Town 4 Coventry City 1
Town: Chris Weale, Jermaine Grandison, Darren Jones, Luke Summerfield, Joe Jacobson, Michael Hector, Paul Parry, Matt Richards (c) (Wright, 71), Terry Gornell (Taylor, 83), Marvin Morgan, Aaron Wildig
Subs: Joe Anyon, Rob Purdie, Ryan Doble, Connor Goldson, Asa Hall, Jon Taylor, Mark Wright
Coventry City: Joe Murphy, Jordan Clarke, Chris Hussey, Carl Baker (Fleck, 46), Steven Jennings, Stephen Elliott, Kevin Kilbane (c) (McSheffrey, 62), Adam Barton (Daniels, 46), Richard Wood, William Edjenguelle, David McGoldrick
Subs: Cody McDonald, John Fleck, Gary McSheffrey, Chris Dunn, Roy O’Donovan, Billy Daniels, Reece Brown
Referee: Mr. D.Mohareb
Assistants: Mr. G.Taylor & Mr. R. Merchant
Fourth Official: Mr. M. Perry
Attendance: 5,960 (610 from Coventry)
Martin Wild reports from Greenhous Meadow
Town recorded their biggest win of the season with a resounding 4-1 victory over Coventry City at the Greenhous. Darren Jones headed the hosts into a third minute lead before Matt Richards diverted a Paul Parry free-kick into the net to double Town’s lead after 20 minutes. Richards calmly despatched a penalty with Marvin Morgan grabbing a fourth just two minutes later, and although City grabbed a consolation through a John Fleck penalty with quarter of an hour left, the result was never in doubt as Shrews picked up a second win of the campaign.
Manager Graham Turner reacted to the weekend home defeat to Scunthorpe by making four changes to his starting line-up. At the back Joe Jacobson and Michael Hector were restored to the side and there were further changes in midfield and up front. Aaron Wildig came in for Mark Wright and Terry Gornell earned a quick recall to partner Morgan after missing out on Saturday, with Tom Bradshaw not even making the bench.
The changes paid immediate dividends when centre back Jones opened his account for the club inside three minutes. Jermaine Grandison did well to force a corner against his former club and when Parry put a deep flag kick to the back post, Jones climbed high above City keeper Joe Murphy to loop a header into the North Stand goal.
It was a great start for Shrews and piled more misery on the Sky Blues who are still searching for a first league victory at this level following their relegation in May.
Murphy was having a torrid time of things and just after William Edjenguelle had seen yellow for a crude tug on Morgan, the keeper was found in no-man’s land again from another Parry set-piece and was lucky to have cover behind him this time. It was all Shrewsbury first ten with Coventry barely able to make it beyond halfway.
They had their first shot on goal with 17 minutes on the watch but Carl Baker’s effort from all of 30 yards was food and drink for Chris Weale and posed no threat of an equaliser. It was only Weale’s second touch of the ball and the other one was fielding a routine back pass.
Bang on 20 minutes it got worse for the visitors as Edjenguelle again attracted the attentions of the match official for getting up close and too personal with Morgan. Parry struck from the resultant free-kick which may well have taken a deflection off Richards on its way into the net with Town’s second doing little to improve the mood of the travelling fans gathered behind that goal – with only just over 600 having bothered to make the trip up the M6.
It was mostly one-way traffic with City offering next to nothing going forward and Gornell might have done better when Morgan carved out a really good chance for him five minutes before the break. Morgan cleverly held the ball up to slip his fellow striker in but when Gornell’s first touch took the ball slightly away from him - and with Murphy quick to reduce the angle - the number 24 could only skew his effort well wide when he perhaps should have put this game to bed.
Half Time: Town 2 Coventry City 0
The away side made changes at the break after a poor opening 45 which saw the side reach the dressing rooms to a cacophony of boos from their supporters – Baker and Adam Barton got first use of the showers with Fleck and Billy Daniels tasked with helping City get back in this game.
Richard Wood became the second Coventry player into the ref’s notebook with a really cynical lunge at Morgan on halfway seven minutes into the second half. And they would have received further punishment had a linesman’s flag not curtailed Gornell’s celebrations after the striker stuck out a leg to divert Luke Summerfield’s daisy cutter past a wrong-footed Murphy. It was tough on Gornell who is yet to register a league goal this term but has seen two efforts chalked off – the other one coming at Bramall Lane on the opening day.
A third might have all but emptied the North Stand but the game was still a contest as long as Coventry could stay in touch. Trouble was, with an hour already played they’d barely strung half a dozen passes together with Town totally in the ascendancy and nowhere near in top gear.
Some fans had indeed seen enough when Richards made it three from the spot on 62. Summerfield was upended by the woeful Edjenguelle and the skipper sent Murphy the wrong way from 12 yards.
Just as the travelling contingent thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. Two minutes later it was four as Morgan held off the powder-puff challenge of Wood to bury the ball past Murphy to send the Town fans potty. The Coventry fans were also going potty – loudly questioning their players’ desire to wear the famous Sky Blue jerseys. Make no mistake, this was a bad day at the office for the fallen giants.
Wright came on for Richards with 19 minutes left but before the winger could get a touch the deficit was narrowed. Fleck planted a penalty right down the middle after Grandison had been penalised for a clumsy looking challenge on McSheffrey when the big defender failed to get goal side of his man.
Jon Taylor got a cameo run-out when he was given seven minutes for the withdrawn Gornell and was quickly scurrying around in typical fashion closing down the over-worked Coventry full-backs.
There was only one other incident of any note which saw Weale turn McSheffrey’s 25 yarder over in added time, but it was all a little too late for a well-beaten Coventry team.
Full Time: Town 4 Coventry City 1