Checkatrade Trophy: Shrewsbury Town 2 Walsall 1 Checkatrade Trophy: Shrewsbury Town 2 Walsall 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Checkatrade Trophy: Shrewsbury Town 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Wednesday evening's Checkatrade Trophy - Round Two clash between Shrewsbury Town and Walsall.
The Saddlers, who reached the second stage of the competition after finishing second to Port Vale in Northern Group E, named a strong side as manager Dean Keates looked to make the most of the much-maligned competition.

Coleman; Emmanuel, Sears, Kennedy, Haynes, Gilliead, Loft, Colkett, Eisa, John-Lewis, Angol

Substitutes: Gregory, Whalley, McAtee, K.Taylor, J.Rowland, Shelis
Dunn; Wilson, Martin, Guthrie, Fitzwater, Leahy; Osbourne, Kinsella, Ronan, Morris, Ferrier

Substitutes; L.Roberts; Devlin; Edwards, Kouhyar, Ismail; Gordon, Cook

The first opening of the match fell to the Shrews as the home side forced a couple of corners with the second eventually falling to Kieran Kennedy, who sent a header inches past Chris Dunn's post.

The Saddlers soon saw a header of their own fly past the post as Kieron Morris sending a curling cross into the path of an onrushing Morgan Ferrier, the former Boreham Wood attacker sending the ball wide of goal.

The match continued to produce chances and it was soon the Shrews' turn to have a go at goal as Ryan Haynes bamboozled two markers before sending in a dangerous cross, the ball not quite reaching Alex Gillead before going out for a corner. The flag kick was less of an issue for the Saddlers as it came to nothing.

Luke Leahy looked to get Morgan Ferrier in on goal but the attacker, who had done well to cut inside his marker, failed to capitalise on the space he'd created and saw a low effort blocked by a defender.

With around twenty minutes of the half already gone Walsall almost gifted their opponents the opening goal as Kane Wilson failed to get a good connection on the ball and scuffed a clearance straight to Lenell John-Lewis. Thankfully for Wilson he was able to recover from the error and block John-Lewis' effort on the line.

Lee Angol was the next Shrew to be gifted an opening as Dunn parried an Abo Eisa effort straight into his path, the attacker was ultimately unable to take advantage as he sent a shot over the bar from close range.

Shrewsbury continued to push and were soon rewarded for their efforts as Gillead opened the scoring. The goal came after Charlie Colkett's corner found Gillead in space, he controlled the ball before firing an effort into the bottom right of the goal.

The home side almost doubled their lead soon after as Isaiah Osbourne was dispossessed on the edge of his own area before Angol crashed the ball wide of goal. The forward should've done better, but the Saddlers weren't complaining.

Walsall continued to be second best as the Shrews pushed for another goal. Firstly, a Colkett free-kick forced Osbourne into action, before John-Lewis went wide with a volley from a ball over the top.

Josh Emmanuel was the next to create an opening as he sent the ball across goal following an all-too-easy attacking run which saw him face far too little pressure. Thankfully his cross was poor and failed to reach John-Lewis before being dealt with.

What would probably go down as the Saddlers' best chance of the half arrived with just three minutes of the opening forty-five remaining as Connor Ronan flicked the ball on to Ferrier, the attacker going on to beat two defenders before firing over the bar. Plenty of panic at the back for the Shrews but no danger as the effort cleared the bar.

Wilson went on to display some neat footwork before sending in an easily-cleared cut-back cross. Some more promising play from the reds as the half neared the end. Much work for the manager as his team hadn't really turned up.

1 - 0

The Saddlers created the first chance of the second half as Ronan sent in a wayward cross which forced Shrews stopper Joel Coleman into action as he had to tip the ball over the bar.

Walsall went on to create another opening from the subsequent corner as the ball was worked short before being sent across towards Jack Fitzwater, the on-loan West Brom defender flicking an effort wide of goal.

Shrewsbury were soon back in the hunt for openings as a poor midfield pass saw Colkett able to advance up the pitch beating a couple of markers along the way before dragging an effort wide of goal.

The home side continued their search for a second goal and went close soon after. Gillead's ball in was headed down by Eisa with John-Lewis going on to gain control, and turn his man before flashing an effort over the bar.

Walsall's next effort came via Kieron Morris as he collected the ball in space just outside the area before sending a shot wide of Coleman's goal.

On-loan West Brom defender Kane Wilson almost got his temporary side back on level terms as he cut inside and sent a low effort towards goal, the 'keeper failed to deal with the initial shot as his parried save was ultimately cleared by one of his defenders.

Both managers opted to make a change shortly after the game reached the hour mark as Shaun Whalley replaced Alex Gillead for the hosts whilst Walsall's Zeli Ismail took to the field with Russell Martin taking his place on the bench.

A few minutes after the change the Saddlers opted to make another with midfield man Joe Edwards replacing Liam Kinsella. A massive boost to the side as Joe takes a massive step towards returning to action.

Shortly after Eisa had sent a tame header towards goal from Whalley's cross, the Shrews were able to double their lead as, following a well-worked corner, Doug Loft's long-distance effort took a big deflection and slipped past Dunn.

Manager Dean Keates was soon back on the touchline as he made his third and final change with Maziar Kouhyar taking Isaiah Osbourne's place on the pitch.

The Saddlers were finally able to dirty Coleman's sheet as Kieron Morris sent the ball home into the top corner following Ismail's mazy run, the winger doing well to beat two men on his way to another assist.

The Shrews would react to the goal by making another change with Lenell John-Lewis, who had been a thorn in the Walsall side for much of the match, making way for James Rowland.

Walsall's goal seemed to give them a boost as they went in search of another, on-loan Wolves midfielder Ronan sending in a cross which 'keeper Coleman grabbed at the second attempt.

A few minutes after Jack Fitzwater had given everyone a worry by going down with cramp, the Saddlers created another opening as Morris headed wide from Ismail's corner ball, close, but not close enough as Walsall continued to trail as the match neared full-time.

Recently appointed Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts looked to slow the match down as it reached added on time with Abo Eisa making way from John McAtee.

Despite the Saddlers looking to get back on level terms, there were no further efforts of note as referee Peter Wright brought the game to an end, Shrewsbury Town taking their place in the next round as Walsall's focus no switches to this weekend's clash with Coventry City.

2 - 1
Gillead (24')
Loft (72')
Morris (77')

Attendance: -
Referee: Peter Wright
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