Paul Hurst delighted with Shrewsbury Town's pre-season improvement
Paul Hurst was delighted with the improvements he saw from his Shrewsbury Town team as they downed Championship side Aston Villa 2-1.
Town were deserved winners in the first game at the newly-named Montgomery Waters Meadow, with debutants Zak Jules and Arthur Gnahoua netting late on.
Steve Bruce's Villa, who handed a first start to former England skipper John Terry, netted a final kick consolation from the spot.
Hurst was annoyed after watching his team fall to a poor 2-1 reversal at non-league Brackley in midweek but got the response he demanded against Villa.
He said: "It was better than Tuesday night! But that is kind of the message to the players.
"I knew we'd get a better performance no matter the result but it was in terms of concentration levels, focus, energy, desire.
"I hope I'm not talking throughout the season where it's one week we're this and one week we're something totally different.
Overall I was very pleased with the players, the application and some quality along the way.
"There was a good crowd. In pre-season you sometimes play in front of a very sparse crowd, that wasn't the case. It was a good day."
Other new signings to start were shot-stopper Dean Henderson and midfielders Ebou Adams and Jon Nolan.
Lenell John-Lewis, Dan James and Craig MacGillivray all came from the bench for their first taste of the Meadow in the second period.
Young Cypriot Christos Shelis enjoyed his third start of pre-season. The academy prospect, formerly of Grimsby, played right-back - outside of his centre-half comfort zone.
It was Shelis, who put in a fine display, who brought down Villa sub Jordan Lyden for the late spot-kick, a decision Hurst argued firmly.
"There was frustration at the end," added the boss.
"It doesn't really matter but the penalty was an absolute clean tackle, I cans see that having watching it back already.
"It should've been a clean sheet.
"The young boy in there is moaning about it because it puts a little bit of a dampener on a performance that was excellent for someone 17 years old and playing out of position.
"Other than that it was a good afternoon."