Checkatrade Trophy | Shrewsbury Town 0 Walsall 1 Checkatrade Trophy | Shrewsbury Town 0 Walsall 1

Checkatrade Trophy | Shrewsbury Town 0 Walsall 1

Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they made the short trip to Montgomery Waters Meadow to take on Shrewsbury Town in the third and final group game of this season's Checkatrade Trophy,
Jon Whitney's Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they made the short trip to Montgomery Waters Meadow to take on Shrewsbury Town in the third and final group game of this season's Checkatrade Trophy competition. Here is our brief match report.

MacGillivray; Riley, Godfrey, Sadler, Beckles, Ogogo, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, B.Morris, Rodman, Payne

Substitutes | Gregory, Whalley, Morris,Dodds, Adams, Gallagher, Shelis
L.Roberts; Kinsella, Guthrie, Wilson, Leahy; Chambers, Edwards; Morris, Kouyhar, Ismail; Bakayoko

Substitutes | Gillespie; K.Roberts, Devlin; Flanagan; Oztumer; Agyei, Jackson

Manager Jon Whitney named a fairly strong side as he looked to secure a place in the knock-out rounds of the much-maligned competition. Included in the team was captain Adam Chambers, who was making his 300th club appearance.

Walsall started the game brightly and created the first attacking move of the game as Zeli Ismail and Maz Kouhyar combined to find Joe Edwards in space, sadly for the Saddlers Ben Godfrey was alert to clear the danger.

The Saddlers remained on top in the early goings and went on to hit the post shortly after as Ismail's effort,which was from a tight angle, was tipped onto the post by former Walsall goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray. A superb save from Harty.

Amadou Bakayoko was the next Saddler to have an effort on goal as he turned his marker inside the Shrews' area but could only lash the ball wide of goal. A fast start from Whitney's men.

Shrewsbury almost opened the scoring with six minutes on the clock as Lenell John-Lewis forced Saddlers stopper Liam Roberts to rush his clearance, the ball rebounding just wide of the post.

Our hosts won the first corner of the match after ten minutes as John-Lewis and Arthur Gnahoua combined to pick out Alex Rodman, who saw his effort blocked for a flag-kick, which ultimately came to nothing.

The Saddlers continued to look for openings as the game continued. Firstly, Bakayoko broke behind the Shrews backline and was only stopped by some solid work from defender Godfrey. Then on-loan Bury winger Ismail saw an effort blocked by Omar Beckles.

Shortly after Mat Sadler saw the ball out following a spell of Saddlers pressure, his teammate Gnahoua sent a powerful drive just past the post. Stefan Payne with some nice work to find Gnahoua in space.

Walsall had another opening shortly after the mid-way point in the half as a Kieron Morris free-kick was headed down by Jon Guthrie, allowing Kouhyar to connect with a strike. The ball, which looked to be heading wide, was blocked as the scores remained level.

After the game had (finally) reached something of a quiet spell it burst back into life a few minutes before the break as the Shrews had two chances to break the deadlock. First; Gnahoua and Payle combined to allow the latter to force a save out of Roberts, then defender Joe Riley lashed the ball high and wide from a tight angle.

The Shrews kept Roberts honest right up to the half-time whistle as the stopper was forced to race off his line to prevent Payne and Rodman from capitalising on some space ahead of goal.

Shrewsbury Town 0 Walsall 0

The second-half started off slower than the first, as both sides looked to put their managers' half-time words into action.

Zeil Ismail was presented with the first opening of the half, but could do little to test the 'keeper as he sent a free-kick well over the bar. A disappointing effort, from a fairly dangerous position.

After ten minutes of the half, former Saddlers loanee Bryn Morris saw a cross go to waste as none of his teammates had made it into the box following a spell of Salopian pressure.

The Saddlers forced MacGillivray into his first real save of the half shortly after the match reached the hour mark as Kouhyar's drive from distance was well gathered.

Shrews manager Paul Hurst was the first to take advantage of his selected substitutes as Shaun Whalley and Carlton Morris were bought on in place of Rodman and John-Lewis.

The double change almost paid off instantly as Whalley did well to get in behind the Saddlers backline and cut the ball back for Payne. Thankfully for the Saddlers he could only send his effort wide from inside the area.

The Saddlers almost opened the scoring shortly after as Edwards took the ball off a slow-to-react Godfrey and set up Kouhyar, who could only lash the ball wide of goal.

Manager Jon Whitney made his opening change of the game shortly after as Maz Kouhyar was replaced by Reece Flanagan in midfield.

The Shrews were dealt a blow with fifteen minutes of the match remaining as Ben Godfrey was sent off for a poor challenge on Saddlers defender Luke Leahy. Referee Trevor Kettle didn't hesitate as he reduced the homeside to ten men. Leahy required some treatment but was soon back to his feet and OK to continue.

Walsall continued to seek an opening goal and went close once again as Bakayoko met an Ismail cross with a flicked header. Whalley alert to smash the ball away from danger.

Walsall made their second change of the game after eighty-two minutes as Nicky Devlin replaced Like Leahy. The Shrews went on to make their third and final change as Christos Shelis came on for Arthur Gnahoua.

Following a thwarted Shrewsbury attack,which saw the home side ask for a free-kick following an apparent foul on Payne, the Saddlers made their third and final change of the match with Erhun Oztumer taking the place of Joe Edwards.

Shrewsbury almost grabbed the opening goal of the game with just minutes remaining as a break ended with a Whalley drive being parried by Liam Roberts. A nice break from the Shrews, but alert 'keeping from Liam.

Walsall broke Shrewsbury hearts late on as Amadou Bakayoko was alert to nod the ball into the back of the net after Shelis' attempted clearance looped up for the striker to score the opening goal of the game.

The Saddlers looked to add to their lead during second-half stoppage time as Oztumer curled an effort wide from the edge of the area.

There were no further goals as the Saddlers held onto their lead and ended the group stage as Northern Group E winners. The Shrews also secured a place in the next round as Coventry City and West Brom finished third and fourth respectively.

Shrewsbury Town 0 Walsall 1
Bakayoko (89')
ATTENDANCE | 1,701 (171 Walsall)
REFEREE | Trevor Kettle (Rutland)
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