Town took lead through Morgan, strong blues side hit back but good workout for Town
Town: Chris Weale, Rob Purdie, Joe Jacobson (Darren Jones, 65), Luke Summerfield (Mark Wright, 75), Jermaine Grandison, Connor Goldson (Michael Hector, 69), Aaron Wildig (Jon Taylor, HT), Matt Richards (Asa Hall, 65), Tom Bradshaw (Terry Gornell, HT), Marvin Morgan (Ryan Doble, 69), Paul Parry (Ryan Woods, 75).
Subs: Darren Jones, Joe Anyon, Michael Hector, Jon Taylor, Asa Hall, Mark Wright, Ryan Doble, Terry Gornell, Ryan Woods, Elliot Turner.
Goals: Morgan, 17.
Birmingham City: David Lucas, Jack Deamon, Stephen Caldwell (Curtis Davies, HT), Pablo Ibanez (Will Packwood, HT), Mitchel Hancox, Chris Burke (Akwasi Asante, 69), Darren Ambrose (Darren Carter, 62), Wade Elliot (Morgaro Gomis, HT), Nathan Redmond (Josh Hawker,75), Hayden Mullins (Nicola Zigic, HT), Adam Rooney (Marlon King, HT).
Subs: Nicola Zigic, Marlon King, Will Packwood, Curtis Davies, Morgaro Gomis, Darren Carter, Akwasi Asante, Josh Hawker.
Goals: Hancox, 39. Zigic, 72.
Referee: Mr. B. Madley.
Assistants: Mr. R. Merchant & Mr. S. Rushton.
Fourth Official: Mr. B. Tott.
Matt Johnson reports from the Greenhous Meadow
Graham Turner names four of his summer signings in the starting XI with Chris Weale, Rob Purdie, Luke Summerfield and Paul Parry making their Greenhous Meadow bows.
The Blues will be looking to make a strong start to their Championship campaign as they bid to regain a place in the Premier League and name a star-studded line-up for this, there latest pre-season test. Pivotal new signing Darren Ambrose and last season’s top performer Chris Burke start the clash alongside exciting youngster Nathan Redmond.
The visitors were backed by an armada of support, and it was they who roared first as Blues carved out the first chance of the tie on eight minutes. A dangerous in-swinging corner was turned towards goal by Adam Rooney, but Chris Weale was quick to react to turn the effort onto the crossbar.
Marvin Morgan claimed Town’s first pre-season goal when he nodded home after 17 minutes. Summerfield’s long range effort took a wicked deflection and it was Parry who reacted quickest, racing onto the loose ball before lofting a perfect centre for Morgan to emphatically thump his header past David Lucas.
With Town finding their feet and looking comfortable, Tom Bradshaw had the chance to double the Salop lead on 25 minutes, turning the Birmingham centre-halves in and out, but his shot was far from threatening as it trickled through harmlessly to Lucas.
Darren Ambrose had a glorious chance to level matters for Birmingham after 31 minutes, but he blazed his shot high over the bar from close range after Weale could only palm Redmond’s cross into the danger area.
The Blues continued to increase the pressure and five minutes later, Hayden Mullins’ rasping drive from the edge of the area forced Weale to save well down low to his right and young defender Connor Goldson was on hand to block Rooney’s follow-up header.
With the bit between their teeth, the visitors made the pressure tell on 39 minutes. Chris Burke glided down the right hand flank and his perfect cut back was slid into the net by Mitchel Hancox from inside the six-yard box to make it 1-1.
Half-time: Town 1-1 Birmingham City
Birmingham started the second half as they ended the first as Redmond capitalised on a Town defensive mistake to hit a delightful curler that struck plum off the post. Half-time sub Marlon King was first to the rebound and thrashed across the face of goal, but fellow sub Nicola Zigic couldn’t force the ball home from two yards.
Yet another mazy Burke run created another opportunity for Blues on 54 minutes as his low, near post cross was well anticipated by Zigic, but the Serbian could only steer his effort into the side netting.
The visitors continued their second half dominance and turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye with a three-on-two break after 59 minutes. Zigic led the charge and played a neat one-two with King before placing his shot just past the post when he perhaps should have done better.
Shrewsbury were struggling to get to grips with their Championship opposition, but they almost retook the lead on 68 minutes with virtually their first attack of the half.
Parry did well to ghost down the left and cut back to Morgan, whose powerful effort was saved by Lucas and then the keeper jumped up quickly to deny Gornell when he looked assured to score.
But that respite was short-lived. On 72 minutes, just three minutes after coming onto the field as a substitute, Akwasi Asante took on the Town defence and unleashed a rasping drive that Weale did well to keep out, but the former Leicester keeper could do nothing but watch on as Zigic hammered into the unguarded net to make it 2-1 to Blues.
Town pressed hard for the equaliser and Mark Wright was unfortunate not to score when his top-corner-bound curler was deflected off a Birmingham head and over on 87 minutes, but the fight-back ran out of time and Birmingham walked away with the victory in a very worthwhile pre-season exercise.