Shrewsbury Town 0 - 1 Walsall | Checkatrade Trophy | 07/11/2017

Having comfortably seen off Aldershot in the FA Cup and already qualified for the next round of the Checkatrade trophy, Shrewsbury could afford to experiment with their formation and personnel against Walsall.

Walsall had all but guaranteed progression to the next round also, meaning the match had very little riding on it.

Shrewsbury: MacGillivray; Godfrey Beckles, Sadler; Riley, Ogogo, Gnahoua (Shelis 81), B Morris, Rodman (Whalley 67); Payne, John-Lewis (C Morris 67)
Subs: Whalley, C Morris, Dodds, Adams, Gallagher, Gregory, Shelis

Walsall: Roberts, Kinsella, Wilson, Guthrie, Leahy, Ismail, Chambers, Morris, Edwards, Kouhyar, Bakayoko
Subs: Gillespie, Devlin, Jackson, Oztumer, Flanagan, Donnellan

First Half
The first half was a dreary affair with not much happening from either team although Walsall did hit the post early on after a save by Craig MacGillivray.

Shrewsbury seemed to not understand what formation they were supposed to be playing and they lacked the structure and organisation that I’ve come to expect from them this season. A number of the players looked lost, perhaps you can carry one player that’s out of sorts but any more than that and you’re setting yourself up for failure.

As the half wore on, Shrewsbury had a couple of half chances, Stefan Payne got a bit of space, but his shot was weak and straight at the goalkeeper then Joe Riley struck a shot that flew just over the crossbar. There were signs the team was starting to gel.

Second Half
The formation was altered at half time and it seemed to suit Shrewsbury better, although they were a long way from there best.

A flash point occurred when Ben Godfrey slide in to win the ball after a sloppy pass from Whalley, despite getting the ball he clattered into a Walsall player who stayed down after the tackle. The referee saw enough for a straight red card whiteout any hesitation.

In the dying moments of the game, Walsall got the only of the goal of the game as their striker was on hand to turn the ball home into a near empty net after a sliced clearance from Shelis.

Final Thoughts
The game was poor.

After the entertainment in the FA Cup, this was a let down against a local rival. There was very little between the two sides, and the goal that separated them was suitably a reflextuon of the game, lacking quality.

As mentioned, Shrewsbury struggled with their formation in the first half and players were running round aimlessly at points. Paul Hurst’s post-match interview alluded to his disappointment at his players attitude during the match.

Man of the Match - Matt Sadler
Very few contenders for the man of the match. Matt Sadler was one of the few players that put a shift in on the night and looked relatively sure in his role marshalling the Walsall attack.

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