Matt Scrafton trawls through the archives to take a look back at Blackpool's 2-0 win at Shrewsbury Town on September 2, 1995.
Sam Allardyce summed up Blackpool’s recipe for success at Shrewsbury in a nutshell after the match.
“Quality finishing and stout defending” was the combination which earned the Seasiders their first away victory of the season – and fired a warning shot across the bows of the rest of the
Second Division as they surged into second spot.
It was a vast improvement on the lacklustre Pool put up in losing at Hull seven days earlier and just the kind of show Allardyce’s men need to consistently produce on their travels if they are to be a promotion force this season.
Andy Preece’s first-half double earned the headlines and sealed the points but, as the £225,000 striker was quick to magnanimously point out afterwards, it was a win in which everyone in the Blackpool team played a part.
Shrewsbury went into the match on the back of a 4-1 midweek romp against newly-relegated Bristol City, but the Pool defence was in such stubborn form that the home attack was made to look positively ordinary.
Although the Shrews made a lively start, they only very rarely troubled Steve Banks in the Blackpool goal and the visitors were able to take full advantage with a relatively early first goal from Preece.
It was 16 minutes before Pool had their first attempt on goal, with Micky Mellon heading wide from a cross from the left by Tony Ellis.
But within a minute, they were ahead as Marvin Bryan continued the excellent form he showed on his first senior start in midweek by setting up Preece in style.
Bryan ran from his own half, down the right flank and crossed low into the box, where the ball evaded the home defenders and came through to Preece, running in, who shot low into the bottom left hand corner.
Banks’ only real test of the first half came when he had to tip over a looping header from the edge of the box by Shrewsbury’s Dean Spink.
And apart from having to be treated for a knock after bravely thwarting a run through by the home side’s Mark Taylor, the keeper was rarely called into action during the rest of the first half as Pool looked good value for their lead.
On 24 minutes, another good cross by Bryan into the box was touched on well by Preece but the ball just wouldn’t run kindly for Mark Bonner.
James Quinn shot well over the bar from 20 yards three minutes after that and in the 34th minute, a shot on the turn by Tony Ellis ended up over the bar following a Mellon pass.
Just as the Pool supporters were thinking how deserved a half-time advantage of a single goal would be, the Seasiders went on to doubly their tally - effectively killing off the match as a contest in the process.
It was another well worked goal, clinically finished by Preece, who volleyed into the right hand corner from 15 yards with his right foot after Scott Darton crossed from the left.
But all credit to Preece’s strike partner Ellis for his persistence in setting up Darton to put over what was a pinpoint cross.
Banks was called into active five minutes into the second half to save at the foot of the near post after a run down the right by Austin Berkley set up Spink for a shot.
But Shrewsbury were more than ably contained by the hard-working Pool defence and it would have been an injustice if the visitors had come away without a clean sheet for their commendable efforts.
All the home side could muster in the final 40 minutes of the match was a header well wide of the Pool goal by Taylor and a weak shot by substitute Ian Stevens which was easily collected by Banks.
Shrewsbury sent on all three of their substitutes in the second half in a vain bid to get back into the game but it made no notable difference to the comfort with which the Pool defence contained them.
The best chance of a Pool goal in the second half fell four minutes from the end to Preece who headed a great opportunity to complete his hat-trick wide of the right hand post after some great work by Quinn who had set up substitute Chris Beech to put over a cross from the left.