Pre-season: AFC Telford 2 Shrewsbury Town 3 - Report

New boy Ryan Bowman’s double helped Shrewsbury edge a competitive Shropshire derby against AFC Telford United in the welcome return of fans to the action.

More than 1,200 watched an entertaining affair between the neighbours as Steve Cotterill returned to the dugout and the clubs paid a fitting tribute to Steve Jagielka.

Bucks led deservedly through Theo Streete before Bowman’s penalty restored parity. Town earned the win in an early second-half blitz where Bowman and Daniel Udoh converted close-range tap-ins, despite Jason Oswell's late stunner.

The evening ended with the returning Town manager, arm in arm with his squad and staff, serenading a rampant away end who lapped it up.

Cotterill handed first starts to new signings Luke Leahy, Matthew Pennington - who spent last season on loan - David Davis, Bowman and Elliott Bennett, the latter in his hometown.

Bennett, playing in his own Leegomery back yard, was handed the captain's armband at right wing-back. Leahy played left of a back three of a strong side.

Only goalkeeper Marko Marosi was missing from the Town ranks.

Cotterill, who had added Davis to his ranks today, is still targeting several more signings to beef his squad, which remains notably short. Ollie Norburn and Aaron Pierre are away on international duty with Grenada.

Telford were still missing ex-Town youngster Elliott Durrell who is ill and yet to make an appearance for his new side. Gavin Cowan started impressive new boy Kai Williams.

Cotterill was serenaded by a rampant and packed away end of almost 600 fans just ahead of kick-off. Shrewsbury fans were watching their side on the road for the first time since February 29, 2020.

Prior to kick-off everybody in the stadium rose to celebrate the life of popular former Telford and Shrewsbury man Steve Jagielka, who died in March.

The National League North were brighter. The atmosphere crackled as fans relished being back in the action, and Shrews immediately realised they were not in an easy evening stroll.

Telford edged into a deserved lead. A left-sided cross was not dealt with and veteran defender Streete rose in a packed six-yard box to beat Harry Burgoyne with a low header.

It took 25 minutes or so for Salop to stir. Davis was instrumental from the sitting midfield role. New boy Leahy was a threat and keen to advance on the left, while Bowman and ex-Buck Udoh began building an understanding.

Josh Vela released Leahy to the left byline and his low cross was insufficiently cleared and, despite Udoh’s heavy touch, Henry Cowans lunged into a foul near the 18-yard line for a clear penalty.

Bowman stepped up in front of the home fans to roll into the corner. Salop fans responded with a nice exchange with the boss.

Bennett made a stunning goalline clearance to deny Oswell on the stroke of half-time, before Burgoyne saved Abbey’s follow-up.

Salop raced out of the blocks after the interval and within 10 minutes they were two ahead.

First Bowman turned home from a few yards on the stretch following a delicious left-sided cross. Town fans behind the goal caught a first glimpse of Ogbeta’s quality.

Moments later Udoh tapped home from a yard out after Griffiths couldn’t handle Leahy’s fine cross.

The floodgates threatened to open as Griffiths saved from Shaun Whalley and Pennington headers.

But the Bucks clung on and made a finale of it thanks to Oswell’s stunning curled finish into the far corner with 15 minutes left. Dom McHale’s free-kick flashed just wide at the death.

Teams

AFC Telford United (3-5-2):

Griffiths; White, Streete, Lilly (Trialist, 70); Birch, Walker (Byrne, 55), Cowans (McHale, 55), Jed Abbey (Jez Abbey, 79), Daniels (Trialist, 55); Williams (Hamilton, 65), Oswell (Barnes-Homer, 79).

Subs not used: Bower.

Shrewsbury Town (3-5-2):

Burgoyne (Gregory, 81); Pennington, Ebanks-Landell, Ogbeta; Bennett (Daniels, 73), Davis (Caton, 81), Vela, Whalley, Leahy; Udoh (Pyke, 75), Bowman (Bloxham, 73).

Attendance: 1,205

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