Barnett Header Cancels Out Dicko's Opener
Shrewsbury Town fought out an evenly contested friendly this afternoon against Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
And Town were unlucky not to grab a morale boosting victory with the game ending one apiece.
Nouha Dicko headed the Old Golds in front early on but Tyrone Barnett also used his head to get Town level from Liam Lawrence’s corner after 34 minutes.
But Salop went close in the last twenty minutes against fresher opposition with the visitors changing their entire eleven at the break.
The opening goal of the game came from a teasing left wing cross from Kevin McDonald, and there was a touch of hesitancy with Dicko pulling away from a sleepy defence to power past Jayson Leutwiler on 10 minutes.
And Shrews were indebted to their Swiss keeper when he stood tall to guard his front post, as the splendidly named Rajiv van La Parra capitalised on sloppy Town possession in their own defensive third shortly after the goal.
But Shrewsbury had ideas of their own going forward and Wolves Liam McAlinden – on loan at Greenhous Meadow – might have done better with a header which went straight at Carl Ikeme who made a reactionary stop.
And Town kept up the pressure going close twice within a minute. Martin Woods’ inventiveness got Barnett away and the striker was deliberate with his placement but the ball fizzed wide of the far post.
The next attempt came from an unlikely source.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro had been seeing plenty of the ball and when he picked out Mat Sadler just beyond the last defender, the left-back cracked away a volley that brushed the top of the netting.
But Micky Mellon’s side weren’t to be denied with Barnett looping a header home from Lawrence’s set-piece.
Wolves came out a completely different team for the second half – literally – with Town old boy Dave Edwards wearing the captain’s armband.
And he nearly had a dream return to Shropshire with an acrobatic overhead kick which bounced down off the underside of the crossbar just five minutes after the restart.
From that point onwards, much of the play took part in the visitors half of the pitch. Aaron McCarey did brilliantly to repel James Collins after he had met McAlinden’s great ball in from the left, and then with a little over five minutes left, Ryan Woods came oh-so-close to winning the match.
He hit a peach of a shot from fully 30 yards – swerving, dipping and with pace – but with McCarey nowhere near it, the face of the bar came to Wolves rescue.
There was much to admire about Shrewsbury’s performance today, with Mellon having several headaches as he tries to piece together his first eleven from what appears to be a very good looking squad.
Town: Leutwiler, Tootle, Sadler, Lawrence (c) (R. Woods, 62), Grandison, Goldson, Brown, M. Woods (Abu Ogogo, 61), McAlinden (Whalley, 73), Barnett (Vernon, 66), Akpa-Akpro (Collins, 61)
Unused subs: Ellis, Burton (GK), Demetriou, Clark, Patterson, McKnight
Wolves (first half): Ikeme, Ebanks-Landell, Golbourne, Stearman (c), Hause, van La Parra, McDonald, Dicko, Afobe, Rowe
(second half): McCarey, Doherty, Evans, Wilson, Henry, Edwards (c), Iorfa, Price, Hayden, Deslandes, Graham
Att: 3,604 (1,309 from Wolverhampton)