Report: Shrewsbury Town 1 Blues 0

Both sides had earlier fashioned several opportunities but were denied by some off-target finishing and one or two decent saves from both goalkeepers.

On what was a stiflingly hot summer evening in Shropshire, the game started at a fairly sedate pace.

It took until the 12th minute for any action of note. That was when the Shrews appealed for a penalty after Louis Dodds went over on the edge of the Blues box under a challenge from Josh Cogley, but referee Steve Rushton waved away their protests.

The first actual chance fell to Blues after 19 when Kyle McFarlane chased the ball down and dragged it back from the by-line for James Vaughan. The Blues striker let go with a first time shot which was comfortably saved low down by Jayson Leutwiler.

Minutes later Blues should have had a spot-kick when Vaughan was tripped in the box, but his claims were ignored. Seconds after that the Shrewsbury keeper did excellently to tip Robert Tesche’s 20-yard low strike behind for a corner.

Blues were beginning to up the ante and were looking threatening particularly on the break. David Davis sprinted down the left flank before cutting the ball inside to McFarlane who ran on with it into the box and fired on goal, but his attempt was blocked by the leg of a defender.

But it was not all one way traffic, and Adam Legzdins was forced to produce an excellent diving save to deny AJ Leitch-Smith’s goalbound shot.

Blues went desperately close to taking the lead courtesy of Robert Tesche when the German hit a terrific free-kick from outside the box, but it was pushed away from just inside the post by Leutwiler.

Then in the last action of the half, Diego Fabbrini's cross was met by Jonathan Grounds who headed the ball off the bar and over.

Half-time: Shrewsbury 0 Blues 0

Blues made one planned change at the break with Nicolai Brock-Madsen replacing Vaughan up front.

Just three minutes in Kyle McFarlane was left writhing on the floor in agony after a crude challenge from Gary Deegan. But following several minutes of treatment the young Blues winger was able to continue.

Shrewsbury had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock when Shaun Whalley whipped a corner ball deep into the Blues box, but Antoni Saracevic guided his header over from just a matter of yards out.

Blues were then thankful to Josh Cogley who was able to get to the ball just ahead of Jones, with the Shrewsbury man poised to tap the ball in.

With an hour gone, Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon made no less than seven changes in one go.

The game came close to boiling over when Maghoma clashed with one of the Shrewsbury players in the centre of the pitch and almost all the players from both sides became involved in a melee. But at the end of it all, the referee spoke to both captains to calm the situation and no cards were produced.

Following another break for water the action continued. Blues were unable to get any distance on a clearance out of the box and the ball fell to Andy Mangan who fizzed a shot just inches wide of the post with Legzdins stranded.

With the game seemingly heading towards a stalemate, Shrewsbury winger Jones was allowed too much space on the edge of the box and he tried his luck with a firmly hit low shot which found its way through a crowd of players and into the bottom of the net

Full-time: Shrewsbury 0 Blues 0

Blues: Legzdins, Grounds, Shotton, Tesche, Fabbrini, McFarlane (O’Keeffe, 77), Cogley, Maghoma, Vaughan (Brock-Madsen), Spector, Davis.
Subs (not used): Weaver, Harding, Maxwell, McDonald.

Bookings: None

Goals: None

Attendance: 1020 (98 Blues fans)