Hurst hails Ogogo after Shrewsbury see off Walsall

Shrewsbury Town

Paul Hurst highlighted the contribution of influential skipper Abu Ogogo after Shrewsbury beat Walsall 2-0 to stay in the top two in League One.

Ogogo broke forward from midfield to score his second goal of the season in the closing stages after Alex Rodman had earlier fired Shrewsbury in front.

‘He leads by example, gets about the pitch extremely well and he’s just a great lad to work with,’ Hurst said of Ogogo. ‘On the training ground, I know exactly what I’m going to get every day from him. He’s a good character.’

Winger Rodman gave Shrewsbury a sixth-minute lead when he converted a low cross from Jon Nolan.

Rodman turned provider as the second-placed hosts doubled their lead in the 88th minute when Ogogo turned in his inviting cross.

In between the goals, Walsall were twice denied by the woodwork as Nicky Devlin and Luke Leahy both went close to equalising for the Saddlers.

Hurst, whose side reached the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley in midweek, said: ‘It’s always nice to beat your rivals in a derby game and put that one to bed.

‘I don’t think we were at our best, probably difficult conditions, but at the same time I thought we started the game extremely well, got ourselves in front, so you gain the advantage.’

Walsall manager Jon Whitney was disappointed to see his side fall behind so early.

He said: ‘In the first 15 minutes I thought we gave them a bit too much respect – and we really emphasised that before the game.

‘Once you give Shrewsbury a 1-0 lead and they don’t concede many goals, even in the first 15 minutes it becomes difficult then, and they do it really well. They do the basics better than anybody in this league.

‘We had some half chances and hit the post and bar in the second half, and then they get that one late on, but the disappointing thing is the first goal and the timing of it just makes it difficult and gives you a mountain to climb.

‘You can’t give a team like Shrewsbury a goal in the first 10 minutes because that’s what they hang on to.’

Whitney added: ‘They’re probably one of the better teams at defending a lead, but we’ve got some good players on the pitch.

‘We knew we could create some half chances and I think it was a game of half chances today. I thought the pitch was very lively but I thought they did the basics a bit better than we did today.’