Shea thrilled with penalty save

James Shea saves from the spot against Wycome Wanderers
James Shea saves from the spot against Wycome Wanderers

Hatters keeper James Shea was thrilled to make a first penalty save for the club during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Wycombe Wanderers.

The 27-year-old stopper had already been beaten twice from 12 yards this season, when Shaun Whalley netted for Shrewsbury last weekend, and then unable to prevent Joe Jacobson scoring the opener at Adams Park in the first half.

The second one I thought, ‘no, I’m just going to go for it,’ and thankfully I went to right way and I saved it.

James Shea

However, faced with Jacobson again, Shea guessed the right way this time, saying: “It’s about time I’ve saved one, I’ve had a few go past me this year and last year, so it was nice to finally save one and then go and get the equaliser, which was good.”

Jacobson had come out on top of the battle of wits in the first period, as Town’s keeper stood still to try and second guess his opponent.

Second time around though, he dived to his left, as Jacobson went for the same corner, comfortably parrying the attempt away.

Shea said: “I wanted to stand (for the first one) as he’s done a few down the middle.

“I wasn’t too sure whether he was going to my left or down the middle, so I stayed down the middle a bit longer.

“The second one I thought, ‘no, I’m just going to go for it,’ and thankfully I went to right way and I saved it.

“I just had a feeling he was going to go the same way. Just before the penalty I walked over to Sonny (Bradley) and just said, ‘I’m going to go the same way,’ and thankfully it was the right way.”

There was a huge delay in Jacobson taking the second spotkick, as first Glen Rea was booked, referee Darren England then changing his mind to James Collins after being informed by the fourth official and speaking to boss Nathan Jones.

On whether he thought that affected the Chairboys defender, Shea said: “It was a long time, maybe, you’d have to ask him.

“He’s there a long time thinking about where he’s going to go, I just guessed the right way and thankfully I saved it.”

After Shea had made a huge error last weekend in dropping the ball thinking a free kick had been awarded, allowing Lee Angol to make it 2-1 to Shrewsbury, boss Nathan Jones was pleased to see him rectify that with the stop.

He said: “It was a crucial save and it’s good to see our keepers saving a pen as it’s been a while since one has, I think Marek (Stech) was the last one (against Mansfield, August 2017).

“He redeemed himself a little bit for the week before, but that’s what they’re there for, one out of two, he guessed right and got closer and did it.

“Then we got back into the game, and it was probably a real game changing moment for momentum, but we’d have liked that to be us changing that through our own momentum which is one thing we probably didn’t do in the first 45 minutes.”

Discussing the decisions for the spotkicks, Sonny Bradley penalised for bringing down Matt Bloomfield and James Collins after handling a corner, Jones said: “I probably thought the first one was a pen and a fair decision. There’s arguments against it, but I’d be very disappointed if we weren’t given that.

“We felt it was a foul on Collins for the second penalty, as it was, it didn’t count for anything then,

“He’s (Adebayo Akinfenwa) actually pushed his head. He’s got his hands on him and pushed his head, and then, we would prefer he didn’t put his hands up, but it evened itself and counted for nothing.”

Shea’s thoughts were: “First one, it’s a tough one, he’s got the wrong side of Sonny and he’s always going to go down.

“It does look a penalty, but we got a point at the end of the day, that’s the main thing.

“Then I just saw the ball come in, saw Collo’s hand go up, it hit Collo’s hand and the ref gave the penalty.

“I’m just thinking who’s taking it and where’s he going to go?”

Whether he thought Bradley was going to see red having been booked just 10 minutes earlier, Jones added: “It was very harsh his first booking as he clearly got the ball.

“Whether he’s denying a goalscoring opportunity, wide in the box, he’s close, it’s a clumsy challenge, so he couldn’t have argued had he given him another yellow, but having cheaply booked him for the first one in the first two or three minutes, then it was probably the right decision.”