Late Riley screamer gives Town the win
Coventry: Burge, Grimmer, Pearson, Hyam, Kelly-Evans, Doyle (C), Stevenson, Vincenti, Andreu, Jones, McNulty
Shrewsbury Town: 15 MacGillivray, 4 Godfrey, 6 Beckles, 7 Whalley, 11 Gnahoua, 12 Brown, 13 Bolton, 14 John-Lewis, 20 Nolan, 22 Nsiala, 45 Payne
Substitutes: Gregory, Riley, Morris, Dodds, Adams, Jules, Rodman
Referee: Tom Nield
Assistants: Thomas Harty, Paul Thompson
Fourth Offcial: Ravel Cheosiaua
Craig MacGillivray steps in to replace Dean Henderson in goal after his England U21’s call up. Omar Beckles replaces Mat Sadler to partner Toto at the back. Arthur Gnahoua comes in for Alex Rodman on the left. Lenell John-Lewis partners Stefan Payne up top in replacement for Carlton Lewis and Abu Ogogo. Joe Rile returns to the bench after injury and U18’s Keeper Cam Gregory earned himself a spot on the bench.
Salop made the short journey to the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday evening to take on Coventry City in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Town pressed in the first five minutes of the game as Coventry looked to maintain possession. When they did get hold of the ball they looked to play the pass rather than hit Coventry with pace on the counter.
Stefan Payne made a couple of runs in behind the Coventry defence in the first ten, but to no avail as he couldn’t be found with the pass.
Town did break into the box in the 12th minute after a good turn from John-Lewis on the edge of the box. He was closed quickly by Dominic Hyam who made a well-timed challenge to clear the ball.
Junior Brown started the game high up the field almost at left wing as he offered the overlap for Arthur Gnahoua. The pairing worked well as Gnahoua broke down the left to find the space for a cross. His low pull back couldn’t find anyone and Coventry cleared.
John-Lewis beat his man in the air to play a headed pass out wide to Whalley. The winger flew past his man on the right as John-Lewis continued his run. Whalley’s dinked ball back to John-Lewis in the box but the striker scuffed his shot wide for a goal kick.
In the 20th, Arthur Gnahoua made a pacey run down the right before cutting central to spring Salop on the attack. The run saw him carry the ball from his own half to the edge of the Sky Blue’s 18 yard box where he thought about the shot before playing Whalley in down the right.
As Whalley cut bbck he looked to swing a low cross in with his left but it was underpowered and cleared.
Shortly after Gnahoua broke down the let again before cutting right on the edge. This time he did shoot but only to see it fly over the bar. A promising start from Town.
Jon Nolan did well to pick up the ball in the middle and look to play Payne down the left as he drifted wide. Payne worked the space to cross but over hit it finding the head of Coventry left back Kelly-Evans.
Town took the lead in the 30th minute. John-Lewis whipped in the cross to find Stefan Payne with space in front of goal. He kept his cool to his first-time low shot past Lee Burge from seven yards.
Town doubled their lead in the 33rd. Lenell John-Lewis broke down the left before playing a clever pull back across the box to Arthur Gnahoua. The Frenchman saw his first attempted parried by Lee Burge before continuing his run by peeling left to convert the rebound to the right bottom corner.
Looking to further their lead Town pushed on. Left Back Junior Brown rolled Shaun Whalley down the left who found assist king John-Lewis with a yard of space on the left corner of the box. His left footed shot with power saved by Burge.
Substitution: Jordan Shipley came on in the 40th minute to replace Ben Stevenson.
Arthur Gnahoua looked lively throughout the first half. He made another pacey run down the left-hand side before laying the ball off for Godfrey. He hit a low hard shot from 25 yards out towards the bottom left but the keeper had it covered.
Coventry looked dangerous on the break. Tony Andreu broke through the middle in the 43rd only to be stopped by Aristote Nsiala who did well to recover.
Half Time: Coventry City 0 Shrewsbury Town 2
Substitution: Callum Maycock replaced Dion Kelly-Evans for Coventry in the second half.
The first five minutes of the half offered little excitement as Shrewsbury looked to settle in possession.
That was up until the 51st minute when Tony Andreu picked up the ball 20 yards from goal. He controlled the ball before unleashing a spectacular shot into the top left corner to make it 2-1.
Coventry looked lively after the break and looked immediately for a second. A foul by Aristote Nsiala presented Jodi Jones with the opportunity to whip in a free kick from the left. Junior Brown rose well to clear the ball away from danger.
10 minutes into the second half Town seemed to come alive again. Nsiala met Whalley’s corner only for the ball to go behind off Gnahoua. A strong run forward by Godfrey down the left worked space for a shot inside the box. The strike was closed down quickly and Coventry got the ball to safety.
Disaster struck in the 62nd minute as a Coventry attacker went down softly in the box following challenges from Brown and Nsiala. Marc McNulty kept his cool from the spot to equalise, slotting into the bottom right as MacGillivray dived left.
After the goal Arthur Gnahoua did well to make a challenge in the town half before driving the ball up-field. He had Payne and John-Lewis making runs into space in front of him but was clipped from behind and awarded the free kick.
Junior Brown saved Town from going behind in the 68th after a Coventry corner almost found the back of the net. Brown stuck to his role, leaping to head the ball away from goal.
Coventry continued to press forward looking to take the lead as Jodi Jones worked space down the left. Town right back James Bolton came flying in to make a rash challenge on the winger receiving a red card for his troubles in the 70th minute.
Substitution: After the red card Shrewsbury made two changes. Joe Riley came on the mark his return from injury replacing a lively Arthur Gnahoua. Ebou Adams also came on to replace Shaun Whalley.
The substitutions seemed to kill the games tempo giving Shrewsbury a chance to catch their breath. That was until Jodi Jones broke down the left before flicking the ball over his defender before hitting a venomous left footed volley towards goal. Keeper Craig MacGillivray did well to react quickly and tip the ball over the top for a corner.
Town wouldn’t give up on the game. They came back to pile the pressure on Coventry maintaining possession in the Sky Blues half. Ebou Adams looked to slip Joe Riley down the right into a shooting position but the ball was cut out in a last-ditch challenge.
In the final ten of the game, Junior Brown made a number of pacey runs down the left before playing a beautiful towards and awaiting John-Lewis. He met the ball on the stretch and could only head over.
Shortly after, receiving the ball in the middle and taking it down on his chest, John-Lewis spun to shoot but saw his shot well saved.
In the dying moments of the game, Joe Riley marked his return to football with a bang. The full-back fired a spectacular free kick from 25 yards with pace into the top corner to give town a 3-2 lead in the 94th minute.
Town resisted an instantaneous Coventry attack from the restart, holding on until the ref blew to book their place in the next round.