Shrewsbury 3-0 Crawley Town

Tom Eaves hit a superb second-half hat-trick as Shrewsbury Town earned a vital victory over Crawley to move seven points clear of the relegation zone.

After opening the scoring with a fine 25-yard strike, Eaves then ran from the halfway line to coolly chip the ball over keeper Paul Jones to make it 2-0.

Town missed a penalty when Matt Richards blazed the ball over after Joe Walsh had tugged Yado Mambo's shirt.

But another powerful long-range Eaves strike secured his treble late on.

Crawley had the better of the first half and could easily have led, Jamie Proctor looping a header just over after being picked out by Mustapha Dumbuya's cross. But they were blown away in the second period.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Shrewsbury Town manager Graham Turner told BBC Radio Shropshire:

"We find ourselves in a reasonable position - but there are still a few points to get to be sure. We should have had a better return on our recent form, so today has touched the anxiety amongst the players.

"I'd like to say it was a terrific performance and the scoreline reflected that - but I can't say it was. We were lucky and made the most of our chances. They've missed some chances and it could have been very different.

"Tom Eaves has done what he is in the side for. He does strike the ball well and six goals in eight games is incredible for us.

"Matt Richards has been a reliable penalty taker for a number of seasons. It was disappointing to see it go over the bar. I am not going to fall out with him for missing it."

Crawley Town manager Richie Barker told BBC Sussex:

"It's another game we've come away from having dominated possession, played the better football and created the most chances and ended up getting beat so I think it's a learning curve.

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Learning curve for Crawley - Barker

"We looked like a good team today but looking like a good team and turning it into a good team are two different things and we need to be careful.

"We should be doing better with the chances we had.

"It's going to be tough with back-to-back home games against MK Dons and Sheffield United, but whether it's the play-offs or not I think we've done extremely well."

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