Denaby Utd – Denaby 2, Shrewsbury Town 1

March 1946

South Yorkshire Times March 30, 1946

Midland League.
No Half Measures in Denaby Thriller.

Denaby United 2, Shrewsbury Town 1

This match at Tickhill Square on Monday, in glorious weather and before one of the best ‘gates’ of the season, was something to write home about.

Remember what I wrote of the show against Ransome and Marles? – ‘Denaby always have that fascinating knack of pulling something out of the bag.’ Well-here it was again! There were no half – it was again! There were no half measures about it. Except for a five minute spell at the beginning of the second half, Shrewsbury were second best to this team which beat the league leaders a week ago, drew with Nottingham Forest on Saturday and on Monday took their fifth point from the last three games by beating the runners-up, who, on goal average, would have gone to the top of the league by drawing.

The key to their success was a sound half-back line, in which Wheat excelled, and a forward line target than Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury, on this showing, were a tougher proposition than Ransomes. There were times, particularly in the first half, when they riddled the Denaby defence, but Denaby always recovered in time to clear – sometimes opportunely, sometimes luckily – as, for instance, when Wheat, in a sliding tackle, and out of the blue, took the ball from Bailey’s toe as he was in the act of shooting only a couple of yards out.

Denaby were smarter in midfield, and finished better than in any game this season. Ardron, at centre-forward, lent snap and sparkle to the line. His headers were a delight and he was so rarely hindered by the tall Hughes, that he not only led the attack smartly but found time to direct its efforts with lovely mastery. The whole line combined well. And Uren, as last week, played a grand game in goal.

Early Thrill.

There was a thrill in the first minute. Denaby forced their was through from the kick-off and Dickens, hanging grimly on, pushed the ball through to Strachan. Strachan’s shot was blocked only by Straton sticking out his leg and turning the ball high over the bar for a corner. Denaby forced five corners in the first six minutes – ample evidence of their strenght of attack, and Ardron had a good shot saved. The first time Shrewsbury piled into the Denaby half was one of the rare occasions in which the defence was in serious difficulties, and even Uren joined in the bunt to dribble the ball away.

The first goal came after 15 minutes. Turner pushed the ball through to Strachan, Strachan to Rossington, and the outside-right centred squarely to Ardron, several yards out of goal. Ardron pushed the ball out to DICKENS, who was racing in from the wing, and the next thing we saw was Streton throwing himself full length in a vain effort to save a glorious shot from the Denaby outside-left. There were thrills galore before half-time – at both ends and by two fast moving sets of harmonious forwards.

Denaby resumed without Dickens (temporarily), but even so Ardron went near in the first minute later, hooking in a short cross pass from close range. For the next ten minutes, the most trying of the whole game for Denaby, it seemed that Shrewsbury would administer the knock-out. They sought hard enough for the opportunity, but with a fresh exhilaration Denaby swept out of their temporary lethargy and it was Shrewsbury who were outpointed when after 30 minutes Turner swept the ball to Rossington, following a free kick for a foul on Moseley, twenty yards out, and Rossington made the opening for STRACHAN to snatch the decider.

Even that was not enough. Striving to make assurance double sure, Ardron shot across the goalmouth, had a goal disallowed for offside, and Moseley, too, should have had another when he put the ball wide, while seven minutes from the end Streton was lucky when a difficult ball from Moseley bounced high in front of the goal and with the sun in his eyes he had to jump high to push it over the bar. The narrowest squeak that almost cost Denaby a point was when Coop had only Uren to beat and shooting on the run sent yards wide.