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Report: Shrewsbury Town 0 Blues 2

But the game wasn’t perhaps as comfortable for the visitors as the scoreline suggests.

Shrewsbury put up a decent showing and in the second-half were the more accomplished side.

Blues made the perfect start as they took the lead with less than two minutes played courtesy of Thomas.

Shrewsbury were victims of their own downfall after defender Mark Ellis attempted to pass the ball back to his keeper. Unfortunately for Ellis he just failed to put enough pace on it which allowed Thomas to chase it down, tackle the goalkeeper and roll the ball into an empty net.

Despite the early setback, Micky Mellon’s side continued to try and play crisp passing football against Blues and were certainly taking the game to their visitors, without actually providing that decisive final ball.

After 13 minutes Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro tried his luck with a pile driver of a shot that just evaded Tomasz Kuszczak’s upright.

But with quarter of an hour gone it was Blues that found themselves two goals to the good after they caught the Shrews on the break.

The ball found its way to Jacques Maghoma on the left of the box. The winger cut inside before laying a simple pass off to Clayton Donaldson who side-footed it home from just eight yards.

It took until the 35th minute for Blues’ next opening when David Cotterill tried his luck with a sublime chip from more than 30 yards which drifted just wide, with the goalkeeper beaten.

Half-time: Shrewsbury Town 0 Blues 2

Shrewsbury emerged after the break having made no less than six changes to their starting XI. One of the five players to keep their spot was former Blues favourite Mat Sadler.

The hosts made a lively start in the opening stages and both Scott Vernon and Tyrone Barnett had attempts on goal. Vernon’s deflected shot was saved by Kuszczak and Barnett fired several yards wide.

For the first time in the match Blues were beginning to come under some real defensive pressure and struggling to get out of their own half.

Barnett tried his luck with a low snap-shot, but it lacked direction and flew comfortably the wrong side of the post.

Their pressure almost told on 64 minutes when Vernon headed the ball home after Blues failed to clear their lines when a free-kick was sent deep into their area, but fortunately the referee’s assistant flagged for offside.

As the game entered the final quarter of an hour, Cotterill had two chances in the space of a minute.

His first was an audacious lob from 40 yards that was saved on the line and the second a volley which sailed over the bar.

Full time: Shrewsbury 0 Blues 2

Blues:  Tomasz Kuszczak, Neal Eardley, Jonathan Grounds, Stephen Gleeson, Jonathan Spector, Dom Bernard, Reece Brown, Jacques Maghoma, Clayton Donaldson, Wes Thomas (Koby Arthur, 71), David Cotterill.
Subs not used: Wes Harding, Connal Trueman, George O’Neill, Kyle McFarlane, Noe Baba.

Goals: Thomas (2), Donaldson (15).

Attendance: 1,919 (245 Blues fans)

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