R3 FA Cup 2020-21, 19th January 2021

Southampton 2

  • N'Lundulu 16'
  • Ward-Prowse 89'

Shrewsbury 0

    Intro & Team News
    Embed from Getty Images

    One of several youngsters to impress, N'Lundulu scored in the 16th minute on his senior debut

    Intro and Team News

    IBO Reporter - Spot51

    |Covid has turned me into a Premier League snob. In normal times, my football diet is varied. Together with whatever Sky and BT show of the Prem, I’d watch European games, Scottish and EFL stuff too. I still follow the CL on BT but, with every Prem game on live, I have abandoned domestic football and, other than forcing myself to watch the Football Results on a Saturday. I’m pretty out of touch with lower tier football.

    What do I know about Shrewsbury? They wear yellow & blue; they have Three Lions’ (heads) on their shirts and used to employ a bloke with a coracle to fish lost balls from the Severn when they’d been hoofed out of Gay Meadow. Methinks some research is required…

    Shropshire is an interesting county. It now seems a rural backwater with quaint sounding place names but dig a bit deeper and you find the Birthplace of Global Industry. I recommend visiting Ironbridge where, at the turn of the 18th century, Abraham Darby built his coke-powered blast furnace enabling cost effective production of iron. During the 19th century the Jackfield Tile Works provided the ceramics that covered walls throughout the Victorian world.

    Shrewsbury itself was the birthplace of the Skyscraper. In the 1790s, Architect Charles Bage built the first iron framed, multi storey building – Shrewsbury Flax Mill which (at great cost) is now being refurbished. Within a century, the same technology allowed skyscrapers to be built in Chicago.

    The football club left Gay Meadow in 2007 for the blandly named New Meadow. They were formed in 1886 (a year after us) and are the only team from Shropshire to have played in any of the top four divisions. The Shrews spent the first 65 years playing in local leagues but were promoted (as Midland League champions) to Div 3 North in the 1950 expansion (to 92 clubs).

    Since then, they have bounced around the 3rd and 4th tiers of the pyramid apart from 10 years (79-89) then 3 more (94-97) in Division 2 and a single season (03-04) in the conference. Since then, they’ve again been in the 3rd and 4th tiers, their last promotion being in 2015. They’ve finished bottom half, apart from 2018, when they got to the play-offs before losing to Rotherham.

    Shrewsbury currently sit 17th in L1 with up to 3 games in hand on those around them. They are on a decent run since losing to Ipswich in November. They drew the next three before winning at Hull, leaders Lincoln and Doncaster. Another draw Wigan was followed by a home win v Blackpool. Three 3 league games have been lost to Covid and their manager (Steve Cotterill) is currently recovering in hospital from the virus, having spent a couple of days in intensive care. Tonight, assistant Aaron Wilbraham takes charge.

    With our cup game put back 10 days the draws for the 4th and 5th rounds have already taken place. Tonight’s winner entertains Arsenal on Saturday!

    Shrewsbury recently signed 2 new players (Pennington and Chapman), but I don’t recognise any names in their squad apart from Josh Vela (ex-Bolton). Ralph seems to get the “magic of the cup”, but our current spate of injuries has made putting out a strong side impossible. We are promised a blend of youth and experience.

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    The young Australian, Caleb Watts certainly did enough to convince that we will be seeing much more of him in future


    • 44 Forster
    • 18 Valery
    • 35 Bednarek
    • 5 Stephens
    • 29 Vokins
    • 72 Chauke - Booked 46' (Armstrong 79')
    • 8 Ward-Prowse
    • 27 Diallo (Finnigan 90'+2)
    • 65 Watts (Jankewitz 85')
    • 7 Long (Adams 79')
    • 40 N'Lundulu


    • 2 Walker-Peters
    • 3 Bertrand
    • 10 Adams
    • 17 Armstrong
    • 41 Lewis
    • 47 Ferry
    • 52 Finnigan
    • 62 Tchaptchet
    • 64 Jankewitz

    Stacks Image 260


    • 31 Sarkic
    • 24 Ebanks-Landell
    • 2 Pierre
    • 29 Pennington (Cummings 85')
    • 5 Williams
    • 8 Norburn (Edwards 74')
    • 10 Vela
    • 3 Golbourne (Sears 73')
    • 32 Chapman (Tracey 63')
    • 7 Whalley
    • 23 Udoh (Pyke 73')


    • 1 Burgoyne
    • 4 Edwards
    • 6 Goss
    • 9 Pyke
    • 11 Clarke
    • 12 Sears
    • 20 Tracey
    • 22 Daniels
    • 35 Cummings

    Stacks Image 258
    Match Report
    Embed from Getty Images

    A hugely influential game from Ward-Prowse, capping it with another signature goal from a superb free-kick. In the first half his stats were amazing - 46 passes, 100% accurate

    Match Report

    IBO Reporter : Spot51

    |Storm Christoph’s outriders were at St Mary’s as the teams emerged, heavy rain being blown around the empty stadium. Ralph had indeed made changes – 7 of them – with only JWP, Diallo and the 2 fit centre backs retained from Leicester. The defence was completed by Valery, Vokins and Fraser in goal. In midfield debuts were given to Chauke and Watts while up front N’Lundulu’s first start was chaperoned by Shane Long.

    Wilbraham included Pennington and Chapman (The two new signings) in a 3-4-3 (i.e. 5-3-2) formation with 2nd round scorer Udoh leading their attack. We got old fashioned coverage from BT with no off-gantry punditry and just Sam Hutchinson and Glenda to provide all the words.

    Shrewsbury kicked off in their yellow and blue Admiral (remember them? kit. Saints saw a lot of the ball but their first attack saw JWP’s cross repulsed by the serried ranks of defenders. We did get a sight of goal on 4m when Watts set Vokins away and his shot was tipped over. JWP’s corner eluded everyone – goal kick.

    Shrewsbury passed the ball neatly until our press hurried them to hoof it – this almost always saw Bednarek win it back. Then Diallo played a neat 1-2 with Dan but stuck his shot wide. Then a Vokins cross was headed out for a corner. He went over to take it from the right – sadly, not a good one. Down the right Valery was getting forward but not producing much despite all that running.

    A rare Shrews attack saw Chapman swerve inside from the left and hit a firm shot that FF needed to save. Saints continued to probe before, on 16m, a lovely chip from JWP was chested down in the box by Watts. He was quickly closed down but Dan pounced on the loose ball, took a step right before hitting a low shot back across Sarkic. 1-0 Saints and Dan’s first goal for the big boys!

    On 19m, the industrious Vela drove forward but put his shot over our bar. A minute later Valery was upended near the corner of their box. Vokins showed interest but JWP pulled rank and sent his right footed shot too high. Shrews then rampaged down the left but Bednarek calmly came across to win the ball.

    Valery won another corner which Vokins wasted but the left back was doing well in open play. His driven cross saw Sarkic diving to take the ball away from Dan’s boot. Watts was also looking decent. On 29m he was fouled and JWP’s free kick was headed behind. This Vokins corner was headed out and Watts attempted volley curled wide of the goal.

    Up the other end Udoh set up Whalley but he too fired over. Shews were becoming more adventurous, winning a corner on the left. Long headed the cross out but it was recycled, finding Whalley whose shot drew an acrobatic save from Fraser – all in vain as the flag was up! Another corner was cleared by Bednarek and another shot went wide.

    Vokins wasted another corner and JB quenched another Shrews attack before, on 41m, JB’s forward pass found Long. His shot was blocked for a corner. JWP came over for this one – but did no better. The half ended scrappily; Shrewsbury were eager but unable to retain the ball. HT = 1-0.

    Saints began the 2nd half facing the Chapel End. Chauke soon collected his first senior booking for a late challenge on Chapman. Shrews had clearly clocked the need to attack more and tried to do so. Time after time Diallo recovered the ball to thwart their efforts. On 51m Long tried to play in Dan but the defence got the ball clear.

    Up the other end, Stephens looked the most dangerous – Fraser was forced to sprint to clear an under-hit back pass. The game eventually returned to the earlier pattern with Saints enjoying plenty of possession without creating much. They spent long spells passing it around at the back, inviting the away team to chase the ball. When Shrews did break away, the ball was again stuck over the bar, this time Chapman the guilty party.

    On 61m Valery won another corner. This one JWP put more whip on and it was a tap in for Stephens but his shot bounced up for the keeper to block away. A minute later Shrews replaced Chapman with Spurs’ loanee Tracey.

    Saints nearly extended their lead when JWP and Vokins set up Watts. The keeper parried his low shot but the ball bounced past him off the shins of Pierre. The defender moved quickly to hook the ball away before it completely crossed the line. Close but no cigar!

    On 67m the stylish Diallo rode a few tackles before shooting, the ball deflecting for a corner. Long came near post to flick JWP’s corner on but the ball flew by the back post. More keeping the ball by Saints preceded a decent opportunity for Shrews to draw level. Whalley’s free kick reached Pierre, unmarked, but the defender seemed torn between going for goal or heading it back into the mixer. In the end he did neither and Saints smuggled the ball out.

    On 74m, I learned the FA Cup allows 5 substitutes (who knew?). Pyke, Sears and Edwards replaced Udoh, Golbourne and Norburn. Tracey looked up for it but his run down the right was matched by Stephens who won the ball. Shrews then won a free kick on the left. A horde of big Shrewsbury guys were queuing to get on the end of Whalley’s cross but Shane Long dived to knock it behind.

    Moments later, Long and Chauke broke away but the Irishman overhit his pass so the youngster was unable to reach it. GRRR! On 79m they were both replaced with Adams and Armstrong off the bench to seal the win.

    Fraser had to bail out Stephens again before Saints subs got involved. Watts found Armstrong and the Scot fired just wide. Stephens then broke up an attack before, on 85m, Shrews replaced defender Pennington with forward Cummings. At the same time, Ralph sent on Swiss youngster Jankewitz for Watts.

    On 88m, Adams should have scored. He carried the ball beyond Sarkic but wanted too many touches. By the time he got his shot away Pierre was back to clear from under his bar. Boo!

    A minute later, a JWP corner reached Jankewitz at the back of their box. He laid the ball back to Diallo who was brought down close to the corner of the penalty. This time, it was the right side for JWP. He made no mistake. The ball curled round the wall and, by the time the keeper got his gloves on it, it had already crossed the line. 2-0 Saints – another for the JWP scrapbook.

    In added time, Ralph blooded another kid, Finnigan on for Diallo. Nothing else of note occurred before the final whistle and Saints were through. Cup holders Arsenal, Saturday lunchtime – BT Sport, again!!

    Man of the Match

    That was not the slickest of performances. Saints played far better at Leicester (they went top of the League whilst our match was on). The kids made forgivable errors and Big Dan needs to improve his first touch before he can play against Premier League defenders. Sadly, Jack made too many errors which better opponents would have punished. Fraser, Bednarek and JWP were solid but our best performer was Ibrahima Diallo. He looks a proper midfielder – wins lots of ball, takes players on, has an eye for the correct pass. If he can add goals to his armoury, we’ll have a real gem on our hands.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Another of the youngsters to be seen was Kgaogelo Chauke, who looked very promising

    Match Statistics

    Match Stats

    Referee: Simon Hooper

    Attendance: NIL


    • 74% Possession
    • 18 Shots
    • 6 Shots on Target
    • 2 Goals
    • 10 Corners
    • 17 Fouls


    • 26% Possession
    • 6 Shots
    • 1 Shots on Target
    • 0 goals
    • 3 Corners
    • 8 Fouls

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    A rare game for the big man, with not a lot to do, but when called upon he was up to the task