Town bow out of the Papa John's Trophy.
Shrewsbury Town failed to progress into the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy at the expense of Michael Appleton’s Lincoln City.
The opening exchanges saw some intense pressing from Town, determined to not allow Lincoln time on the ball high up the field, or play out from the back.
Town’s early pressure had the Shrewsbury faithful applauding as Scott High expertly dispossessed Lincoln’s Zack Elbouzedi in the middle and they were able to get on the front foot.
However, it was the away side who created the first major opportunity of the game. Elbouzedi latched onto a cross which was hoisted to the back post. The midfielder met the ball well and the Imps would have found themselves a goal to the good if it wasn’t for a big outstretched glove of Harry Burgoyne.
Moments later, the away side had another chance to break the deadlock. Anthony Scully stepped up and bent a free-kick, around 20 yards out. It was the far post to Town’s rescue as his effort clipped the top right corner and went out for a goal kick.
Anthony Scully then made sure that the deadlock was broken- the two brightest players on the pitch, Elbouzedi and Scully, linked up in the area and Scully made no mistake from just five yards, giving Shrews a job to fight back and grow into the game.
Shrews’ first effort came after 22 minutes. A wonderful turn out of danger from Jan Zamburek made space for him to drive into the area, the ball eventually found Scott High, who on the turn, teed’ the ball up for a fierce volley straight down the throat of Alex Palmer in the Lincoln goal.
Brighter football from Town as they started to work the ball wide, looking for the two central forwards, Jason Cummings and Shilow Tracey.
Tracey’s hold up play was starting to show signs of what new boss, Steve Cotterill, wanted from him. Moving more centrally, Tracey had, on many occasions, been able to turn his man and get Town on the front foot. So far, it was just the lack of a finishing touch that was separating Shrews from getting back into the game.
Another break on the counter saw the Imps double their lead on the 40th minute. Harry Anderson burst down the right and hung a ball to the back post where, unmarked, Elbouzedi, headed into the ground and into the Town net.
Tracey then was able to half the deficit when an incisive ball through by Cummings put the chance on a plate and the Town forward made no mistake, sending the ball into the far corner. The first time the front two had properly linked up around the area and it paid off for Tracey, who is starting to enjoy scoring goals in the Papa John’s Trophy.
The second-half kicked off with Town on the front foot. Looking to get back into the game, this was expected and the likes of Sean Goss, Dave Edwards and Zamburek were starting the Town attacks to try and get the hosts back into the game.
Lincoln have been a clinical side this season, and that proved as in the 66th minute, Brenan Johnson spurred an Imps attack after winning the ball with a slide tackle and evading the follow-up from Dave Edwards. With his drive forward, were the piling pack of Imps and when the ball found its way into the area, Remy Howarth twisted and slotted the ball past Burgoyne to make restore the away side’s two-goal lead.
The away side added a fourth from the penalty spot on the 78th minute. Ro-Shaun Williams brought down Anderson in the box and substitute Jorge Grant stepped up and found the bottom left corner to make it 4-1.
Town: Harry Burgoyne, Scott Golbourne, Dave Edwards, Sean Goss, Jan Zamburek, Donald Love, Shilow Tracey, Josh Daniels, Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Ro-Shaun Williams 46’), Scott High (Ryan Barnett 65’), Jason Cummings (Charlie Caton 84’).
Subs: Dejan llilev, Ro-Shaun Williams, Ryan Sears, Ryan Barnett, Charlie Caton, Louis Lloyd, Nigel Aris.
Lincoln City: Alex Palmer, Max Melbourne, Anthony Scully, Remy Howarth, Conor McGrandles (Grant 46’), Brenan Johnson, TJ Eyoma (Hayden Cann 82’), Robbie Gotts, Zack Elbouzedi, Harry Anderson, Sean Roughan.
Subs: Sam Long, Tom Hopper, Jorge Grant, Joe Walsh, Hayden Cann.
Referee: Ben Toner
Assistant Referees: Lisa Rashid, Paul Graham
Fourth Official: Scott Simpson