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Match Reports

Match Report | Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Sunderland

7 January 2023

Shrewsbury Town fell to a late 2-1 defeat against Championship side Sunderland in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Town’s goal came from a Tom Bayliss corner which Matthew Pennington met and guided his header into the corner in the 81st minute. 

The away side equalised in the 92nd minute through substitute Ross Stewart who headed home from a corner.  

Two minutes later, Sunderland grabbed the winner through Luke O’Nien, who sent his shot into the bottom corner.  

Steve Cotterill opted for a 3-4-2-1 formation at Montgomery Waters Meadow, with Aiden O’Brien and Tom Bayliss operating just behind Christian Saydee who lead the line.  

O’Brien’s return to the starting line-up meant he made his second start of the season, having struggled with an injury since arriving in the summer. 

New signing Killian Phillips made his first start for Town with the Irish midfielder also making his first appearance in the FA Cup.  

After coming on as an early substitute for Tom Flanagan in the Fleetwood game Elliott Bennett returned to the starting line-up for the first time since November.  

Julien Dacosta also returned to the matchday squad for the first since October when Salop travelled to Plymouth.  

Sunderland went with a 4-3-3 system with Amad leading the line and Abdoullah Ba on the left wing and Patrick Roberts on the right.

In what was an exciting and impressive start, Shrewsbury flew out the blocks and created numerous chances to open the scoring inside the first 15 minutes. 

We were almost ahead inside the opening 60 seconds when Saydee did really well to bundle his way past three players before finding Bayliss. 

Town’s number 20 then sent in a floating cross to Jordan Shipley who, from just inside the box, fired agonisingly wide. 

A few minutes later, Town won a free kick in the Sunderland half which got delivered to Matt Pennington who did brilliantly to meet the ball at the by-line. 

The Salop centre-back then sent a cross into the heart of the box with a defender nipping in just before Shipley could get his shot away. 

Shortly after, Steve Cotterill’s side went close again with what would have been a goal-of-the-season contender. 

Luke Leahy did brilliantly to win the ball high before producing the most delicate of chips from 25 yards. 

His effort beat Sunderland keeper Alex Bass but clipped the crossbar and bounced to safety. 

All the momentum was with Town and new arrival Phillips went on a surging run following a terrific bit of skill from Bayliss on the half-way line. 

The Crystal Palace loanee then entered the box before seeing a low drive well blocked by a defender. 

Despite Town being the better side, Sunderland created one chance just before the break with Patrick Roberts sending a shot from outside the box inches wide. 

O’Brien was taken off at half time and replaced by youngster Tom Bloxham which also meant a change in system with Steve Cotterill’s men reverting to a 3-4-1-2 system.  

Just before the hour mark, Amad got on the end of a through ball and entered the Town box, but Chey Dunkley was there to meet the oncoming attacker and clear the ball from danger.  

Substitute Ross Stewart met a through ball in the box and tried to tip it over the on-rushing Marko Marosi, but the Slovakian did well to deny the away side’s top goal scorer.  

Roberts used his quick footwork to find his way into the box before releasing a shot which Marosi managed to keep out with a strong arm.  

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Amad came close to opening the scoring for the visitors when his curling shot from outside the box went inches wide. 

After a dominating performance, Town took the lead in the 81st minute when Pennington rose highest in the box to meet a Bayliss corner and head the ball into the corner.  

Sunderland equalised in the dying embers from a Jack Clarke corner which Stewart headed home.  

The Black Cats got a second in the 94th minute when Amad set O’Nien, who struck his effort into the bottom corner, which meant Shrewsbury’s FA Cup journey ended at the third round of the prestigious competition.

Teams     

Salop XI:      

Marosi (GK), Leahy (C), Pennington, Moore, Phillips, O’Brien (Bloxham, 45), Bayliss (Dacosta, 85), Dunkley, Saydee (Street, 72), Shipley, Bennett (Pyke, 72) 

Unused subs:     

Burgoyne (GK), Barlow, Bailey

Sunderland XI:   

Bass (GK), Ballard, Roberts, O’Nien, Amad, Ba (Stewart, 59), Bennette (Clarke, 59), Neil, Michut (Rigg, 81), Wright (C), Hume 

Unused subs:   

Patterson (GK), Gooch, Carney, Cotcher, Middlemas, Watson 

Bookings: Roberts, Shipley

Attendance: 6,309 

Away: 1,646

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