Ricketts salutes Shrewsbury display after earning replay with Bristol City
Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts was justifiably proud after seeing his League One battlers earn a richly-deserved FA Cup third-round replay after a 1-1 draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Championship club City grabbed a 30th minute lead against the run of play when Famara Diedhiou headed home a Niclas Eliasson cross following a short corner on the left.
But impressive Shrewsbury were back in it three minutes after the interval, Sean Goss placing his shot perfectly from the edge of the box after a Diedhiou clearance had fallen into his path.
Josh Laurent hit a post for the visitors with a superb 67th minute chip and out-of-sorts City were fortunate to earn a second chance.
Ricketts said: “We edged it. They had one or two chances but we played really well and might easily have scored more goals.
“I wanted a fast start and we got that. It was disappointing to concede from a set-piece but we also responded well to going behind and then began the second half on the front foot to get our goal.
“Having had a look at the stats, I know we had more possession and more shots. To come away from home and do that against Championship opponents was a great effort.
“We also showed we have some quality players. It was a great finish from Sean for the goal and the shot which came back off the woodwork was also high class.
“I’m not even thinking about the replay. We go to Doncaster for our next league game and that’s what we talked about in the dressing room after the final whistle.”
City head coach Lee Johnson made six changes to the team hammered 4-0 at home by Brentford on New Year’s Day and handed young centre-back Taylor Moore the captain’s armband.
His response to an error-strewn display was to give his players three days off.
He said: “I thought the lads looked like they needed a rest. All credit to Shrewsbury, who play with a good shape away from home and made it difficult for us.
“But we have some young players and some are showing the effects of a tough season. We will not train again until Wednesday when we will start preparing for the visit to Wigan.
“I happy we are in the hat for the fourth round draw and can’t say much positive apart from that. There were spells in each half when we gave the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas.
“What’s important now is that we retain our self-belief. Everything was going well but results have turned recently and we mustn’t let that get to us.
“I know we have some very talented players and we will try to strengthen the squad this month. There is still a lot to look forward to.”