Shrewsbury Town 5 - 0 Aldershot | FA Cup First Round | 04/11/2017

Shrewsbury Town 5 - 0 Aldershot | FA Cup First Round | 04/11/2017

In their last game in the league at Peterborough, Shrewsbury had lost their unbeaten start to the season thanks to a wonder strike from 35 yards. The next game presented Aldershot as the opposition in the first round of the FA Cup, so this presented a good opportunity to restore confidence.

Aldershot appear to have started the season well, currently sitting in 9th in the National Football League a few points off the playoffs.

As with most Cup games against clubs from lower league, I’m always wary of how players will react (especially as I’ve witnessed defeats to Staines Town and Histon). But having seen how Paul Hurst has drilled the players this season I felt confident of victory, probably by a couple of goals and not conceding.

The teams were announced and Shrewsbury confirmed all loan players had be allowed to play with the exception of Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Shrewsbury: MacGillivray; Riley, Nisiala, Sadler, Beckles; Whalley, Godfrey, B Morris, Rodman (C Morris 67); Nolan (Gnahoua 44); Payne (Dodds 82)
Subs: C Morris, Dodds, Gnahoua, Bolton, John-Lewis, Adams, Gregory

Aldershot: Smith, Alexander, Reynolds (Fowler 69) Evans, McDonnell, Oyeleke (Gallagher 69) Kellerman, Fenelon (Rowe 69) Robert, Mensah, Rendell
Subs: Skinner, Okojie, Gallagher, Rowe, Arthur, Fowler

First Half
The first half started evenly with both sides using the ball well, although some of the players brought into the Shrewsbury side looked a little nervous in possession of the ball.

The first clear cut opportunity resulted in the games first goal as Alex Rodman was left open at the back post to head home a Joe Riley cross, giving the home side the lead.

A second goal soon followed when the impressive Rodman burst into the box only to be brought down by the goalkeeper as he nicked the ball passed him. Shaun Whalley stepped up to take the resulting penalty, smashing the ball straight down the middle of the goal.

Having broken the offside trap, Stefan Payne should have added a third when he raced clear only to have a shot hit the goalkeepers legs and then play fizzled out. Shrewsbury we’re starting to dominate the game, however there was slight concern amongst the supporters as Jon Nolan limped off the field just before half time.

Second Half
Shrewsbury continued the second half as they had finished the first, with Payne getting a goal after 64 minutes. This time Whalley broke through the defence to face the goalkeeper, and unselfishly passed the ball to Payne who finished first time into the empty net.

As in the first half another goal quickly followed as Rodman turned a defender and squared the ball to Gnahoua, who swept home a fourth goal from a fourth different scorer.

And it was soon five as Carlton Morris Coolly finished shortly after being brought on clipping the underside of the crossbar after being sent clean through.

There were still further opportunities that could have seen Morris bag a hat-trick but it wasn’t to be as the game ended 5-0.

Final Thoughts
A professional football performance was needed from Shrewsbury Town and that’s exactly what the fans got. In truth I think that they could have been better in possession, but it’s difficult to argue with five goals, all from different scorers, and no goals conceded. Whereas in recent seasons we could have struggled with a game like this, Shrewsbury kept Aldershot at arms length and were never really troubled, however Aldershot did go about it the right way (not ‘parking the bus’), trying to the end to give their supporters a goal to take home.

Man of the Match - Alex Rodman
Although a number of players impressed me, Alex Rodman was pivotal to today’s victory, scoring the first goal and winning a penalty for the second.

When Paul Hurst brought Rodman to Shrewsbury Town, he said he was an old fashioned winger and today he gave the Aldershot fullback a prime example of this.

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