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Accrington Stanley 0 Shrewsbury Town 1

JOHN Coleman is never one to hide. The straight-talking Stanley manager could not disguise his upset at what he felt was a 'disgusting' performance from his side in front of a record crowd of 3,143 at the Interlink Express Stadium.

JOHN Coleman is never one to hide.

The straight-talking Stanley manager could not disguise his upset at what he felt was a 'disgusting' performance from his side in front of a record crowd of 3,143 at the Interlink Express Stadium.

His criticism did seem harsh as, although the Reds might have looked jaded and lacked some of the invention from Wednesday night's win over Leigh, they were no means outclassed by title favourites Shrewsbury.

But it didn't stop Coleman ripping into his side following the late loss, when Shrews striker Colin Cramb headed home a Jake Sedgemore cross on 81 minutes.

"It was a disgraceful performance, one of the worst I have seen at the club since I have been here - especially at home," said the gutted boss, who was especially mad to see his side lose their unbeaten league home record which stretched back to April 2001.

"We showed them too much respect and didn't show enough passion or commitment. They are a good side but they will look a good side if we don't close them down.

"We were punished on our eighth mistake on the edge of the box - you just can't do that. There was no enthusiasm. If these players don't show the same enthusiasm as me then I am wasting my time.

He continued: "If the players think they are going to turn that in week in week out then they will be doing it for someone else and not for me. I have other players waiting to come in who do want to play.

"We had 3,200 people here and we didn't try. I don't understand it. I thought Shrewsbury were there to be beaten. We showed them too much respect and we were a disgrace.

"I hope this was a one-off. It was disgusting and not acceptable to Accrington Stanley Football Club."

It was just sheer frustration from Coleman who felt that his side could have picked up at least a point against the team who left the Football League last May.

But his Town counterpart Jimmy Quinn, whose side have picked up seven points out of the opening nine, felt the Reds chief was too hard on his side.

"I think Accrington are a good side," said the former Blackburn Rover. "Their manager obviously sets his standards high but I think, even though they are part-time, they should be in the top eight or nine.

"They have quality all over the park from the two strikers through to the two full-backs. They will be okay this season."

The Reds did look tired after three games in a week. But they started well, forcing the early pace and top scorer Lutel James had two good chances to break the deadlock but was denied by keeper Ian Dunbavin.

However, the Shrews, cheered on by hundreds of travelling fans, started to find their feet and Steve Jakielka was the architect of a lot of their moves.

He put in a stunning cross across the face of the goal which Cramb could only convert onto the outside off the post while £1m rated striker Luke Rodgers, being chased by Crewe, broke the off-side trap but was quickly challenged by Jonathan Smith and keeper Jon Kennedy to stop a certain goal.

The Reds did still have chances before the interval - Rory Prendergast fired in a corner which was flicked on by Smith and cleared off the line.

But, after the break, it was backs to the wall stuff for Stanley as they Shrews came out fighting with chance after chance.
Jamie Tolley fired a free kick wide, Kennedy got one hand to a Rodgers' chance and Williams headed Dave Ridler's effort off the line.

Unmarked Rodgers then headed a Cramb cross over and Jagielka's shot from a tight angle was saved by Kennedy.

Stanley did have a couple of opportunities - Andy Gouck headed over Paul Cook's free kick while Prendergast's cross found Procter whose effort was saved.

Then came the goal after Stanley's Procter lost the ball on the wing. Rodgers found Sedgemore who set up former Bury striker Cramb.

And Cramb could have made it two as he charged into the area and tried to chip Kennedy but the Stanley keeper was equal to it.

An angry Coleman added: "I don't blame Andy Procter as any one of the mistakes could have been punished.

"You just can't do that at this level. The sooner we learn that the better. The only plus was the performance of Robbie Williams. He was the only one playing for us as far as I am concerned. The others didn't turn up."

Shrews boss Quinn, meanwhile, is expecting his side to be up among the frontrunners all season.

"We could have had four or five goals," said the Town chief. "Jake Sedgemore is a dream, to come off the subs bench and do that, but it was a terrific performance all round.

"We aim to be in the top five by new year and take it from there. We are team everyone expects to be there but it is easier to say it than do it.

"But Accrington gave us a good game. They are a decent side, I saw their win over Leigh and they ripped them apart on Wednesday. They are not far away."


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