Town in the hat for the Third Round
It was a case of what might have been for Fleetwood Town as they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round.
Bobby Grant had the best efforts for Town, with Shrewsbury hitting Alex Cairns’ woodwork three times in the second half.
Uwe Rosler made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at AFC Wimbledon. Devante Cole was chosen to partner David Ball in front, with Ashley Hunter dropping to the bench.
It took ten minutes for the first opening of the game. Lively attacker Ivan Toney – who is on loan from Newcastle United – found space in the box but his looping header was easily saved by Cairns.
Former Shrewsbury man Bobby Grant had two efforts on the Salop goal in the next ten minutes. The first, was a speculative overhead kick which went comfortably over Jayson Leutwiler’s crossbar. His second effort was a right foot volley after a superb interception by Kyle Dempsey. Unfortunately for Town the strike had the same result as the first shot – over the bar.
Nathan Pond had a header from George Glendon’s free-kick well saved by Leutwiler, but that was about as good as it got for either side in the opening 45 minutes.
Thankfully for the 2,286 in attendance, the second half started better than the first. Perhaps luckily for Town, they stayed level.
This was because Paul Hurst’s side hit Cairns’ post twice in a minute. Louis Dodds was sprung clear by Jim O’Brien and when one-on-one with the Town stopper, he hit the inside of the right post and the ball rolled across the line before Joe Davis cleared. From the following attack Junior Brown hit the same post but from a much tighter angle. Cairns and the Town defence breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Town had to rely on heroic blocks from Cian Bolger and Amari’i Bell deep in the second half as the hosts pushed forward for an opener.
Toney then picked himself up after winning a free-kick 30 yards out to clip the top of Cairns’ bar. The third time the Fleetwood woodwork was hit in the second half.
Grant again threatened for Town, but his 25 yard drive from Dempsey’s cleared free-kick flashed past Leutwiler’s post.
It wasn’t to be for either side, as Fleetwood go into Monday’s Third Round draw still dreaming of Premier League opposition.
Shrewsbury: Leutwiler; Smith, El-Abd (c), Sadler, McGivern; O’Brien, Deegan, Black, Brown; Dodds, Toney. Subs: Halstead, Lancashire, Grimmer, Waring, Jones.
FTFC: Cairns; Davis, Pond (c), Bolger; McLaughlin, Dempsey, Glendon, Grant, Bell; Cole, Ball. Subs: Neal, Jonsson, Nirennold, Long, Hunter, Sowerby, Godswill.