It wasn’t just their fans perspiring in Saturday’s heatwave.
Shrewsbury players knew they’d been in a game just as gruelling as the pre-season cross-country runs in the Shropshire hills boss Graham Turner has laid on.
Those treasured mementoes which fell into the hands of Town players at the final whistle must have been sweet smelling in comparison to the new blue and amber home kits which were thoroughly drenched from an afternoon of hard graft in the field.
For Shrewsbury, unsurprisingly were left chasing the shadows of players with transfer fees running into millions of euros.
Not for them a one-sided run-out against lowly non-league opponents for their first public outing of their warm-up programme. The boot was very much on the other foot, or even trailing several steps behind, as they struggled to steal the ball and hold back the tide of a team which came close to reaching the last four of the Champions League only four months ago.
Few of their League One rivals will get so close this summer to marvel at the one-touch passes and precise movement of some of Europe’s best footballers.
Trailing to an early low blow from Emre Colak – whose fierce 25-yard drive beat Chris Weale at his left-hand post – and then falling further behind to Noureddine Amrabat they could easily have succumbed to a far bigger scoreline.
Gala boss Fatih Terim reserved most of his bigger guns for the later in the game and the prospect of Didier Drogba and Burak Yilmaz inflicting more damage was always a possibility.
But Turner can be satisfied how his players forced themselves into the game after the break when they even fashioned a couple of good chances of their own.
Big Dave Winfield posted Town’s first attempt on goal just over the hour mark. He rose at the back stick to plant Jon Taylor’s free-kick a yard wide.
After rarely advancing over the half-way line in the first 45, trialists John Marsden and a mystery attacker who went under the pseudonym of James Smith on the team sheet added some zip up front.
Marsden, an ex-Stoke under-21s player, closed down some casual Gala defending before Dave McAllister went inches away from halving the Turks’ lead. The midfielder twisted and turned to make space for a shot which arrowed just wide.
New recruit Akwasi Asante offered some glimpses of his talent as Salop ensured Gala didn’t stroll to victory. Wesley Sneijder’s close-range finish possibly put a flattering complexion to the scoreline considering Town’s improvement.
Alex McQuade made desperate attempt to get Yilmaz’s shot off the line, but the Dutch superstar was on hand to turn the ball in three minutes from time.
Drogba was bystander for most of his 20 minutes of game time, but played a late cameo to justify the adoration he received both on and off the pitch.
Joe Anyon, on for Weale after the break, did well to deal with a powerful drive bound from the master marksman.
Later the keeper’s bar was reverberating from a trademark Drogba blast which appeared to be the trigger for one fan to lose his senses in the heat. The pitch invader greeted the strike legend with a bearhug before being frogmarched away.
The laid-back veteran dealt with the offender in the cool and professional manner his team-mates had despatched their English opponents before the interval.
Colak’s terrific early strike was followed by non-stop pressure, much of it manufactured by winger Amrabat.
Weale excelled to tip over Sabri Sarioglu’s belter and Dave Winfield just about avoided giving a penalty away to Amrabat.
But when Connor Goldson was cut adrift by a precision diagonal pass, Amrabat was too quick to be caught and cut in from the left to finish across Weale for the second.
Shrewsbury: Weale (Anyon, 46) , Goldson, Jacobson (McQuade, 62) Winfield (Woods, 76), Mkandawire (Darren Jones, 46), Wildig, McAllister, Summerfield, Taylor (Asante, 76), Parry (Marsden, 46), Bradshaw. Subs not used: Billy Jones, Matt Owen.
Galatasaray: Iscan, Eboue, Balta, Zan (Nounkeu, 76), Gulselam (Chedjou, 76), Kurtulus, Sarioglu (Sniejder, 70), Colak (Inan, 70), Amrabat (Drogba), Baytar (Yilmaz, 70), Elmander. Subs not used: Riera, Altintop, Kazim-Richards, Kilic, Ercetin (gk)
Attendance: 5,812 (439 visiting fans)
Referee: Oliver Langford (West Mids)Subscribe to our Newsletter