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Steve Cotterill hails Luke Leahy composure after Shrews’ comeback win at Wycombe

Steve Cotterill was delighted with the win (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Steve Cotterill was delighted with the win (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill praised Luke Leahy’s composure after the captain’s 89th-minute penalty gave the Shrews a 2-1 win at Wycombe.

Town’s first league win of the season was a classic of the smash-and-grab genre. Matthew Pennington equalised after Garath McCleary had earlier given the hosts a deserved lead on a sweltering afternoon in which Wycombe dominated.

But Leahy’s late winner, after summer signing Tom Bayliss was brought down by Joe Jacobson, capped a good week for Salop following a Carabao Cup win over Carlisle.

Cotterill said: “It’s nice to have Luke to rely on in that moment. That’s the reason he is captain, that’s why he is one of our leaders, for them pressure situations, and I think he enjoys them.

“I thought in the second half the boys were excellent. It’s a great header from Matthew Pennington, so I’m sure Wycombe won’t complain about that. They’ve been very good at set plays over the year, so to get one against them it’s double the value.

“We went for it at 1-1. I think they had been going for it for most of the game. We’ve been on the back end of those where we play well enough but don’t get the points.

“We switched to 4-3-3 and I think that gave us a lot more impetus. It was a long, hard shift for the wing-backs today. Big pitch, very dry, but even with a top-class water system on the pitch it would have dried out today.

“Thankfully we’ve now got our first win in the league, a couple of wins in the last week – we’re delighted with that.”

Meanwhile, Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth bemoaned a lacklustre defensive performance which cost his side the points.

Wanderers conceded for the first time at home in the league since February and Ainsworth was livid his side’s outstanding defensive record came to an end courtesy of a header from a long throw.

He said: “They’ve done a Wycombe of a few years ago. We were like that, we used to go there, soak up pressure, defend our own box and then get them on the counter-attack.

“I’m gutted that we’ve let them have counter-attacks, gutted that we haven’t been solid and had the desire to stop that ball going in our own net.

“We’re now playing some more football, we’re playing some good stuff. But we’ve got to be solid and stand up to the challenge.

“We’ve given them two goals, they haven’t worked and earned it. It’s not like we’ve been massacred here.

“I’m not going to say we didn’t play well, we played really well, but at the moment I’m fuming with the two goals.”