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Analysis: Shrewsbury FA Cup win has been on the cards for a while

On the basis of their recent performances, sooner or later, a result like this was inevitable for Shrewsbury.

Luke Leahy of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-1 ..
Luke Leahy of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-1 ..

In recent weeks they have found themselves on the wrong end of results after putting in some decent displays.

Steve Cotterill’s men have created chances in games but have not quite been able to capitalise when they have been on top. And, at the other end, they have been punished.

So the result against Peterborough United on Saturday felt like it had an air of inevitability to it.

It will be something for Shrews to build on as they head into a busy period with a couple of important home games – starting next week against Lincoln City.

It was great for Cotterill to celebrate his second anniversary as Shrewsbury boss.

Town did as their manager had demanded and put in another display which in the first half showed examples of free-flowing passing football.

But this time they were rewarded for it.

Those bits of quality, that have perhaps been missing in stages, were on show at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday.

Tom Bayliss was the first to demonstrate it when he swept home a Jordan Shipley cross inside the second minute.

It was not an easy finish, the cross came through a crowd of bodies and was slightly behind him – and on his weaker foot.

But he effortlessly slotted the ball home to give Town the advantage.

Matthew Pennington was on hand to score Town’s second, the defender showed a strikers instinct to be the first to react to a fierce Taylor Moore strike from outside the box fumbled by Lucas Bergstrom.

And it was a confident finish as he slotted it away before running off to celebrate his fourth strike of the season.

With the final kick off the half, Town managed to get a third when another defender, Chey Dunkley this time, was fouled in the box, and Simon Mather pointed to the spot.

Luke Leahy has not missed many spot kicks in a Town shirt, and he did not start there, so Town had scored three at the break.

It was something their performance had deserved, they were better than their opponents in aspects in the first 45 minutes seeing more of the ball and creating better chances.

The only slight blot on the copybook was the cushion was only two goals because they had let one in – and it was completely avoidable too.

It is unfair to give Marko Marosi too much of a hard time about his error which led to the Posh goal.

Being a goalkeeper is an unforgiving job, your mistakes are highlighted because if you make them, then more often than not, the ball is in the back of the net.

He has been good for Town this season, and he has made very few mistakes which have cost Salop, but on this occasion, he tried to pass it out from the back, and he gave the ball away leaving Shrews outnumbered and out of shape.

A cross came in from Mason-Clark, and Jonson Clark-Harris was on hand to tap the ball home.

The conditions at the Meadow were very challenging. Strong winds made it hard to judge headers and the flight of the ball.

Town’s second-half performance was not on the front foot as the first was.

After all, they were playing against a side that sits fourth in the League One table and were only relegated from the Championship earlier this year.

Salop had something to defend, and that is something they do incredibly well – especially with Dunkley, Pennington and Tom Flanagan the trio are reliable and consistent and are forming quite the partnership.

The visitors did have their moments, especially in the first 20 minutes after the break but in truth as the game headed towards the final whistle, Grant McCann’s side looked less like finding an equaliser.

“We had to show two sides to our play,” Cotterill said when speaking post-match.

“In the second half, we had to show the other side of us, and they are a good team.

“No two halves in football are the same, and when you have to wind out there that you had today, it is difficult.

“But I think, overall when I look at it I thought we deserved to win the game.”

The win puts them in Monday’s third-round draw which sees Premier League clubs and Championship clubs enter the competition.

In recent years they have enjoyed some exciting cup ties with a trip to Anfield last year to take on Liverpool – great for the fans, players and the club’s finances.

Salop will be hoping the draw will be kind to them once again, but before they worry about the FA Cup, they have league points to gain and a table to climb.

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