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Shrewsbury gained what could prove to be a useful point against local rivals Walsall in an entertaining derby. A point was probably a fair result, with Walsall enjoying the better of the first half, and Shrewsbury finishing well after coming back into the game.
The opening half an hour was a scrappy affair, with neither team settling particularly well. Despite this, there were a few chances, with Stefan Payne curling just wide early on, before Amadou Bakayoko hit the side netting after being played through. He would have an even better chance after Jason McCarthy’s cross found him inside the penalty area. Unmarked, he side-footed wide.
The opening goal came in the 35th minute, and it was well worked. Isaiah Osbourne played the ball down the wing to wing back Joe Edwards, who delivered a pinpoint cross for Kieron Morris to head home, only his fifth goal of the season. Walsall could have doubled the lead before half time, Bakayoko seeing a shot saved by Jason Leutwiler, before the follow up from Morris was also saved.
The second half started with a lot of effort from Shrewsbury in an attempt to get back into the game, but with few efforts on the Walsall goal. But in the 70th minute, they found themselves level. A deep cross from Shaun Whalley was headed in back across goal by Stefan Payne, who has now scored in back to back games for the Shrews. This raised the noise levels in the Greenhous Meadow, with the home crowd looking to roar their side to victory.
A period of intense Shrewsbury pressure followed, and it looked like they had found a winner when Toto Nsiala bundled over the line from two yards out. The linesman’s flag cut short the mass celebrations. McCarthy drove at Leutwiler from the edge of the box to try and spark Walsall into life, but the only entertainment that followed was when a cross from Jack Grimmer flew out of play and hit a steward on the back of the head. And so drew an intense derby to a close, with both teams having shown glimpses of quality, but neither doing enough to win the game.