Vale edge it as Town left to rue missed chances
Both John Marsden and Dave McAllister struck the woodwork as Shrewsbury Town reserves were beaten 1-0 by Port Vale at the Greenhous Meadow this afternoon.
Town included several first team squad members in their side for this Central League Cup clash, but Vale claimed victory thanks to a fine shot from outside the penalty area by Gary O'Neil just before the hour.
It was Town's first game in a cup competition which will also see them face trips to Championship clubs Doncaster Rovers and Leicester City next month.
There were starts for former Vale goalkeeper Joe Anyon, Dave Winfield, Alex McQuade, McAllister, Marsden and top scorer Tom Bradshaw,
There was also a familiar face at the heart of the back four in Jermaine Grandison, the defender who left the club last summer but has continued to receive treatment from the Greenhous Meadow medical department under a Football League ruling.
It was his first match since recovering from a long-term hip problem.
Vale included the experienced Liam Chilvers in defence while Jordan Hugill, who came off the bench to score against Town in the recent League One clash between the clubs at Vale Park, started up front.
Town started brightly and youngster Sam Molyneux headed an early effort just off target.
Neat play from Marsden then created a shooting chance from distance for Alex Fletcher, another of the youth teamers in the side, but his 25 yard strike drifted wide.
Town had a left off in the 18th minute when Ryan Lloyd's cross picked out Hugill but the striker headed over from close range.
Anyon had to be alert to smother a Lloyd shot as Vale, watched by boss Micky Adams from the Roland Wycherley Stand, enjoyed an equal share of possession.
The lively Lloyd then went even closer as he broke from the halfway line and cracked a shot against the inside of a post.
Bradshaw, playing in a left sided role, was close to giving Town the lead just before half time when he skipped past a couple of defenders but dragged his shot wide.
Then McAllister fired into the side netting as Town ended a goalless first period strongly.
Town made a change at half time with Grandison, who produced a steady showing on his return to action, replaced by youngster George Carpenter.
Dom Smith, the Wales under-19 international, switched to the heart of the back four alongside Winfield as Carpenter slotted in at right back.
Town were so close to a breakthough in the 49th minute when Marsden rattled the bar with a well struck shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Vale took the lead just before the hour when midfielder Gary O'Neil's fine shot from 25 yards flew high into the net.
Town were denied an immediate equaliser as McAllister's fierce shot from the edge of the box came back off a post with keeper Ryan Boot beaten.
SHREWSBURY: Anyon, Smith, Winfield, Grandison (Carpenter 46), McQuade, Bradshaw, McAllister, Fletcher, Molyneux, Johnson (Anderson 55), Marsden. Subs not used: Flint, Burton, Hickman.
PORT VALE: Boot, Alexander, Jefford, Price, Chilvers, O'Neil, Carvalho, Shuker, Hugill, Tambini, Lloyd. Unused subs: Smith, Beesley, Swaby, Wright, Osbourne.