Peterborough United suffered another dismal day the ABAX Stadium as struggling Shrewsbury left with three points from a 2-1 win (February 23).
Posh were the better side early on and took the lead with Jason Naismith’s first goal for the club in the 10th minute.
But a red card for Ivan Toney after 26 minutes was followed by two quick Shrewsbury goals.
Even a red card for Shrewsbury skipper Ollie Norburn after 62 minutes couldn’t save Posh who only looked like scoring from Marcus Maddison set pieces.
But a moment of madness from top scorer Toney was the game’s pivitol moment.
A Shrewsbury corner was won at the back post by Luke Waterfall and diverted goalwards by Omar Beckles. The ball was going over the goalline until Toney, a former Shrews loanee, palmed it away with his hand. An understandable decision in the last minute of a match, but with over an hour to play against a struggling team with the worst away record in League One it was plain daft.
Moments after Toney walked slowly off - incredibly it was the fourth first half red card of 2019 for Posh - Norburn buried the penalty and Darren Ferguson’s men were suddenly under the cosh.
The skills of Lee Tomlin were immediately sacrificed for Matt Godden as Posh ditched the midfield diamond for a 4-4-1 formation, but any confidence drained from the side and another moment of defensive dopiness gave Shrews the lead 10 minutes before the break.
Maddison conceded a free kick 30 yards from goal and no-one bothered to watch on-loan Stoke striker Tyrese Campbell wander unmarked to the corner of the penalty area. He was given the ball and delivered a terrific first-time finish across O’Malley.
It could have been 3-1 within minutes as former Posh midfielder Anthony Grant freed Campbell. He lobbed the hesitant O’Malley, but couldn’t force the ball past Ryan Tafazolli on the goalline.
Posh hopes seemed to rest on Maddison’s accuracy from set-pieces. Naismith converted one opportunity, volleyed another over the bar and in the final minute of the first-half Tafazolli headed another straight at visiting ‘keeper Steve Arnold.
Posh reverted to wing-backs for the second-half and Godden should have converted one Joe Ward cross, but Shrewsbury were comfortable until Norburn was dismissed after two reckless tackles in quick succession.
Even then the visitors looked as likely to score with Grant hitting the post before Naismith’s fierce 12-yard drive was well blocked by Shrewsbury ‘keeper Steve Arnold after he’d fumbled a Maddison free kick.
Tafazolli had a last-gasp chance, inevitably from a Maddison set piece, but Arnold saved comfortably.
Posh would have moved back into the top six with a win, but they currently look nothing like a team destined for the play-offs.
Posh: Conor O’Malley: Jason Naismith, Tyler Denton, Ben White, Ryan Tafazolli, Alex Woodyard (sub Louis Reed, 55 mins), Joe Ward, Kyle Dempsey (sub Matty Stevens, 83 mins), Lee Tomlin (sub Matt Godden, 29 mins), Marcus Maddison, Ivan Toney.
Unused substitutes: George Cooper, Rhys Bennett, Callum Cooke, Aaron Chapman.
Shrewsbury: Steve Arnold, Ro-Shaun Williams, Omar Beckles, Luke Waterfall, Scott Golbourne, Anthony Grant, Ollie Norburn, Shaun Whalley (sub James Bolton, 67 mins), Josh Laurent, Aaron Amadi-Holloway (sub Fejiri Okenbirihie, 72 mins), Tyrese Campbell (sub Greg Docherty, 61 mins).
Unused substitutes: Jonathan Mitchell, Matt Sadler, Ryan Sears, Stefan Payne.
Goals: Posh - Naismith (10 mins).
Shrews - Norburn (29 mins), Campbell (36 mins).
Sendings off: Posh - Toney (denying a goalscoring opportunity).
Shrews - Norburn (second yellow, foul).
Cautions: Shrews - Norburn (foul), Okenabirhie (delaying the restart), Beckles (foul).
Referee: Kevin Johnson 5
Attendance: 6,260 (340 Shrewsbury).