Young Town side battle hard but experienced County come out on topNotts County: Collin, Atkinson, Dunn, Hollis, Audel, Brownhill, Richards, Snijders, Aborah, Burke, Gibson.
Subs: Hall, McMillan, Dearle, Richards, Wildin.
Shrewsbury Town: Gregory, Millington, Kerins, Taylor, Essien, Leask, Lovett, McAtee, Turner, Higgs, Ofori.
Subs: Atkinson, Redding, Huxley.
A young Town team travelled to Meadow Lane to take on Notts County, hoping to continue the Town’s good record in the Central League Cup this season.
It was a poor start for Town as they fell behind in the third minute to a rebound strike, Cameron Gregory initially saved Graham Burke’s shot well, but Montel Gibson was on hand to stroke home the rebound.
The home side then doubled their lead in the eighth minute as Dominic Brownhill latched onto a bouncing ball in the middle of the park and lashed a shot from 35 yards, which after taking a slight deflection, looped over a helpless Gregory into the Town net.
The rest of the half followed a similar pattern thereafter, with County retaining possession well and building attacks from the centre back pairing. Though Town’s own young centre back pairing of Jake Kerins and Brett Taylor were equal to the majority of the home side’s attacks.
Jack Leask picked up a booking in the 37th minute for a cynical challenge on Genaro Snijders after the winger broke away from Leask in the centre of midfield.
Town went in to the break 2-0 down, after spending the majority of the half defending.
The home side made two substitutions for the second half with Jack McMillan and Jordon Richards replacing Stanley Aborah and Thierry Audel. The Town side looked much more at home after these substitutions as Aborah had been County’s main outlet in the first half.
A much more even 45 minutes ensued with both sides testing the opposition keeper. For Town Kerins found himself free in the box from a McAtee free kick, but he was unable to get his header on target.
While second half substitute Lewis Redding’s shot was saved after being played through via nice interlinking play from Charlie Higgs and McAtee.
County struck the bar twice in this half – once as Wes Atkinson curled one from range. Atkinson then actually went off injured in the 66th minute, leaving his side 25 minutes to play with ten men.
In the 76th minute a stunning save from Gregory kept his side in it as he tipped Gibson’s deflected shot from range onto the bar.
Town eventually got a reward for their efforts when McAtee latched onto a through ball, and slotted past the oncoming Adam Collin to make the score line 2-1. But ultimately it was too little, too late for Town as the game finished at 2-1.
For the young Town side it was a much better display in the second half after the odds were somewhat evened, as County introduced more of their own youth players and substituted the more experienced heads.