Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon heaped praise on on-loan Newcastle striker Ivan Toney after his equaliser in the 1-1 Sky Bet League draw with Swindon.

Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon hails Ivan Toney impact

Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon hails Ivan Toney impact

Shrewsbury had to settle for a 1-1 draw for the third successive match after Toney's leveller.

John Goddard headed Swindon into an early lead but Mellon was delighted with the quality of Toney's strike.

The striker latched onto a fine pass from Louis Dodds to knock the ball past goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux before winning the race with a defender to score.

"It was a good goal," said Mellon. "Louis gets hold of the ball, does really well and turns it into the big man's path and he does great. A good time to get ourselves back in the game."

Mellon, impressed with Toney's contribution since bringing the youngster to the Greenhous Meadow on loan, added: "He's a massive player for us, everybody knows that. He's a real threat, a real presence up there, he runs his socks off for us. He's very, very important to us as a team. When he's not playing we miss that presence up front."

Shrewsbury, who lost midfielder Gary Deegan to an 88th-minute red card after he collected two bookings, have conceded the opening goal in their last seven matches in league and cup.

But Mellon saluted his team's battling qualities in hitting back to pick up a point and felt they created the best chance to win the game when a late effort from substitute AJ Leitch-Smith was well saved by Vigouroux.

He added: "I have to say that we're fighting hard, we're working hard. We know that improvements have got to be made, there's no doubt about that, we know what they are.

"Everybody that's here that has half a brain will know that. We need to get better with the football, we need to be more of a threat when we get it and keep it up there and make it more difficult for teams that we're playing against.

"But, listen, we're playing against good teams. They knocked the ball about very well, as well as what anybody has here, certainly in League One."

Swindon head coach Luke Williams was pleased how his team started with Goddard neatly heading home a ninth-minute cross from the right from Darnell Furlong, but was frustrated to concede on the stroke of half time.

Williams said: "I think we started the game very well and we took the lead deservedly and then struggled to maintain focus after that."

On the timing of the Shrewsbury equaliser, he decribed it as "the worst time - it gives you a deflated feeling coming in the dressing room, so very disappointing.

"We conceded a goal in the last minute of the first half against Oxford that was a free-kick on the edge of the box that was awarded as a penalty and that really knocked the stuffing out of us, so we need to learn."

Williams stressed he was happy to see midfielder Goddard open his goal account in a Swindon shirt.

"It was brilliant to see John score," he added. "I think he's been getting into good areas and deserved the goal. He's been threatening, he's been getting into good positions, he's made an assist a couple of times for other people, so we're pleased for him to get off the mark."

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