Lawrence fires Town into FA Cup Second RoundA stunning second-half strike from Liam Lawrence fired Shrewsbury Town past Walsall and into the FA Cup Second Round on Tuesday night.
The Town captain hit a brilliant, curling strike into the top right corner in the 53rd minute to give Shrews the win against the League One side at the Greenhous Meadow.
Walsall were reduced to ten men late on when their captain Adam Chambers went in high on Nathaniel Knight-Percival.
And Town will now face a trip to Preston North End in the Second Round of the competition - one stage away from the illustrious Third Round.
Manager Micky Mellon made one forced change to the side which beat Mansfield Town 2-0 at the Greenhous Meadow in Sky Bet League 2 on Saturday.
Midfielder Ryan Woods returned from a one-match suspension which saw him miss the game against the Stags, Jack Grimmer had to sit out due to being cup-tied.
Cameron Gayle, Mark Ellis and Andy Mangan had all played in the 2-2 draw at the Banks's Stadium ten days before, while Town old boy Tom Bradshaw was unable to repeat his two goals against the Shrews from the first game - being out injured for the Saddlers.
Town attacked the Pro-Vision CCTV Stand in the first half and in the sixth minute Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro found space inside the box to reach Jermaine Grandison's dink forward, but the Frenchman was caught offside.
Walsall's first threatening moment came from Anthony Forde's cross from the left, with Town defender Mickey Demetriou doing well to head clear the danger.
It was a quiet opening period to the cup tie considering the rivalry between the two sides, although Saddlers striker Mathieu Manset found himself free inside the penalty box when a cross came in from the right in the 19th minute, but he headed over.
An even better chance presented itself at the feet of Town striker James Collins inside the box, when James Wesolowski pulled back Lawrence's dink forward, but Collins drilled his shot wide of the left post from the right.
Town harried their League One opponents with a high pressing game, looking to draw mistakes from Dean Smith's side.
There was a moment of panic for Walsall goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell in the 32nd minute when needed to attempts to catch a low free-kick from Bobby Grant.
Collins also got up well to meet a cross from Demetriou on the left moment later but headed wide.
A neat moving involving Grant and Wesolowski saw the latter tee up captain Lawrence for a strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 35th minute, but the captain's effort spun wide of the right post.
Lawrence also drilled a superb ball along the ground in the 38th minute from the right, although there was unfortunately nobody there to get on the end of it.
Town applied some late pressure in the first half, with Connor Goldson heading over from Grant's corner on the right, but it remained goalless at the break.
HALF-TIME: Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Walsall
Those who attended the Mansfield game on Saturday will remember the Pearl of Africa choir which performed for the crowd at half-time, and they did the same again in front of the West Stand during the break on Tuesday night!
Midfielder Anthony Griffith even found time to join in with the dancing!
Town kicked off the second period attacking towards the Salop Leisure Stand, although it was Walsall who made the brighter start as Forde's drilled cross along the turf from the right just evaded his teammates.
At the other end, Grant fired harmlessly over for Town from long range.
A better chance soon followed in the 50th minute, though, when Collins whipped in a cross from the left and Akpa Akpro rose but headed over from the edge of the six-yard box.
Akpa Akpro then chased down Wesolwoski sliced ball over the Walsall defence but slipped as he looked to get his shot away.
However, Town took the lead in the 53rd minute thanks to an beautifully curled finish from captain Lawrence from over 25 yards out.
The midfielder was found in space by Wesolowski and picked his spot with a left-footed, curling effort into the top right corner which left goalkeeper O'Donnell with no chance.
Walsall had a chance to equalise with 59 minutes on the clock when striker Romaine Sawyers headed straight at Town goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler with a free header from Purkiss' cross on the right.
In the 75th minute, Collins had the ball in the net after picking up the pieces from Grant's low drive but was found offside.
Leutwiler had to remained focused in goal for Town at the other end, though, and he was able to get a strong fist to James Chambers' fierce drive from the inside right.
Micky made his first change of the night by bringing on striker Scott Vernon for Bobby Grant.
And Town were soon playing again ten men when a high challenge from the Saddlers' Chambers on defender Knight-Percival earned the Walsall man a straight red card.
There was a chance for Wesolowski in the four minutes of added time to finish the contest, but his shot was blocked, while Akpa Akpro had one saved.
And Town will now face a trip to North End in the Second Round of the FA Cup - the game is to be played at Deepdale. Date and time to be confirmed.
FULL-TIME: Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Walsall
SHREWSBURY TOWN LINE-UP: Leutwiler (GK); Grandison, Demetriou, Woods, Goldson, Collins, Lawrence (c), Wesolowski, Knight-Percival, Grant (Vernon, 77'), Akpa Akpro.
UNUSED SUBS: Halstead (GK), Ellis, Vincent, Wildig, Griffith, Clark.
GOALS: Lawrence (53').
BOOKED: Woods (90+1').
WALSALL LINE-UP: O'Donnell (GK); Purkiss, Taylor, Downing, Chambers (c), Sawyers (Baxendale, 72'), Cain, Chambers, Cook, Forde (Benning, 58'), Manset (Grimes, 65').
UNUSED SUBS: O'Connor, MacGillivray, Flanagan, Clifford.
SENT OFF: Chambers (83').
ATTENDANCE: 4,222 (711 from Walsall).
NEXT FIXTURE: Exeter City v Shrewsbury Town (Saturday 2 November, Sky Bet League 2, St James Park, 3pm kick-off).