Town come back to see off Walsall in the Cup
Shrewsbury Town: Cameron Gregory, Reiss Corfield, Dan Walker (Ryan Millington 82), Harri Lovett, Tom Davies, Christos Sheilis, Jack Leask (Lewi Redding 55), Kian Taylor, Charley Higgs (Tyrone Ofori 18), Ryan Barnett (C), Lifumpa Mwandwe.
Substitutes: Jayden Bevan, James Rowlands, Lewi Redding (55), Tyrone Ofori (18), Ryan Millington (82).
Walsall: Ethan Dawe, Luke Little, Cody Fisher, Stefan Mason, Ben Kendrick, Tom Leak, Dan O’ Sullivan, Ben Friel, Liam Riley- Stewart, Alfie Bates, Owen Nolan
Joseph Willis, Sam Leivesley, Debert Massamba, Joe Cairns, Dominic Rogerson
Town earned a deserved win against Walsall in the cup. A strong first half showing from Salop showed their intention from the off. They couldn’t convert a flurry of chances though as Walsall’s defence stood firm, the half time score 0-0. After the break Town kicked on looking to take the lead. Walsall were awarded a penalty in the 62nd which they converted to go one up. Town hit back straight away with Lifumpa Mwandwe keeping his cool in front of goal to level. Disaster hit twice as Walsall were awarded a second penalty in the 82nd. O’ Sullivan converted to give the Saddlers the lead. Town hit back in the 85th as Tyrone Ofori converted a Ryan Barnett cross to level for a second time. Town pushed on and took the lead thanks to Ryan Barnett’s winner in the 86th minute.
Cam Gregory retained his place in goal. Reiss Corfield started at right back, Christos Shielis and Tom Davies at centre back with Dan Walker at left back. Harri Lovett, Jack Leask and Kian Taylor made up the midfield trio, Ryan Barnett started on the right wing with Lifumpa Mwandwe at left. Charley Higgs started up top.
Town dominated the first half at the Sports Village. Ryan Barnett looked lively in the first 15 minutes with some nice link up play with Charley Higgs. In the sixth, Barnett played a pinpoint long ball up to Higgs who controlled well and charged forward on his own. Barnett galloped up in support but Higgs’ pass was intercepted.
Moments later Barnett found himself in possession on the edge of the box. He glided along the box but couldn’t find the final pass.
In the fourteenth minute, Barnett provided a lopping through ball to play Higgs in behind the Walsall defence. The Salop Striker was quick to pull the trigger but Walsall’s keeper Ethan Dawe had responded and made a crucial block.
Shortly after the chance Barnett another excellent pass to set Lifumpa Mwandwe off on the run. Mwandwe did well to find Higgs inside the box who saw his driven shot blocked wide.
Substitution: Town were forced into a Change in the 18th minute, Charley Higgs received a knock and was replaced by Tyrone Ofori.
Walsall showed spells of danger, Shielis was caught on the ball in the 23rd minute by a high-pressing Riley-Stewart. Shielis did well to recover, holding onto the ball with his second challenge and finding Harri Lovett with the pass.
Jack Leask picked up a yellow card in the 28th for a foul to stop a Walsall counter. The resulting free kick was swung high into the box but Cam Gregory came out to claim it.
Town then looked to use the space out wide. Left back Dan Walker made a promising run past his man on the left before playing a good cross towards Ofori, who was marked tightly and the ball cleared.
Right back Reiss Corfield then made an intelligent run on the overlap to work the crossing opportunity on the right. His cross towards Ofori in the middle was again cleared.
Lifumpa Mwandwe then made a promising run from the left corner of the box to the right before cutting back on his left to shoot. He caught the shot well but a heavy deflection took the sting out of the shot and the keeper collected.
Town had a shout for a penalty before the close of the half, Kian Taylor did well work his way into the box and create the space to shoot. He went to ground feeling he had been clipped from behind but the referee waved play on.
Half Time: 0-0
Town started the second half quickly searching for the goal they felt they deserved after a strong showing in the first.
Ryan Barnett drove through the Walsall defence early in the half but saw his shot from the right-hand side of the box whistle past the left post.
Walsall then came alive to create a couple of good chances to take the lead. Riley-Stewart did well to work the space for a cross which was headed just wide of the post. Cam Gregory then did well to save a fast shot that came as a result of a low cross for Walsall.
Harri Lovett then found Ofori with space to turn in front of the Walsall defence. He dinked a well weighted ball to Barnett who delicately volleyed it back to Ofori on the run. The tantalising piece of play present Ofori with the chance to shoot but he was closed down quickly and his shot deflected.
Substitution: Lewi Redding replaced Jack Leask in 55th minute. Leask had a good game in the middle connecting the play between Lovett and Barnett.
Disaster struck for Town in the 62nd minute as the referee awarded a penalty to Walsall. Joe Cairns stepped up for the Saddlers to beat Gregory and give his side the lead.
As soon as Town kicked off they pushed on the attack. And excellent response saw Barnett find space on the right for a cross. He played a first-time cross right into the danger zone. The ball bobbled down to Lifumpa Mwandwe, who kept his cool to equalise with a well-placed strike. The goal coming in the 64th minute.
Ryan Barnett then had a well hit shot deflected before Mwandwe found the space for a cross on the left. Lewi Redding had made a positive run into the middle but the cross sailed over him.
Substitution: Ryan Millington replaced Dan Walker for the last 10 minutes. Walker had a good game at left back providing and extra wide option for the town attack.
After the sub, lighting struck twice for Salop as the referee awarded a second penalty to Walsall. O’ Sullivan slotted past Gregory from the spot to give Walsall a 2-1 lead going into the last ten.
A resilient Town responded quickly again though. Barnett showed his class in the 85th to work space on the right. He played in an excellent cross towards Ofori who convert and get Salop right back in the game.
The drama didn’t end there though, with the taste of injustice in their mouths town continued to push forward from the restart. In the 86th Ryan Barnett charged into the box the get on the end of a well-placed cross to give his side the lead.
With the late lead Town looked to hold on to the ball and kill time but Walsall refused to give up. A well worked set of passes got them into the box for a final chance in the 89th. The Walsall attacker hit the deck looking for a third penalty but the referee blew for a dive, brandishing the yellow card.
Full Time: 3-2