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Match Reports

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Grimsby Town

15 December 2015

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Grimsby Town

GRIMSBY Town suffered added-time heartbreak as their FA Cup run was brought to a halt by Shrewsbury Town at the Greenhous Meadow.

As they had been in the initial tie between the two sides, the Mariners were the better side in this second round replay and created several chances to open the scoring.

But as extra time looked to be looming, the hosts struck through Abu Ogogo to clinch a third round meeting with Cardiff City.

After making eight changes to his team for the FA Trophy clash with Solihull on Saturday, Town boss Paul Hurst reverted to the XI that began the original tie with the Shrews at Blundell Park last week.

That meant goalkeeper James McKeown lined up behind a defence of Richard Tait, Toto Nsiala, Josh Gowling and Conor Townsend.

The midfielders were Nathan Arnold, Craig Disley, Craig Clay and Andy Monkhouse, with Padraig Amond and Jon-Paul Pittman selected as the strikers.

Saturday’s starters Scott Brown, Gregor Robertson, Shaun Pearson, Omar Bogle, Conor Henderson and James Alabi were all handed places on the substitutes’ bench, alongside goalkeeper Andy Warrington.

Shrewsbury made three changes from the team that held the Mariners to a goalless draw, with Mark Halstead continuing in goal in place of the injured Jayson Leutwiler.  Tyrone Barnett and Zak Whitbread replaced Shaun Whalley and Nathaniel Knight-Percival in the other alterations.

Town began confidently, putting pressure on their hosts in the early stages, as Nsiala won a duel with Sullay Kaikai on four minutes.

Pittman had a shot blocked after good work by Arnold, before Gowling had to get to a cross first and clear the danger at the other end.

A foul by Disley on Jermaine Grandison gave the home side a free kick in a dangerous position on nine minutes but it did not cause any problems, as the ball was blazed over the bar.

A Townsend cross was cleared as the Mariners looked to put some pressure on the home goal, before Pittman’s return ball into the box was dealt with by Junior Brown.

McKeown was called into action for the first time on the quarter-hour, when he had to dive to stop a shot by Scott Vernon.

Kaikai missed the target with a shot two minutes later after a spell of Shrewsbury possession, before Pittman took a heavy fall which led to him needing treatment on a shoulder injury.  The striker was unfit to play on and was eventually replaced by Bogle.

A foul on striker James Collins led to a home free kick on 24 minutes but Liam Lawrence’s effort from it was off-target, with McKeown able to watch the ball go out for a goal kick.

Town had a chance to take the lead soon afterwards, when a cross from Townsend found Clay near the penalty spot.  The midfielder took a touch but sent his shot over the bar.

More Grimsby pressure came just before the half-hour but they were unable to turn it into a goalscoring opportunity, as the Shrewsbury defence eventually got the ball clear.

Townsend won a corner for Town on 33 minutes but his kick was headed clear by Whitbread and the home side broke through Barnett. They then won a free kick when Kaikai was fouled by Arnold but the ball from it was brought clear by Townsend.

Another Town attack came soon afterwards but Townsend’s cross was blocked and the ball went through to keeper Halstead.

Grandison was replaced by Dominic Smith as the home side made a substitution nine minutes before the break.

Gowling was the first of the evening to be shown a yellow card for a foul after Clay had lost possession in midfield and from the resulting free kick, a cross by Brown was headed away from danger by the former Kidderminster centre-back.

A free kick at the other end gave the Mariners another chance to attack but Townsend’s ball was claimed by Halstead, who got to it ahead of Disley.

Bogle fired a shot over the bar after controlling the ball on his chest as the Mariners continued to go forward in search of what could be a crucial opening goal.

Collins was spoken to by referee Dean Whitestone after a foul on Gowling with a minute left on the clock before the interval.

Three added minutes were then signalled and in the second of them, a Townsend free kick led to Bogle slicing a shot wide.

Kaikai missed the target with a long-range shot which proved to be the last chance of the opening period, meaning it remained goalless at half-time.

No further changes were made by either manager before the restart and the first attack of the second half saw the ball cleared after Arnold had fired it across goal.

Shrewsbury’s opening salvo of the half saw Brown hit an effort across goal that Nsiala had to slide in and clear.

The hosts were on the attack again soon afterwards, with McKeown having to make a stop from Smith’s swerving shot.

The second home substitution came on 53 minutes and saw Knight-Percival come on for Whitbread.

A Town corner quickly led to another one and from Townsend’s second delivery, Amond sent the ball past the post.

A foul on Bogle two minutes before the hour led to a free kick in a promising position but Townsend’s shot from it went over the bar.

Another chance came four minutes later, when Monkhouse found Bogle but after working an opening, the striker could only hit the side-netting.

At the other end, a free kick from Lawrence was cleared by Monkhouse, before a cross from Brown was dealt with by Nsiala.

Brown was involved again soon afterwards, cutting in and hitting a shot that went just wide of McKeown’s goal.

Town won a corner on 65 minutes but Townsend’s ball was cleared by Brown, who got to it ahead of Amond.

Good work by Bogle saw him win another corner with 20 minutes to go but it caused no problems for Halstead, who came off his line to catch Townsend’s ball.

A foul on Monkhouse led to a yellow card for Ogogo soon afterwards and a free kick on the halfway line, although the Mariners would rather have seen the referee play the advantage as they were in a promising attacking position.

As they had done in the first half, Town were creating the better chances and seeing more of the ball than their hosts, although they had been unable to make a breakthrough on the scoreboard.

Another good Grimsby chance came with 15 minutes left, as Arnold headed a cross towards goal, only to be thwarted by a good save by Halstead.

The Mariners kept up the pressure from the resulting corner until Shrewsbury eventually cleared their lines, although a foul on Gowling quickly saw them given the opportunity to set up another attack.

Ian Black replaced Barnett for the home side as manager Micky Mellon made his third and final change on 78 minutes.

A Town free kick led to Halstead punching Townsend’s delivery over the bar for another corner and it led to another one as the pressure kept building on the Shrewsbury goal.  This time, Halstead collected the ball at his far post.

Amond was pulled down by Smith – who was booked – with eight minutes left, although it did not lead to any danger in front of goal.

A chip towards the far post from Kaikia then went out for a goal kick as the home side gained some brief respite from the Town pressure.

Arnold was denied by Halstead at the near post as the Mariners kept looking for a winning goal.  And they went close again from the resulting corner, as Gowling headed just past the post.

Black saw a shot blocked by Nsiala with three minutes to go, before the same two were involved again as Nsiala was booked for a foul on Black as the game moved into three minutes of stoppage time.

Kaikai saw a shot saved by McKeown in the second of the added minutes but the hosts were not to be denied for much longer, as they finally broke the deadlock seconds later.  The ball broke for OGOGO after it was not cleared and he smashed it past the keeper to win the tie.

Town had been the better of the two sides but were hit by a sucker-punch and could only reflect on what might have been as the hosts secured their place in round three.

It means Shrewsbury will look forward to a trip to the Cardiff City Stadium in the next round, while the Mariners will look to regroup ahead of Saturday’s league match against Dover Athletic at Blundell Park.

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