Shrewsbury Town have suffered their share of non-league FA Cup shocks

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

When the balls that paired Shrewsbury Town and Salford City together were drawn, it prompted a fascinating reaction.

Shrewsbury step out at Croft Park, where they would be beaten 3-1 by Blyth Spartans

For many, ‘banana skin’ sprung to mind. The Shrews faithful are all too familiar to FA Cup first round embarrassment, particularly against so-called minnows.

Town have been on the wrong end of a non-league giant-killing on nine occasions as a Football League club.

Two divisions and 33 league positions separate John Askey’s Town and Graham Alexander’s City. The hosts should and will be favourites to win Sunday’s lunchtime tie.

However, the visit of Salford is not your average David versus Goliath Cup feast.

Salford have been propelled towards the Football League since early 2014, when they were taken owner by five members of Manchester United’s ‘Class of ‘92’ and Singapore-based billionaire Peter Lim, who also owns Valencia.

Shrewsbury do not always have it plain-sailing when finding themselves favourites.

There have been a handful of occasions over the last couple of decades that Salopians would wish to forget about.


Of the nine occasions Town have been downed by a non-league side, two were in the 1950s – against Leytonstone and Weymouth. Wigan and Peterborough have also claimed Salop’s scalp in their days in non-league. While more recently, in 2012/13, rivals Hereford United enjoyed a 3-1 Edgar Street success over Town.

Here are some other humiliating days that Shrewsbury do not need a repeat of.

1. Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Staines Town. First round, November 7, 2009.


Paul Simpson’s FA Cup record as Shrewsbury Town chief is one best forgotten.

The future England Under-20s World Cup winner oversaw two first-round ties as Town boss.

Simpson may have taken Salop to Wembley in the League Two play-off final but there was no danger of any FA Cup heroics as, for the second season running, Town were undone by minnows.

Staines, then of the Blue Square South (step six of the football pyramid) were 1-0 winners thanks to a fine first-half strike from Ali Chaaban.

Town: C Neal, Coughlan, Hooman (Elder 77), Cansdell-Sherriff, Murray, L Neal, Labadie (Simpson 62), McIntyre, Langmead, Hibbert, Robinson (Bright 46). Att: 3,539

2. Blyth Spartans 3-1 Shrewsbury Town. First round, November 8, 2008.

Conditions are always tough at a blustery Croft Park and Blyth know a thing or two about upsets.

The shock of the first round in the 2008/09 season saw the Blue Square North Spartans oust Simpson’s Town, who had staved off League Two relegation the previous season.

Town were guilty of a sorry start as Shaun Reay put the hosts ahead after just 31 seconds. It got no better for Salop as Blyth netted another effort the break and a third soon after.

Grant Holt’s second-half effort was too little, too late for Shrews.

Town: Garner, Herd, Murray, Jackson (Symes 57), Coughlan, Holt, Humphrey (Hindmarch 58), Leslie (Hunt 58), Tierney, Walker, McIntyre. Att: 2,742

3. Histon 2-0 Shrewsbury Town. First round, November 13, 2004.

Town were again on the wrong end of ‘shock of the round’ as Southern League Premier side Histon (step seven) earned a home win at Bridge Road in Cambridgeshire.

Salop, who spent the previous season in the Conference for the only time in their history, were struggling in League Two under caretaker Chic Bates (Jimmy Quinn had not long resigned).

Again Town were on their heels as Ian Cambridge’s goal had the hosts ahead after just four minutes. Shrews piled forward late on but an expert Charles Liban goal at the death wrapped up progression.

Town: Howie, Sedgemore (Walton 82), Challis, Tinson, O’Connor, Street, Edwards, Aiston, Whitehead, Rodgers, Lowe. Att: 1,538

4. Rushden & Diamonds 1-0 Shrewsbury Town. First round, November 14, 1998.

It had been a stop-start opening to the Division Three campaign so the last thing boss Jake King needed was a tricky trip to Conference champions-elect Rushden & Diamonds.

The Nene Park side ran out 1-0 winners against Town and the sides ended just 10 places apart in the pyramid. Rushden reached the third round.

Town: Edwards, Seabury, Hanmer, Wilding, Gayle, Tretton, Berkley, Kerrigan (Steele 66), Jagielka, Evans, Brown. Att: 4,121

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @lewiscox_star

Sports reporter with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Covering Shrewsbury Town and with a keen eye for non-league and grassroots.


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