Town start their Leasing.com Trophy campaign with a defeat at Vale Park
Shrewsbury Town (3-5-2)
Murphy, Love, Ebanks-Landell, Walker, Barnett, Thompson, Goss, Laurent, Golbourne, Whalley, Udoh
SUBS: O'Leary, Edwards, Morison, Rowland, McCormick, Taylor, Ward
Port Vale (4-3-3)
Brown, Gibbons, Crookes, Kennedy, Pope, Montano, Smith, Taylor, Evans, Amoo, Lloyd.
SUBS: Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Cullen, Burgess, Archer, Maddison
Referee – Leigh Doughty
Attendance – 1008 – 146 Town fans
Ethan Ebanks-Landell captained Town tonight after a 2-1 loss at Vale Park. The hosts come from behind to secure all three points in The Leasing.com Trophy. Sam Ricketts made six changes to his squad from Ipswich on Saturday. The Valiant's began the game with two debutantes, ex-Town man Kieran Kennedy and Callum Evans.
Town went into half-time with a one-goal lead after being the stronger team for the first 45. The goal came just shy of the 30-minute mark after Town produced a very good move.
Dan Udoh got the game underway after a productive first 45 minutes that allowed Town to produce some quality football. Town's first chance came within the first two minutes as Udoh was pressing high and quick, forcing errors on Vale's backline.
Shortly after, Vale's first chance of the game came, after a cross by Cristian Montano landed at the feet of David Amoo however, Donald Love was quick off the mark to clear the ball.
After the ten-minute mark, Town began to dominate play. Keeping possession, applying the high press and causing all kind of trouble for Vale's backline. A long goal kick from Joe Murphy fell into the path of Josh Laurent, who went toe-to-toe to win the ball. Laurent won a Town throw by the corner flag however; the possession was turned over.
Adam Crooks with a bad pass-back finds Udoh and pinched it, then Udoh laid it off to Whalley but James Gibbons was there to put it out for a corner. Up steps Sean Goss, but it found captain Tom Pope's head went back out for another corner. However, this time it was too deep meaning Callum Evans couldn't control it. Laurent won the ball, but Evans did well to win back possession and put it out for a throw deep in Vales half. Ryan Barnett with a good delivery was cleared by Vale.
Town played some very good football in the first 45 minutes, with one-touch football between Golbourne and Laurent which then allowed Udoh to join in on the fun. With Town keeping the ball and being the better team, they managed to find the back the net with another good piece of play.
With Ryan Barnett creating it down the right-hand side with some quick-fire step-overs leaving his man confused, he fires in a low cross that reaches Scott Golbourne who crossed the ball himself which then fell to Josh Laurent and his effort lands on the bar and it hit ex-Town man and Vale debutante, Kieran Kennedy.
Vale bounced back quickly after Amoo hit Murphy's post as he was on the end of Montano's cross. Shortly after, Vale began struggling to get out of their own half after Town once again were on top and were playing great football.
Midfield-maestro Goss played a brilliant ball from the middle of the field out to Golbourne on the right-hand-side and found Louis Thompson. Thompson used his energy and speed to power through Vale's midfield and defence but is bought down just outside the edge of the box. Shaun Whalley stepped up and hit the target, but Scott Brown easily made the save.
Town ended the first-half full of energy and on top searching for another goal, or two.
HALF-TIME Port Vale 0 – 1 Shrewsbury Town (OG Kennedy)
Vale's Ryan Lloyd got the second half underway. Vale came out second half like a new team with a high press.
Goss accidentality gave away a free-kick around 30-yards out. Youngster James Gibbons steps up to take the free-kick and was deflected off the Town wall and out for a Vale corner. Lloyd took the corner that was headed out by Udoh and allowed Thompson to break. Thompson and Whalley linked up well down the right-hand-side. Thompson released the ball to Goss in the middle and crossed a brilliant ball over to Golbourne. Golbourne touched the ball first time that played into Udoh, Udoh is then bought down but the linesman called offside.
Just after the 50 minute mark, Vale began to pick up and start to create chance after chance as Town lost possession in the middle of the park with Laurent as Pope won the ball and played a cute through ball to striker Amoo, however; Brad Walker was there before him and he played it out for a Vale corner. Minutes later again, Montano fired another cross in that lands on Pope's head, but he struggled to convert it into the goal as it is fired well over Murphy's goal.
Shy of the 60-minute mark, both Town and Vale make a chance, Thompson came off for youngster Luke McCormick and Vale bought new boy Jordan Archer on for Pope.
A harsh penalty was awarded for Vale as Amoo was softly bought down by Love. Amoo steps up and places the ball in the middle of Murphy's goal and gets the equalising goal. Vale were full of confidence and were on the hunt for another goal. A great chance for them as a long ball was being chased down by Archer as Love couldn't quite make it. Love got frustrated and pushed Amoo to the ground. Love received the first yellow of the game.
15 minutes before the final whistle was about to blow, Vale got their second and the winning goal. New boy Archer was on the end of it after a cross from Gibbons fell to his feet. Vale were in the lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Town had a great chance cleared off the line as Goss whipped in a corner onto Walker's head and somehow it never managed to cross the line. Town were unlucky to not get their second and the equaliser. Another two chances came for Town after Whalley hit a bouncing ball just over Brown's top right corner. McCormick had another great effort, but it was deflected out for a corner. The corner came flying in quite deep at the back post and found Whalley's head that set McCormick up on the volley but sliced it wide.
Town are now on international break. They will be in action again on Saturday 14th September at The Cherry Red Records Stadium against AFC Wimbledon.