Shrewsbury Town leave Hereford earning a Salop 2-1 pre-season away win.
The second of Shrewsbury’s pre-season outings led them to Herefordshire, with hosts Hereford United being beaten 2-1 by Steve Cotterill’s men in what was an equally matched affair at Edgar Street.
The first-half offered little to shout about for both sides, with an early goal from youngster Tom Bloxham ruled out for offside in the eighth minute. Both teams began to find their feet, and despite attacking movements starting to flow, none broke the deadlock. A shot from Salop’s captain Nathanael Ogbeta found the feet of Ryan Bowman, whose backheel was comfortably collected by the palms of Hereford’s Brandon Hall. A searching ball from Bull’s keeper later in the half met the foot of attacker Ryan McLean, who tested the gloves of Salop debutant Marko Marosi with a drilled shot hit low to the keeper’s right. A battling first-half display under the setting sun of Edgar Street led to both teams leaving the field goalless at halftime.
The second-half started with an injury to the knee of Salop striker Tom Bloxham, with the youngster being replaced by Dan Udoh in the first of three changes in the second-half. Udoh quickly forced Brandon Hall into a save, with a strong shot on the turn pushed away from the keeper. The momentum of the second-half started to switch in favour of the hosts, who upped their tempo subsequently leading to a number of chances.
It took 57 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, with Gowling’s men firing a cross from the right that eventually found the feet of Miles Storey, who struck the ball home from close range. From there it was the hosts who had the lion’s share of chances, coming close to a second as a sliding Marko Marosi diverted the ball from its path towards goal. However, the linesman soon raised his flag for a foul on the follow-up.
Despite Hereford setting the tone for the start of the second half with their opener, they failed to beat the gloves of debutant Marosi for a second time. The keeper making two fine saves that kept the game at bay and showed real promise to the start of his Salop career. A save from the debutant led to a squandered rebound from the Hereford attack, with substitute Josh Daniels picking up the ball on the edge of the box and starting off a counter-attack that soon found attacker Dan Udoh. The striker’s run led to a low cross that met the foot of Shaun Whalley, who knocked the ball into the back of the net in the eighty-first minute to level the score in Hereford.
Ryan Bowman, who opened his Salop account with a brace last week, was replaced two minutes after the equaliser by fellow striker Rekiel Pyke off the back of Salop’s equaliser. Cotterill’s men eclipsed the pace of Gowling’s Bull’s, who fell flat as full time approached. A well-crafted move from the visitors saw goalscorer Whalley play through substitutes Rekiel Pyke and Dan Udoh, the latter striking the ball home for his second of the game, putting Salop ahead and adding a goal to the striker’s earlier assist.
Glimpses of attacking play from Hereford failed to come to fruition, and it was Salop who played the game out as victors. An encouraging turnaround from Steve Cotterill’s men saw them snatch victory from jaws of defeat, with solid performances and resilience earning the visitors their second win of pre-season, both being played out in front of travelling Salopians, ever-present in their support.
A trip to Exeter awaits Salop for their third and last pre-season game before they kick off their season when the Shrews welcome Burton Albion to Montgomery Waters Meadow. So far so good, with Saturday hopefully completing a series of promising, strong and entertaining performances following the return of manager Steve Cotterill to the dugout.
The Bulls: Brandon Hall, Jared Hodgkiss, Jack Bodenham, Mitch Hancox, James Vincent, Ryan Lloyd, Tom Owen-Evans, Ryan McLean, Joey Butlin, Miles Storey, Ben Pollock.
Subs: Luke Haines, Yan Klunkowski, Toby Raison, George Forsyth, Maziar Kouhyer
Salop: Marko Marosi, Luke Leahy, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Matthew Pennington, Shaun Whalley, Josh Vela, Ryan Bowman (Rekeil Pyke, 83), Nathanael Ogbeta, David Davis, Elliott Bennett (Josh Daniels, 73), Tom Bloxham (Daniel Udoh, 50).
Subs not used: Harry Burgoyne, Cam Gregory.
Ethan Ebanks-Landell was shown the first and only yellow card of the game for preventing the home side from attacking the Salop box 14 minutes in.