Town v CambridgeShrewsbury Town’s disappointing week continued as their flat performance against Cambridge United in the Football League Trophy ended with an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to the side propping up the bottom of the League 2 table.
Shrewsbury have now failed to defeat the Cambridgeshire side in their previous six meetings and the early goal from Joe Piggot was enough to earn a deserved victory at the New Meadow.
Cambridge nearly found the opener inside two minutes when Shrewsbury failed to deal with a simple cross from Piggot. The ball fell to Ben Williamson who got a shot away in the box from point blank range but Jayson Leutwiler saved with his feet.
Minutes later Moha Choulay showed neat footwork to beat his man before threading a ball into AJ Leitch- Smith who was clean through on goal but this time it was Will Norris’ turn to make a smart save with his feet to keep the scores level.
Cambridge were giving as good as they got and in the 11th minute U’s captain Leon Legge leaped highest on the edge of the six yard box to connect with a corner but his header was straight at the Swiss stopper who parried away.
It was the away side who found the net after a smart move down the wing just before the 20 minute mark found Piggot who wrestled the ball over the line.
The cross from wide was cushioned down in the box by Piggot who then fired his shot straight at Leutwiler but the rebound fell kindly for him to slot home at the second time of asking.
Shrewsbury looked like the side in the lower league in the opening half an hour and they were glad for a break in play as Ian Black’s injury gave them a chance to regroup and stop Cambridge’s momentum.
But Cambridge kept up the pressure and nearly doubled their lead after some smart passing set up Conor Newton in the box.
The 24-year-old couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet quick enough to have a decent shot and a combination of Abu Ogogo and Leutwiler manage to clear.
Five minutes before half time the ball was in the back of the Shrewsbury net again but the goal was disallowed for handball in the build-up. It was the defender Legge again who was in the box to finish the move but luckily for the home side it didn’t stand.
Seconds later Shrewsbury had a brilliant chance to restore parity against the run of play when Ethan Jones pulled the ball back to Choulay who was in the box in acres of space but he blasted the ball high and wide.
The Shrewsbury players went into the tunnel at half time under a disappointed crowd who were frustrated at their lacklustre first half performance.
Joe Riley did well out wide for Shrewsbury in the 53rd minute before cutting inside and going on a jinking run into the box but his lay off let to Leitch-Smith was poor and undid all his good work.
Town: J Leutwiler, J Riley, M Sadler, O Lancashire, I Black, A Ogogo, J Brown, M Choulay (L Dodds 57), A Leitch-Smith (G Deegan 57), G Waring, E Jones (A Mangan 62)
Subs not used: M Halstead, A El-Abd, A Sarcevic, I Toney
Cambridge United: W Norris, G Taylor, L Legge, T Dallison, M Clark, J Gosling, M Elito (S Long 64), C Newton, L Davies (P Mingoia 64), B Williamson (U Ikpeazu 64), J Pigott
Subs Not Used: D Gregory, J Coulsen, J Dunne, L Berry
Ref: Chris Sarginson
Assistants: Marvyn Amphlett and Anthony Moore
Fourth Official: Nicholas Barnard
Attendance: 1,187 (63 from Cambridge)