Town make it two out of two in the Checkatrade Trophy
Town: Craig MacGillivray, Joe Riley, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Carlton Morris (Lifumpa Mwandwe 89), Louis Dodds, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis (Ryan Barnett 67), Bryn Morris, Ebou Adams, Christos Shelis
Subs: Cameron Gregory, George Hughes, Lifumpa Mwandwe, Ryan Barnett
West Brom U21s: Alex Palmer ©, Oliver Burke (Evan Pierce 62), Callum Morton, Robbie McCourt, Max Melbourne, Aram Soleman, Kyle Jameson, Alex Bradley, Jack Chambers, Zak Brown (Finn Azaz 73), Aksum White (Nick Clayton-Phillips 67)
Subs: Brad House, Evan Pierce, Nick Clayton-Phillips, Finn Azaz, Morgan Rogers, George Harmon, Mylo Hall
Assistants: Joe Simpson and Paul Thompson
Fourth Official: Amy Fearn
Attendance: 1404 (55)
Shrewsbury Town made it two wins out of two in the Checkatrade Trophy with victory over West Bromwich Albion Under-21s. Lenell John-Lewis bundled home opener on 24 minutes. Town went onto dominate the rest of the half, but it took until early in the second period for Town to add a second, Carlton Morris latching onto Joe Riley’s wicked cross. Louis Dodds then curled in a third 15 minutes before the end, as West Brom failed to create any chances of note in the entire game.
Paul Hurst makes ten changes to the side which beat Scunthorpe United. Mat Sadler is the only man to keep his place as Town look to get some minutes into the squad. Christos Shelis makes his first-team debut just 24-hours after signing his first professional deal. Shelis plays at right-back, with Joe Riley having a run-out at left-back in place of Junior Brown. Bryn Morris returns for the first time in just under two months and partners Ebou Adams in central midfield. Youth team scholars Ryan Barnett, Cameron Gregory and Lifumpa Mwandwe all make the bench.
It was Town who created the first chance of the game when Arthur Gnahoua cut inside and was fouled on the edge of the box. Joe Riley, who scored a wonder free-kick in the first game in this competition, took the set-piece which cannoned off the wall, back to Riley who skied his second effort over the bar.
West Brom couldn’t get out of their own half in the opening 15 minutes and it was Town who made all the running. Lenell John-Lewis had the best early chance when Louis Dodds stole the ball back in the attacking third and found John-Lewis, but his shot from inside the box cannoned off the post and ran away to safety.
Town were easily the better side and with 24 minutes on the clock Town took the lead. Riley cut inside from the left and delivered a pinpoint cross onto the head of Carlton Morris. Morris’ header was expertly saved by Alex Palmer at blank range, but he couldn’t hold it and Lenell John-Lewis was on hand to poke home from a couple of yards.
John-Lewis was really standing out, with the former Newport County man looked too big and strong for the Albion youngsters. He almost doubled his tally for the night when he met a Bryn Morris corner on the volley, but the shot went a couple of feet over the bar. He then tested Alex Palmer with a shot from the edge of the box, but Palmer got down well to his right and made the save look comfortable.
The matchday programme had stated that Alex Palmer would have to have a good game to give his side a chance and he certainly appeared to be doing that in the first-half, making a fine point blank save from Omar Beckles’ header five minutes before the break.
Town hadn’t made their dominance count in the first half, but just four minutes into the second period they doubled their lead. Joe Riley moved the ball onto his right foot before delivering a wicked in swinging cross, which just begged to be hit home and Carlton Morris obliged with a deft finish from six yards.
With a two-goal lead, Town were cruising and they had chances to add a third through Arthur Gnahoua’s 20-yard drive, which was straight at Palmer, and Lenell John-Lewis’ curling effort, which went well wide of the post.
With 67 minutes on the clock Town made their first change of the evening. Lenell John-Lewis looked to be walking with a slight limp and Paul Hurst didn’t want to take any precautions, so Second Year Scholar Ryan Barnett came on for his first-team debut.
The second-half had far fewer chances, but Town did add a third with 15 minutes to go when Ebou Adams found Louis Dodds in the left hand channel and the experienced forward cut inside and showed a cool head to pass it into the bottom left hand corner.
George Hughes was then introduced for his first-team debut, replacing Adams who had enjoyed a decent display on his return to the starting line-up.
Chances were few and far between in the final 15 minutes although Joe Riley did produce a lovely piece of skill to take the ball between two Albion defenders, but he pulled his shot wide from a tight angle.
With just a couple of minutes remaining Town made their third change of the evening as Carlton Morris, who had done his chances of a start on Saturday, made way for first-year scholar Lifumpa Mwandwe.
Town continued to hold onto the ball in the final stages, but couldn’t add a fourth before Michael Salisbury blew his full-time whistle.