Shropshire Star

EFL Trophy: Forest Green 3 Shrewsbury 0 - Report

There were very few positives to take from a disappointing night in Gloucestershire.

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Dan Udoh of Shrewsbury Town and Darnell Johnson of Forest Green Rovers (AMA)

Shrewsbury Town's EFL Trophy campaign got off to the worst possible start as they were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Forest Green Rovers.

Salop had hopes before the game of putting in a positive performance after the disappointment against Carlisle - but it was a really difficult night for Matt Taylor's men losing 3-0.

They put in a decent first-half display but trailed at the break courtesy of Dylan Kadji's goal.

But perhaps what will worry Matt Taylor the most is how his side were well and truly second-best after the interval.

Tyrese Omotoye added a second before Matty Stevens curled in a wonderful third when he bent it beyond the helpless Harry Burgoyne as Town looked deflated.

The evening was summed up when Ryan Bowman missed a penalty with five minutes of normal time remaining.

It was a bad way to head into the international break, and there is plenty of work for Taylor and his coaching staff to do.


Speaking after the game on Saturday Taylor confirmed the club would be taking the competition seriously this season and even though he made eight changes - it still looked strong side to take on Rovers.

Several players, including deadline day arrivals Brandon Fleming and Ryan Finnigan, made their first starts in blue and amber.

It was a chance for those players who have not been in the starting XI in recent weeks to stake a claim for a spot when football returns to Shropshire after the international break.

The weather conditions in Gloucestershire were akin to the kind you would find during a pre-season friendly in June rather than a September evening - there was not a cloud in the sky.

Town made a bright start in the opening 10 minutes, with Taylor Perry linking up with Mata well before racing into the box.

He found half a yard for a shot, but it was deflected, and Jamie Searle had to tip it over the bar.

Tom Flanagan of Shrewsbury Town and Teddy Jenks of Forest Green Rovers (AMA)

From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Fleming on the edge of the area who hit it first time, but again Searle was equal to it, and he pushed it out of harm's way.

The home side settled, but it was Shrews who had the better opportunities in the opening half an hour. Mata was played through, but his effort was straight at the keeper when he really should have scored.

Perry played with a lot of energy, and he almost gave Town the lead when he hit the post from distance. Town were punished shortly after when Kadji gave them the lead.

He managed to get in between Sraha and Fleming after a simple lofted ball into the box his first touch took him into space, and he slotted beyond Harry Burgoyne.

Elliott Bennett had a free-kick in the closing stages of the first half, but it was comfortable for Searle and that was the last action of the half.

Town were much improved, but they were not clinical enough and they found themselves trailing with plenty of work to do after the break.

The home side almost doubled their lead immediately after the re-start. The skipper Matty Stevens was slipped in before forcing a great save from Burgoyne.

Stevens went close again moments later when he got on the end of Harvey Bunker's near post cross but he was unable to get his effort on target as it went just wide.

In fact, Town were on the ropes, and eventually the hosts got their second when Omotoye rolled one passed Burgoyne after Forest Green broke away.

It looked a long way back, but that got even worse when Stevens scored a special individual goal to add a third of the evening.

He opened up his body just outside the box and bent the ball into the top corner - there was nothing Burgoyne could do.

With 15 minutes to go, Phillips showed a turn of pace to get away down the left, he cut in and shot but it was turned away by the impressive Searle.

To make matters worse Bowman missed a penalty in the closing stages of the game after Mal Benning was fouled and that was that.


Shrews: Burgoyne, Sraha, Flanagan, Dunkley, Sobowale (Winchester 53), Fleming (Benning 80), Finnigan, Perry (Bayliss 45), Bennett, Udoh (Bowman 45), Mata (Phillips 60).

Subs: Marosi, Benning, Anderson, Winchester, Bayliss, Bowman, Phillips.

FGR: Searle, Johnson, Jenks, Stevens (Hughes 87), Bendle, Kadji (Sully 72), Robson, Welch, Omotoye (Bennett 72), Bunker (McKenzie 72), Carter.

Subs: Pagel, Sully, Sannila, McKenzie, Bennett, Mason, Hughes.