Match Details: 06/03/2018
Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Yeovil Town
Yeovil Line-Up: 4. Jared Bird, 7. Otis Khan, 8. Connor Smith, 11. Ryan Dickson, 12. Jonny Maddison, 13. Francois Zoko, 15. Jordan Green, 17. Omar Sowunmi, 20. Oscar Gobern, 22. Corey Whelan, 23. Tom James,
Subs: 5. Bevis Mugabi, 9. Rhys Browne, 14. Sam Surridge, 18. Alex Fisher, 24. Steve Phillips, 27. Shaun Donnellan, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Sam Surridge for Oscar Gobern (46 mins), Rhys Browne for Jordan Green (49 mins), Alefe Santos for Jared Bird (72 mins)
Bookings: Tom James (Foul, 22), Otis Khan (Foul, 57)
Yeovil Town headed out of the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night, as a single goal proved to be the difference between themselves and Shrewsbury Town. A header by Carlton Morris from a Shaun Whalley corner just past the hour mark sent the home side to Wembley Stadium by a 1-0 scoreline, in a competitive cup tie. The Shrews kept possession well and in doing so held Yeovil at bay, even if it took a save from Dean Henderson to stop Otis Khan taking the game to penalties via a 90th minute chance. The home team could have made life easier for themselves had Nathan Thomas not struck the woodwork early on. However, they advance to meet Lincoln City in the final.
The Glovers went into the match making five changes to their starting line-up. A number of those were forced, with Ryan Seager cup-tied, and replaced by Francois Zoko, who captained the side. Lewis Wing was also cup-tied and so Connor Smith came in. Otis Khan replaced Jake Gray, whose serious ankle injury will rule him out until next season. The two planned change saw Rhys Browne and Sam Surridge drop out, whilst Jared Bird and Jordan Green came in, and that resulted in a change of shape, as 4-3-3 was adopted as a starting formation for the first time since November.
Shrewsbury opened up with a well worked passing move that saw Jon Nolan clear the crossbar. Meanwhile Otis Khan was a little unlucky in that a very well hit shot across the box went square off a Shrewsbury defender and out for a corner. In the main though, the feature of the first half was that Yeovil were playing a very high tempo pressing game, whilst the home side were happy to pass the ball even in their own half, leading to the question of whether the Glovers could force a significant error.
As time wore on, it was that Shrewsbury possession that seemed to be the more dominant force. Ben Godfrey put well over the crossbar, but the fact that it came at the end of a move that saw 15 to 20 passes showed a bit of concern. However, for all of that possession, in the end they didn't do too much as Jonny Maddison mainly had to claim crosses rather than stop shots. That said, at the other end, there wasn't much going on - Jordan Green's header in the 44th minute represented Yeovil's only on target effort of the half, but it was straight into Dean Henderson's arms.
At half time, Oscar Gobern was replaced by Sam Surridge, which meant that the 4-3-3 return lasted only 45 minutes, with Otis Khan and Jordan Green being pushed back into wing roles - something that in practice they had been doing for much of the first half, with the initial formation having at times looked more like a 4-5-1 as the Glovers put men behind the ball.
Shrewsbury continued to edge it in terms of the overall play, and they came close when Shaun Whalley turned and hooked a shot across the goal, with the wide man appealing for a corner in vain. Just beyond the hour mark, Whalley did get the corner that he wanted, and that was to represent the breakthrough, as his delivery saw a bit of sharp movement inside the box from Carlton Morris. Yeovil's defenders didn't follow him quickly enough, and Morris planted an excellent header home to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Having spent much of the opening hour trying to do a containment job on Shrewsbury, the Glovers now had to open up their play a bit more. After Jon Nolan forced Jonny Maddison into a good save low down to his left, on came Alefe Santos to try to liven up the final 20 minutes. He almost did that with one of his earlier touches, as a typical through ball to Francois Zoko saw the striker's attempt saved by the keeper.
But overall, Yeovil struggled to build up a head of steam. Another Zoko run saw him run out of room close to the byline, losing the ball as it ran out of play at the near post. Then came probably Yeovil's best chance of the game in injury time, as Otis Khan got room inside the box, only to find his shot parried by Dean Henderson and cleared to safety.
Shrewsbury then caught Yeovil on the break, with former Hartlepool United winger Nathan Thomas breaking through on the left flank and firing a shot that struck the inside of Maddison's near post and then skidded across the goal and out away from danger. That gave Shrewsbury the relief they needed from any late pressure, with the final whistle blowing and a steady amount of Shrews fans invading the pitch, much to the annoyance of the tannoy announcer. Given the strength of the opposition they were facing, this wasn't a bad display in terms of the doggedness Yeovil's defensive line showed during the 90 minutes - it was certainly a better display than their dismal outing at Stevenage. However, the question was always how they were going to create their own chances at the other end, and until that final ten minutes when they threw men forward, that didn't really look likely on the night. So no Wembley Stadium, and instead the reality of ensuring their League Two position becomes the one and only focus between now and May.
Link: 2017-18 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Shrewsbury Town 1 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Carlton Morris (63 mins, 1-0)
1 Dean Henderson
4 Ben Godfrey 22 Aristote Nsiala 5 Mat Sadler 6 Omar Beckles
7 Shaun Whalley 8 Abu Ogogo 16 Bryn Morris 20 Jon Nolan 23 Alex Rodman
9 Carlton Morris
3 Max Lowe 10 Nathan Thomas (69 mins for Alex Rodman) 11 Arthur Gnahoua 14 Lenell John-Lewis (90 mins for Jon Nolan) 15 Craig MacGillivray 21 Abobaker Eisa 45 Stefan Payne (81 mins for Carlton Morris)
12. Jonny Maddison
22. Corey Whelan 17. Omar Sowunmi 23. Tom James 11. Ryan Dickson
4. Jared Bird 20. Oscar Gobern 8. Connor Smith
15. Jordan Green 13. Francois Zoko (Capt) 7. Otis Khan
24. Steve Phillips 5. Bevis Mugabi 9. Rhys Browne (49 mins for Jordan Green) 14. Sam Surridge (46 mins for Oscar Gobern) 18. Alex Fisher 27. Shaun Donnellan 30. Alefe Santos (72 mins for Jared Bird)
Shrewsbury Town Bookings: Shaun Whalley (foul, 87 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Tom James (foul, 22 mins), Otis Khan (foul, 57 mins)
Shrewsbury Town Match Statistics: Possession: 56%; Shots: 9; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 4; Fouls: 7.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 44%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 9.
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire). Assistants: Alix Pashley (Derbyshire) and Matthew Jones (Staffordshire). Fourth Official: Ben Toner (Lancashire).
Attendance: 4,118 (with 299 Yeovil Town supporters).