Shrewsbury Town 3
Wildig 30 Bradshaw 39, 57
Cole 31, Rusnak 83
- Match reports
- 27 July 2013 17:02
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
City’s EDS side fell to their third pre-season defeat, losing 3-2 against League One outfit Shrewsbury Town.
Goals from Devante Cole and Albert Rusnak brought the Blues back into the game on two occasions but Aaron Wildig’s first-half strike and a brace from Tom Bradshaw sealed the win for the home side.
It was the first time the Blues had come up against professional opposition under new manager Patrick Vieira and there were plenty of positives for the Frenchman to take from the game as the Blues more than matched the Shrews for much of the contest.
City started the brighter of the two sides, chasing the ball down well and restricting the home side to long balls over the top. The Blues remained composed when they had possession, playing some slick football with neat first-time passes and one-twos.
And Vieira’s men could have taken the lead on 14 minutes, after some intricate passing between Rusnak and Sinan Bytiqi sent Cole through on goal. The striker stretched out a leg to try and poke the ball past Chris Weale but the goalkeeper did well to smother the shot at the second attempt.
Six minutes later, Seko Fofana was unlucky to see his shot curl just wide as City grew in confidence as the half progressed.
The game sprung into life on the half-hour mark with a flurry of goals. Shrewsbury took the lead somewhat against the run of play, when Wildig – unmarked at the far post – swept home from close range.
The Blues responded well and were level within just a minute of the restart. Some good one-touch football allowed Shay Facey to get behind the Shrews’ defence. The defender could have shot himself but instead crossed for Cole, who calmly rolled the ball into the empty net to make it 1-1.
It was end-to-end stuff from then on, and Shrewsbury almost regained their lead on 38 minutes but for a terrific stop by City goalkeeper Ian Lawlor.
However, the Shrews did find the net moments later though when Bradshaw finished off a quick counter-attack by coolly slotting the ball past Lawlor to give the home side a half-time lead.
Shrewsbury continued where they left off in the second half, almost extending their lead immediately after the restart and extended their lead on 57 minutes, when Bradshaw netted his second of the game. Parry cut the ball back for the Shrews’ striker, whose first-time shot trickled over the line.
City made a series of substitutions throughout the second half as Angus Gunn, Alex Henshall, George Glendon, Ellis Plummer, Louis Hutton, Vlad Marin and Olivier Ntcham all took to the field to try and get the Blues back into the game.
Gunn was called into action almost immediately, as he stretched out an arm to save a John Marsden shot. The rebound was well-cleared.
As the game looked to be petering out, City mounted a late charge and they were awarded a penalty with just over seven minutes remaining. Adam Drury’s trickery inside the area proved too hot to handle for the Shrewsbury defence and he was sent tumbling. Referee Rob Ellis pointed to the spot and the Blues were given a possible route back into the game.
Rusnak then stepped up to take the spot kick, delicately chipping the ball into the net to make it 3-2. It was a spirited fightback from the Blues who then pushed on for another equaliser.
City pressed for an equaliser and were desperately unlucky not to level the scores when Rusnak’s low drive went inches wide of the post but that was as close as the Blues' came to avoiding defeat.
Vieira’s men can feel proud of themselves though, as they controlled much of the game against a League One side that starts its season next weekend. Hear what the gaffer had to say...
The young Blues travel to Oberndorf next week for an international under-19s tournament. It will be their first competitive contest under the new boss and a good chance to prepare for the start of the new season in a few weeks' time.