Town: Dean Henderson, Mat Sadler, Abu Ogogo, Arthur Gnahoua (Shaun Whalley 66), Junior Brown, James Bolton, Ebou Adams (Louis Dodds 83), Niall Ennis (Lenell John-Lewis 83), Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Louis Dodds, Shaun Whalley, Zak Jules, Dan James, Lenell John-Lewis, Christos Shielis
Nottingham Forest: Dimitar Evtimov, Eric Lichaj, Matt Mills, Chris Cohen ©, Danny Fox (Tendayi Darikwa 63), Mustapha Carayol, Kieran Dowell (Ben Osborn 63), Jack Hobbs, Andreas Bouchalakis, Jason Cummings, Apostolos Vellios (Tyler Walker 74)
Subs: Jordan Smith, Barrie McKay, Ben Osborn, Ben Brereton, Tendayi Darikwa, Tyler Walker, Joe Worrall
Referee: John Busby
Assistants: Anthony Da Costa and David Benton
Fourth Official: Richard Bartlett
Shrewsbury Town have been knocked out of the first round of the Carabao Cup at the hands of Championship side Nottingham Forest. Forest took the lead on the half hour mark when Mustapha Carayol sent Dean Henderson the wrong way from the spot. Forest scored a second with 15 minutes remaining when Jason Cummings finished powerfully from 12 yards. Town almost got back into it as Shaun Whalley scored from the spot after a foul on Niall Ennis, but they couldn’t find a late equaliser to take it to extra-time.
Town make three changes from the side which beat Northampton Town on Saturday. The two Morris’ Carlton and Bryn drop out of the squad. Niall Ennis replaces Carlton Morris upfront, whilst Ebou Adams comes into bolster the midfield. Meanwhile, Shaun Whalley is on the bench with Arthur Gnahoua coming in on the left wing and Alex Rodman moving over to the right. Dan James and Christos Shielis make up the bench.
On a sodden night at the City Ground it was the home side who had the first opportunity of the game when Mustapha Carayol ran past a couple of Town men and the ball found its way to Apostolos Vellios whose left footed effort was high and wide of Dean Henderson’s goal.
Just a minute later Town almost had the perfect opportunity handed to them on a plate when a defensive mix up allowed Niall Ennis space to run, but after doing the hard work he scuffed his shot and Jon Nolan’s follow up was well blocked by a couple of Forest bodies.
Despite making 11 changes from the weekend, Forest kept very much to their philosophy of passing the ball out of the back, as Town looked to combat that with a high pressing game. The combination of the two styles allowed for an end to end affair with Alex Rodman having a decent effort blocked from the edge of the box, whilst Eric Lichaj’s 25 yard shot was straight at Dean Henderson.
It was Nottingham Forest that came closest in the opening 25 minutes when Jason Cummings received the ball on the turn and ran 15 yards before unleashing a dipping effort from 30 yards which clipped the top of Dean Henderson’s bar.
Town certainly didn’t look like a side from the league below and they had a couple of periods of sustained pressure without testing Dimitar Evtimov in the Forest goal.
Sadly, on the half hour mark Town were made to pay for a lack of cutting edge when Mustapha Carayol caught Town on the break and he ran 40 yards, before being brought down in the box by Abu Ogogo. Referee Busby quickly pointed to the spot and Carayol himself stepped up to send Henderson the wrong way.
With the rain continuing to poor at the City Ground, neither side created any clear cut chances in the final 15 minutes of the half. Town’s best work came through Rodman down the right hand side, but the final ball was lacking.
Half Time: Forest 1 Town 0
If anything the rain got even worse in the second half meaning that both sides struggled to have sustained spells of possession. The closest either side came in the opening 15 minutes of the half was a Forest free-kick which went straight into the hands of Henderson after the Town wall blocked the initial effort.
With Town needing an equaliser, Forest were happy to sit deep in defence. This allowed the likes of Gnahoua, Ennis and Rodman space to roam. At times they all managed to get into dangerous positions, but much like the first half, Town couldn’t find the desired pass at the crucial time.
The longer the game went on the more confident Forest became and they went very close to adding a second when Nsiala and Brown were forced to make last ditch blocks to keep out Carayol and Cohen, before Tendayi Darikwa’s shot whistled just wide.
At the other end, Town substitute Shaun Whalley was denied a penalty when he latched onto Jon Nolan’s through ball and appeared to be brought down in the box, but Busby waved away the appeals.
With just 15 minutes remaining Forest appeared to have put the game to bed as Jason Cummings pounced on a wonderful slide-pass from Carayol before firing past Dean Henderson.
However, Town reacted quickly and Busby this time did point to the spot when Niall Ennis appeared to be blocked off after receiving a pass from Shaun Whalley. Whalley stepped up and despite Evtimov getting a good hand to it, the spot kick had too much power and nestled in the back of the net.
With less than 10 minutes remaining Paul Hurst sent on Louis Dodds and Lenell John-Lewis as Town looked to force extra time and they came so close to doing so in stoppage time when Shaun Whalley found the rising head of Alex Rodman at the far post, but his powerful header was brilliantly saved Evtimov in the Forest goal.
Full Time: Forest 2 Town 1