kept out by a diving Peacock-Farrell.
Wednesday now have almost two weeks to wait for their next fixture – at home to Plymouth on January 15 – and Darren Moore has plenty of work to do on the training ground if we are to shake off the poor form of the last two games and give ourselves any chance of a top-six place at the end of the season.
Peacock-Farrell, Palmer, Hutchinson, Johnson (Mendez-Laing 65), Paterson (Brennan 29), Wing, Adeniran (Dele-Bashiru 58), Bannan, Corbeanu, Berahino, Gregory. Subs. Wildsmith, Boateng, Byers, Sow.