Report: Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Bristol City
Tuesday, January 14th 2020
City have exited the Emirates FA Cup after a late Shrewsbury Town goal at a damp and chilly Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Shrews defender Aaron Pierre buried the ball into the net from distance to fire the home side into the fourth round of the competition.
The replay, following the 1-1 draw back at Ashton Gate earlier in the month, had been a fairly open contest and City had hit the post before Town’s late pressure paid.
City Head Coach Lee Johnson named four changes from his starting XI that kicked off the 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic three days earlier. One change came at the back, where Tommy Rowe stepped in for Jay Dasilva. Jamie Paterson, who scored and assisted at the weekend, earned his first start and Josh Brownhill and Ádám Nagy partner in central midfield. They replaced Marley Watkins, Han-Noah Massengo and Korey Smith, respectively.
City started brightly under the Shropshire lights and went close when Brownhill forced a terrific save from Joe Murphy. The midfielder rifled a shot from the edge of the area and forced the Shrews keeper to push the ball out for a corner.
By the 15-minute mark, Shrewsbury had worked a couple of threatening crosses into the City penalty area. To be fair, it had been a good opening display from the home side but the visitors had dealt with the pressure thus far.
The League One side went close themselves though when Pierre’s left-footed shot from distance had the beating of the fully-stretched Dan Bentley, but fortunately for the City keeper, the ball whistled wide o this occasion.
Paterson went close to his second goal in as many games but Ro-Shaun Williams produced a vital block to put the ball out for a corner, while Nathan Baker headed against the post from the resulting set-piece.
But it had been end-to-end in terms of chances created and City had Bentley to thank as the Shrews soon rallied to end the break on a high. He did enough to turn away a curling effort from Shrews captain Ollie Norburn – half the crowd thought the shot had gone in – before the shotstopper produced another fine diving stop to deny Daniel Udoh.
Johnson was forced into his first change before half-time with an injury seeing Taylor Moore replace Baker. Still there were chances to break the deadlock, though neither Famara Diédhiou or Ryan Giles could hit the target when it mattered as the sides entered the break goalless.
The attacking intent was still there yet the quality of chances diminished with both Diédhiou and Paterson wasteful after the break and Kasey Palmer was soon introduced to add creativity with Paterson departing.
But it was now about who could dig the deepest and there would be a flurry of chances from the hosts with 20 minutes to go. Substitutes Shaun Whalley and Callum Lang combined with the latter forcing another good stop from Bentley, who had to scoop the ball away for a corner, and the Robins had to survive a goalmouth scramble before they could clear their lines.
Johnson’s men were up against up inside the final ten minutes too but had last-ditch defending from on-field captain Brownhill to keep Sam Ricketts’ side at bay. The chance was created when Josh Laurent raced into the space behind Jack Hunt. He had two Shrews men in the City box but couldn’t find either of them as Brownhill got back to slide and block.
Still Town had the wind in their sails and only a wild shot from Norburn saw his late effort blaze over the bar, before the pressure finally told with a long-distance strike from Pierre. The defender received the ball outside the area and his low shot picked out the bottom corner.
Eliasson would shoot wide as four minutes of stoppage time was indicated but it wouldn’t be enough for the Robins to force extra-time.
City will return to league action at home to Barnsley this Saturday (January 18th, 3pm KO).
Photography by JMPUK.