Good work out for both sides and a lovely goal from Ethan JonesShrewsbury v Birmingham match report 1,020 attendance (98) away
Shrewsbury got back to winning ways thanks to a lovely finish by Ethan Jones late on which was enough to secure victory against Birmingham City.
The temperature was a punishing 28 degrees at kick-off despite the sun mercifully taking some rest-bite behind the clouds above Shropshire.
Birmingham showed the depth of their squad as they were also in action entertaining Walsall as the game at the Meadow got underway.
It was a cagey start as both sides were reluctant to expend too much energy in the opening exchanges.
There were calls for an early penalty on 11 mins as Louis Dodds threaded a ball through to Antoni Sarcevic in the box before he was bundled over but it wasn’t enough for the referee to award a penalty.
Kyle McFarlane did well out wide for the away side moments later as he kept the ball in play and hooked it into path of James Vaughan but his tame shot was smothered by Jayson Leutwiler.
Half way through the half there was a pause for players to take on fluids in the tropical conditions.
The crowd roared to life as Vaughan hit the turf theatrically in the box but the striker managed to avoid a warning from the referee for his actions.
New signing Robert Tesche tested the Swiss stopper with a low drive aimed towards the bottom corner which was parried out for a corner. Diego Fabrini then caught the eye with a jinking run out wide following the corner. He sliced through the Shrewsbury defence and into the box before he was tumbled over fairly in the view of the ref and the home side cleared their lines.
After the half hour mark Birmingham had a chance to take the lead as Fabrini attempted an overhead kick in the box but his execution left him kicking fresh air. The ball then fell to David Davis who failed in his effort at a volley as the ball came off his knee and into the path of Vaughan eight yards out but he placed his header wide.
The best chance of the half was created by AJ Leitch-Smith minutes later as he beat his man on the edge of the box and punched his shot goal-bound but Adam Legzdins got down well to keep the contest level.
Vaughan again drew a roar from the crowd just before half time as another theatrical tumble led to a free kick which Tesche curled towards the bottom corner but Leutwiler made a solid save.
There was an early chance for Shrewsbury after the break as Leitch-Smith did well again to beat his man out wide and whip an inviting cross on to the head of Dodds but he couldn’t latch onto the ball.
The resulting corner fell to Sarcevic inside the 6 yard box but he blazed his header over when he should have done better.
Shrewsbury improved in the second half as Jones put in a slide rule pass across the box which only needed a tap to end up in the back of the net but no Shrewsbury player could connect with the cross.
On the hour mark a mass of red and black shirts flooded the pitch as Shrewsbury made seven changes.
The game exploded on 70 mins after a meaty tackle by Jacques Maghoma caused a scuffle that embroiled all but one of the players. The referee kept his cards in his pocket and instead signalled for a drinks break.
Shrewsbury again went close with 15 minutes left when the ball broke to Andy Mangan after Birmingham failed to deal with a free kick but his drive was narrowly wide.
The home side finally made the breakthrough with 6 minutes left as Jones won the ball back and then drilled his effort from outside the box clean into the bottom corner to seal the win.
Town starting: Jayson Leutwiler, Joe Riley, Junior Brown, Gary Deegan, Olly Lancashire, Ryan McGivern, Shaun Whalley, Antoni Sarcevic, AJ Leitch-Smith, Jim O'Brien, Louis Dodds
Shrewsbury: (48) on: Ethan Jones
Off: (48) Jim O’Brien
on: (60) Barnett, Sadler, Ogogo, Smith, Mangan, Wellens and El-Abd.
Off: (60) Lancashire, Brown, Deegan, McGivern, Sarcevic, Leitch-Smith and Dodds.
On: (74) Grogan
Off: (74) Riley
On: (79) Kaimen Anderson
Off: (79) Shaun Whalley