Town come back to book an Emirates FA Cup replay with Bradford
Town: Joe Murphy, Aaron Pierre, Scott Golbourne (Ryan Giles, 80), Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Ollie Norburn, Donald Love, Sean Goss, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Josh Laurent, Jason Cummings (Fejiri Okenabirhie, 57).
Subs: Cameron Gregory, Dave Edwards, Ro-Shaun Williams, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Ryan Giles, Brad Walker, Louis Thompson.
The Bantams: Richard O’Donnell, Ben Richards-Everton, Anthony O’Connor, Zeli Ismail (Jermaine Anderson, 57, James Vaughan (Kelvin Mellor, 57), Dylan Connolly (Paudie O’Connor, 85), Hope Akpan, Adam Henley, Connor Wood, Danny Devine, Aramide Oteh.
Subs: George Sykes-Kenworthy, Kelvin Mellor, Jackson Longridge, Paudie O’Connor, Jake Reeves, Tyler French, Jermaine Anderson.
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Assistants: Darren Wilding and Lisa Rashid
Fourth official: Aaron Jackson
Attendance: 3764 (401)
Shrewsbury Town’s FA Cup journey started with a 1-1 home draw in the first-round against Sky Bet League Two Bradford City.
Despite going a goal down, Salop battled back and got back on level terms with a goal from Josh Laurent. The two teams will face off once again in a replay at Valley Parade.
Town’s FA Cup journey began in the first-round, with the Shrews taking on Sky Bet League Two outfit Bradford City at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Within the opening seconds, the home side nearly found themselves a goal down. Joe Murphy was called into action as Dylan Connolly played a perfect ball into the box – but the Town keeper made an authoritative save to parry the ball away from danger.
The first booking of the game was brandished in the 17th minute, as Adam Henley prevented Josh Laurent from breaking on what looked like a dangerously developing counter-attack.
A defensive error from Aaron Pierre provided the Bantams with the breakthrough goal in the 19th minute. A poorly headed pass-back from the defender didn’t generate enough power and Bradford forward Aramide Oteh was on hand to poke the ball into the back of the net.
A great forward phase of play soon saw the home side pull back onto level terms. The move started Shaun Whalley’s cross finding Scott Golbourne just inside the Bantams’ box - the defender had the nous to read the situation and delicately headed the ball to Laurent and the midfielder smashed home from close range.
The opening half came to an end with the two teams level on the score sheet. Despite being in the league below, the visitors provided strong competition for Sam Rickettts’ team and constantly looked to test the Shrews.
Ethan Ebanks-Landell was booked shortly after play had resumed for the second-half for a foul in the middle of the park.
The away side came out for the second-half determined to pull back onto the front foot, and that determination nearly paid off through Zeli Ismail. The pacey winger was able to pick the ball up in the middle of the park, and after a direct run, the Bantams wide-man found himself bearing through on goal - but Ismail couldn’t guide his effort on target.
A hard-fought half continued to develop with both teams looking to pull into the lead. It was Salop who were creating the most chances in an already tightly contested FA Cup tie. Ollie Norburn’s distribution continued to cause trouble for the away side, as the midfielder looked to open the door for his team.
Town had a great opportunity to take the lead with just 10 minutes left on the clock. A great run Aaron Pierre opened up space for Whalley to attack, but the Bantams recovered well to make a last-ditch challenge on Town’s forward.
Town’s FA Cup fixture with Bradford City came to an end with the two sides unable to find a winner.