Luke Waterfall headed in his sixth goal of the season at the weekend to secure all three points for Shrewsbury in a dour relegation battle with Southend United at Roots Hall.
Waterfall pounced for Shrewsbury’s second goal in the sixty-ninth minute after Fejiri Okenabirhie had given them the lead five minutes into the second half.
The game was hardly a thriller, with neither side mustering an effort on target in the first half, but Waterfall was delighted with his day’s work which helped ease his team’s relegation worries, moving them up to fifteenth in the table. The 6ft 2in defender told the Shropshire Star that while he enjoyed the goal, he also enjoyed a defensive shut out, commenting that ‘It’s always nice to chip in with a goal, but I was more delighted with the clean sheet.’
‘Getting the clean sheet gives us a platform to go and win games, so we were delighted with that. It’s a massive win, and hopefully, this will give us the momentum to go into the last games strongly.’
‘This was a massive win – there is no hiding from that. We all knew how big of a game it was. Coming away with three points is brilliant.’
While the win eased the Shrews relegation worries, defeat left their opponents in deep trouble. Having sacked manager Chris Powell earlier in the week, supporters were hoping caretaker boss Ricky Duncan could inspire the Shrimpers to three points, but the team once again failed to find a spark. Southend have now lost three games in a row at Roots Hall and are without a win any sort since they thrashed Bradford 4-0 at Valley Parade on 19th January.
Luke Waterfall is always a danger in the opposition box, and six goals from centre-half is a great achievement.
However, he has received criticism from supporters over the defensive side of his game since his summer arrival from Lincoln City.
A clean sheet away from home is always difficult even if Southend were dire and a man of the match performance from Waterfall will go a long way to answering his critics.