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FA Cup preview: Shrewsbury (A)

3 December 2016

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All you need to know ahead of today's FA Cup trip to Shrewsbury

Fleetwood face an away encounter against fellow League One side Shrewsbury Town in the Emirates FA Cup Second round on Saturday.

The sides met less than two weeks ago in the League, where the Cod Army ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at Highbury with goals from Conor McLaughlin and a David Ball brace.

Town are now undefeated in their last four matches, whereas Paul Hurst’s side sit bottom of League One without a win in three.

Last time out

A late Conor McLaughlin goal earned Town a point away to AFC Wimbledon to keep Uwe Rosler’s side within touching distance of the Play Off positions.

Cian Bolger had put Fleetwood 1-0 up with his first league goal of the season after 12 minutes, but the Dons equalised shortly after the break before taking the lead from the penalty spot with 15 minutes of play remaining.

The reds refused to give in and McLaughlin’s injury-time header earned Town a well-deserved point to draw them level with Peterborough who currently occupy the fourth Play Off spot.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury played out a 0-0 draw at home to Port Vale at the weekend, with the point not enough to take them off the foot of the table.

Defences came out on top in a game of few chances, leaving the Shrews five points from safety as the festive period approaches.

In the previous round of the Emirates FA Cup, Fleetwood required a replay to overcome Southport before eventually running out 4-1 winners after extra time.

Goals from Cian Bolger, Ashley Hunter and Amari’I Bell in the space of eight minutes secured passage to the Second Round after Southport’s Ashley Grimes cancelled out Aaron Amadi-Holloway’s first half strike with less than five minutes to go.

Shrewsbury overcame League Two side Barnet in the First round of the cup, winning 3-0 after first half goals from Mat Sadler and Ajay-Leitch Smith were added to by Jack Grimmer just before the hour mark.

A place in the FA Cup Third Round, which sees the sides from The Premier League and Championship join the competition, awaits the winner at the Greenhous Meadow Stadium.

Ones to watch

Ivan Toney is the Shrews top scorer so far this season, with six goals in all competitions. The on-loan Newcastle forward began his career at Northampton Town, becoming the club’s youngest first-team player in their history. The 20-year-old was signed by Newcastle in August 2015 after scoring 13 times in 60 appearances, and was loaned out to Barnsley where he was part of a successful promotion campaign. With several assists already to his name this season, he could certainly prove a threat at the weekend.


Ajay Leitch-Smith is another attacking threat posed by Shrewsbury Town, he has scored five goals this season with four of those coming in cup competitions. The 26-year-old began his career at Crewe Alexandra where he made over 100 appearances, scoring 19 times. He signed for the Shrews at the end of last season following spells at Yeovil Town and Port Vale, and finished the 2015/16 season as the Valiants’ top goal scorer. The striker scored Saturday’s opponents second goal in their victory over Barnet in the last round of the FA Cup.

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