SWINDON ground out a 1-0 victory at Shrewsbury Town thanks to a Simon Ferry strike 12 minutes from time.
Paolo Di Canio made six changes to the team that had knocked out Burnley in midweek. In came Darren Ward, Federico Bessone, Simon Ferry, Raffaele De Vita, Giles Coke and James Collins for Troy Archibald-Henville, Nathan Thompson, Gary Roberts, Tommy Miller, Alan Navarro and Paul Benson.
The first half was a scrappy affair punctuated by very few chances for either side. Marvin Morgan volleyed over from inside the box for the visitors after 13 minutes and debutant Sam Winnall unleashed a long-range effort that was comfortably pouched by Foderingham.
At the other end, Andy Williams managed to evade a series of challenges and wriggle into the box only to place his side-footed effort wide of the far post. After a fairly restricted opening, Town began to create chances more freely: Jay McEveley’s free kick was pushed away by Chris Weale and Williams volleyed over the bar after fashioning a shooting opportunity from virtually nothing.
Minutes before half time, Town squandered a golden opportunity to score. A mistake from Michael Hector allowed Williams a run through on goal. Having rounded the goalkeeper, the striker’s goal-bound effort was blocked on the line and fell invitingly for Collins. The Town forward just beat the defender to the ball but could only blaze high over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.
Ten minutes into the second half, Collins was denied by Weale after taking a high ball on his chest. With chances at a premium in the first 45, the second half was a more open half of football. Despite a period of pressure from the Town, it was the hosts who almost took the lead with a little over ten minutes to play. Darren Ward’s poor pass out of defence immediately put Swindon on the back foot. Foderingham allowed the eventual shot to squirm underneath him but recovered in time to stop the ball rolling over the line.
Despite the potential setback, Town charged straight up the other end and scored the winner. A cross from the right was headed back into the middle by substitute Gary Roberts where the onrushing Simon Ferry thumped home from six yards.
Buoyed by their breakthrough, Town continued to push forwards. Roberts twice couldn’t manage to stretch to make contact with a cross and Adam Rooney and Tommy Miller saw their shots deflected wide.
Town finally break their post-cup ‘hoo-doo’ and recorded all three points ahead of Colchester’s visit to The County Ground on Tuesday.
Swindon Town: Wes Foderingham; Federico Bessone, Alan McCormack, Darren Ward, Jay McEveley; Matt Ritchie, Simon Ferry, Giles Coke, Raffaele De Vita; Andy Williams, James Collins
Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell, Troy Archibald-Henville, Paul Benson, Adam Rooney, Gary Roberts, Tommy Miller, Alan Navarro
Shrewsbury Town: Chris Weale; Jermaine Grandison, Luke Summerfield, Darren Jones, Matt Richards (C), Marvin Morgan, Lee Collins, Paul Parry, Sam Winnall, Aaron Wildig, Michael Hector
Substitutes: Joe Anyon, Rob Purdie, Mark Wright, Jon Taylor, Asa Hall, Ryan Doble, Terry Gornell