FA Cup: Notts County 2 Shrewsbury 3 - Report
Shrewsbury Town progressed to the third round of the FA Cup after beating Notts County 3-2 at Meadow Lane.
A Ryan Bowman hat-trick helped guide Town to victory after a challenging week on the road for Matt Taylor's men.
It was a superb result for Town given the context of where they find themselves at the moment in terms of injuries.
Bowman gave them the lead in the first minute as Shrews were out of the blocks quickly, but that was ruled out by Richard Brindley's strike just before half-time.
Shrews scored twice within seven minutes of the restart, as Bowman capitalised on mistakes on the Notts County defence to complete a composed hat-trick
But within two minutes of being introduced, James Sanderson got one back for County with 15 minutes to go to set up a finale.
It was a game that saw the hosts have a lot of the ball but do very little with it as they were defensively organised and well-drilled for the third time this week.
The game against County looked a tough one on paper, especially given the fact Shrewsbury had already travelled 400 miles to Exeter and back this week.
Matt Taylor made one change to the side who got a decent point on the road in Devon, and Mal Benning was the man to come in for Max Mata who has been under the weather.
Notts County made changes for the game themselves with Macaulay Langstaff, who has already scored 14 goals this season, only making the bench.
Other important players for County who missed out were David McGoldrick and Dan Crowley - neither of them were in the matchday squad.
The injuries have completely ravaged Salop and despite Elliott Bennett being fit enough to start in the game they were missing 10 players who, if fit, would be pushing for a start.
There was lots of incentive for Taylor's men to get the win with prize money being more than £60,000 for winning this game and progressing to the third round proper.
It was a bitterly cold evening, but the game went ahead after a pitch inspection at 3 pm.
Town started in the best possible fashion taking the lead in the first minute.
It came from a complete horror show at the back from the home side, Aden Baldwin slipping over and allowing Dan Udoh to pinch the ball.
He played it square to Bowman who really could not miss - it was an absolute gift for Shrews, but it was one they gratefully accepted.
From then on the game followed a very similar pattern, County had all of the ball with them doing very little with it.
There was nothing to report until Brindley levelled the scores in the 38th minute.
The County defender was given far too much space on the edge of the town penalty area and despite him being 30 yards from goal he riffled it into the far corner beating Marko Marosi.
Town had two chances before the break when Udoh and Jordan Shipley got into brilliant positions, but they took too long on the ball, and the opportunities passed Town by.
The hosts rarely threatened despite having 79 per cent possession in the opening half, but considering Salop were taking on a League Two side who had made a lot of changes, they needed to be a bit more ambitious after the break if they wanted to get through to the next round.
And Town started the second half well with Bowman helping his side to regain the lead.
Connell Rawlinson's missed-placed header went straight Bowman just outside of the six-yard box and he finished beyond Aidan Stone.
Shortly after, the forward completed his hat-trick. Again, for the third time in the evening, it came from a mistake in the Notts County defence.
Baldwin who was guilty of giving away the first goal, was bundled off the ball by Shipley and he slotted in Bowman who calmly fired into the far corner.
The goals came from mistakes, but Bowman must get credit for the composure he showed to finish all of them - he really did keep his cool when they needed him to.
With 15 minutes to play, substitute James Sanderson got one back for the hosts to make it an intriguing showdown.
Jack Loughran came on in the closing stages for Town as they tried to hold out for the win.
And despite a few late scares Town hung on to complete an excellent victory.
Shrews: Marosi, Anderson, Pierre, Dunkley, Benning, Bennett, Winchester, Shipley, Kenneh, Bowman (Sobowale 82), Udoh.
Subs: Burgoyne, Mata, Sobowale, Whitney, Loughran, Collins, Watts, Owusu, Godwin.
Notts County: Stone, Brindley (Tipton 71), Rawlinson (Langstaff 63), Austin, Nemane, Randall (Jones 63), Baldwin, Bostock, Chicksen, Morias, Gosling (Sanderson 71).
Subs: Cameron, Langstaff, Jones, Adebayo, Munakandafa, Macari, Tipton, Gill, Sanderson.