Town through to Checkatrade Quarter-Finals with a penalty shootout win
Town: Dean Henderson, Joe Riley, Max Lowe, Abu Ogogo ©, Louis Dodds, Arthur Gnahoua (Alex Rodman 73), James Bolton, Lenell John-Lewis, Bryn Morris, Aristote Nsiala, Stefan Payne
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Carlton Morris, Alex Rodman, George Hughes, John McAtee, Ryan Barnett, Christos Shelis
Blackpool: Joe Lumley, Will Aimson, Sessi D’Almeida (Jim McAlister 59), Nick Anderton, Jimmy Ryan ©, Curtis Tilt, Danny Philliskirk, Ollie Turton, Callum Cooke, Scott Quigley (Nathan Delfouneso 74), Raul Correia (Rowan Roache 74)
Subs: Christoffer Mafoumbi, Kelvin Mellor, Jim McAlister, Colin Daniel, Nathan Delfouneso, Rowan Roache
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Assistants: Mark Griffiths and Ravel Cheosiaua
Fourth Official: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 1362 (85)
Dean Henderson proved to be the hero as Shrewsbury Town made it through to the quarter-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy thanks to a penalty shootout win over Blackpool. Henderson saved Blackpool’s first penalty, whilst they missed another as Town scored all four of theirs to go through, with Lenell John-Lewis scoring the winning spot kick. The game had ended 0-0 after an entertaining 90 minutes.
After Sunday’s cup game and with a big League One clash against Blackburn coming up on Saturday it perhaps comes as no surprise that Paul Hurst decided to make seven changes to his starting line-up. Changes were made even more necessary by suspensions to Omar Beckles, Mat Sadler and Ben Godfrey. The seven players that came in included Max Lowe who makes his first start in Blue and Amber. Stefan Payne, Bryn Morris, Louis Dodds, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis and Joe Riley are the others to come in.
The first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors on the five minute mark as a cross evaded the Town defence and fell to Scott Quigley at the back post. Dean Henderson was out quickly to block Quigley’s first shot but the ball fell back to the Shrewsbury born striker who had a second effort, which was blocked by a Town defender and Raul Correia blazed over the second rebound from 10 yards.
A couple of minutes later, Town were then presented with a good opportunity to open the lead when Stefan Payne dispossessed Will Aimson on the edge of the Blackpool box, but his shot didn’t have the power beat Joe Lumley who got down well to his left to make the save.
It was an end to end opening 15 minutes and Dean Henderson was the next man to make a save as Sessi D’Almeida got away down the right channel, but his shot was straight at Henderson, who punched it away.
The chances just kept on coming and terrific run and pass from Max Lowe presented Stefan Payne with a wonderful chance to score. The Derby County loanee travelled 30 yards with the ball at his feet before slipping it through to Payne in the penalty box and Town’s top scorer tried to flick it past the onrushing Lumley, but the Blackpool ‘keeper made himself big and the shot hit him in the midriff.
With 27 minutes on the clock Town did manage to get the ball in the net, but referee Chris Sarginson ruled it out for a push. Bryn Morris’ 40 yard free-kick didn’t connect with anyone and ended up in the bottom corner, but the referee signalled that he had seen a push and ruled it out.
Town were continuing to push forward and they created two more good chances in quick succession. The first fell to Stefan Payne who managed to get in behind the Blackpool defence but his side-footed effort was palmed behind for a corner. From the resulting corner Town hit the crossbar as James Bolton headed Bryn Morris’ corner across the face and Lenell John-Lewis threw himself at the ball but his header hit the top of the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick, much to the frustration of the Town striker.
After a lively opening half-an-hour the game began to quieten down and the only major incident saw Abu Ogogo receive a yellow card for a poorly timed challenge on ‘Pool left-back Nick Anderton.
The second-half started much like the first, with both sides looking good going forward. Dean Henderson was forced to make a fantastic save when Raul Correia struck a dipping volley from 30 yards. The shot looked destined for the top corner but Dean sprung to his left to tip it behind.
Correia was beginning to look Blackpool’s biggest threat and he should have done better when the ball fell to him 12 yards out but he rushed his shot and it went well over Dean Henderson’s bar.
Town didn’t really manage to test Joe Lumley in the second-half until the 65th minute and the Blackpool goalkeeper almost made a meal of it when Stefan Payne let fly from 20 yards. The ball sipped through the ‘keepers hands, but luckily for him it trickled inches wide of the right-hand post.
With just under 20 minutes to go Paul turned to his bench for the first time of the evening, bringing on Alex Rodman in place of Arthur Gnahoua.
For all the excitement of the first-half, the second-half had lacked any real quality from either side and with five minutes remaining it seemed inevitable that penalties would be on the cards.
As the fourth official held up his board to signal that there would be three additional minutes a gilt edge chance fell to the visitors. The ball came to the feet of substitute Rowan Roache 12 yards out, but his shot was blocked by his own man and that was the last opportunity for either side, meaning the game went to penalties.
Penalty Shootout: 4-2
Stefan Payne – Scores
Danny Philliskirk – Saved
Callum Cooke – Scores
Bryn Morris – Scores
Joe Riley – Scores
Rowan Roache - Missed
Nathan Delfouneso – Scores
Lenell John-Lewis - Scores