Shrewsbury Town secure an emphatic 4-1 win over Cambridge United.
Shrewsbury Town's return to Montgomery Waters Meadow was a memorable afternoon for Ryan Bowman having helped Town secure three points with three goals.
Despite Cambridge United pulling level in the second half, Ryan Bowman's goals and a late goal from Luke Leahu put clear daylight between the two sides as the win remained in Shropshire.
Two minutes into the game, Dan Udoh had a decent chance for an early goal. Luke Leahy delivered in a trademark left-foot cross to find Town's forward but Udoh saw his header glance over the bar.
The next Salop cross however proved more fruitful. George Nurse fired a ball towards the back post and Ryan Bowman jumped highest to smash the ball into the back of the net with his head for the opener in the fifth minute.
Shortly before the 30-minute mark, Shaun Whalley tested and stung the palms of United's shot-stopper Dimitar Mitov. Town's winger was played through by Elliott Bennett but Whalley saw his effort well saved by the 'keeper.
The half came to an end with Salop in control of proceedings. Steve Cotterill's men continually looked a threat on the wings and troubled the away side with every foray forward with the away side having minimal chances to danger Town.
Two minutes before the hour mark, the away side drew level through Jack Iredale's wonder-strike from 25-yards out. The Cambridge number three picked up the ball deep in the half and let off a powerful effort which nestled in the top corner of the net.
The away side were dealt a blow with just over 20 minutes to play as Adam May was shown a straight red card for a foul on Josh Daniels. The referee judging the United number 19 to have endangered Town's man with the poor challenge.
Town managed to find the go-ahead goal in the 73rd minute with Bowman netting his second of the game. Town's forward latched onto a Shaun Whalley through ball and managed to beat the on-rushing United keeper to establish the lead for a second time.
With seven minutes to go, Bowman capped off a memorable afternoon by securing his hat-trick. The forward smartly evaded the Yellows defenders to earn half a yard of space. Bowman then punished the away side and curled an effort into the far side of the net.
A fourth Salop goal was netted in the dying moments of the game. Goal-scorer turned provider, Bowman played a short pass to Town wing-back Luke Leahy who was able to smartly guide a shot into the bottom corner of the net to secure all three points for Salop.
Salop: Marko Marosi, Luke Leahy, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Matthew Pennington, Shaun Whalley (Tom Bloxham, 84), Dan Udoh, Ryan Bowman, Nathanael Ogbeta (Aaron Pierre, 76), David Davis, Elliott Bennett (Josh Daniels, 65, Rekeil Pyke, 88), George Nurse.
Subs not used: Harry Burgoyne, Sam Cosgrove, Khanya Leshabela.
United: Dimitar Mitov (Kai McKenzie-Lyle, 37), George Williams, Jack Iredale, Paul Digby, Lloyd Jones, James Brophy (Jensen Weir, 71), Joe Ironside, Wes Hoolahan, Shilow Tracey, Adam May, Conor Masterson (Sam Smith, 78).
Subs not used: Harrison Dunk, Jubril Okedina, Harvey Knibbs, Ben Worman.
Attendance: 5711 (394)
Referee: Simon Mather
Linesmen: Kevin Morris and Mark Jones
Fourth Official: Ravel Cheosiaua
Ethan Ebanks-Landell was shown a yellow card at the latter stages of the first half for a push inside the Yellows' box.
United captain Paul Digby was next in the referee's book, this time for a foul on Dan Udoh in the middle of the park.
Following Adam May's straight red card in the 68th minute, James Brophy was shown a yellow for dissent.