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REPORT | Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Wrexham

Tom O'Connor's goal seals another FA Cup scalp on derby day

7 January 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Wrexham

Tom O'Connor's goal seals another FA Cup scalp on derby day

7 January 2024

Tom O’Connor’s deflected strike proved the difference as Wrexham claimed derby day victory and another FA Cup scalp by winning away at rivals Shrewsbury.

O’Connor – who also scored against both Coventry and Sheffield United in last season’s competition – scored the only goal of the game in the second half.

It means Wrexham take their place in the Fourth Round for a second consecutive season, with the draw to be made on Monday night.

Phil Parkinson named an unchanged Wrexham starting line-up from the New Year’s Day win against Barrow, with Monday’s hat-trick hero Steven Fletcher continuing up front.

With wing-back Jacob Mendy away on international duty, the only changes were on the bench – where Callum McFadzean was among the players to come into an expanded match-day squad with nine substitutes allowed.

Taylor Perry was first to try his luck for the hosts, shooting straight at Arthur Okonkwo in the third minute after Max Cleworth headed Tunmise Sobowale’s cross clear.

Captain Chey Dunkley then had a shot deflected wide from close range on six minutes, when Wrexam were caught trying to pass the ball out from the back.

The Red Dragons’ first sight of goal was in the eighth minute, when Fletcher laid off Paul Mullin, who cut onto his right foot but, surrounded by defenders, fired well over from 25 yards out.

Andy Cannon’s shot was then blocked on ten minutes, after goalkeeper Marko Marosi had only punched Ben Tozer’s long throw-in half clear.

Okonkwo had to be alert on 16 minutes, when Jordan Shipley challenged Cleworth to hook the ball goalwards, but the defender did enough to ensure the shot lacked any venom.

Shrewsbury should have been in front on 26 minutes, when Shrewsbury broke and Malvind Benning whipped a brilliant cross in from the left, but Sobowale somehow shot over with the goal gaping.

That proved the biggest chance of the half, with both sides probing without success from then until half-time.

As with the first half, Perry was first to get a sight at goal after the break but volleyed over from the edge of the box after a cross deflected towards him.

For Wrexham, Anthony Forde found some rare freedom down the right to cross on 54 minutes but, under pressure, Elliot Lee could not generate any power in his header goalwards.

Benning was inches away from putting Shrewsbury in front on 65 minutes, after cutting inside from the left, but he clipped the bar with his shot with the outside of his left foot.

Lee then had a big chance for Wrexham just two minutes later, when McClean crossed low from the left, but he swung a left boot at the ball and shot well over from the middle of the area.

Booth sides took that as their cue for a double change, with Sam Dalby and Ryan Barnett – against his former team – on for Wrexham for Forde and Fletcher. Shrewsbury, meanwhile, brought Roland Idowu and Tom Bayliss on for Benning and Sobowale.

And Wrexham were in front on 72 minutes, with Dalby claiming the assist – the striker receiving George Evans’ through ball and squaring for O’Connor, whose low shot deflected in.

Perry should have equalised for the hosts in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when a deep cross somehow stayed in play on the byline, but shot wide across goal.

Another cross dropped for Perry outside the area a minute later, but again he dragged his shot just wide of the post.

And that proved Shrewsbury's last chance, as Wrexham held on to claim yet another famous FA Cup victory.


Shrewsbury (5-4-1): Marosi, Bennett, Feeney (Pierre 90), Dunkley, Anderson (Sraha 78), Benning (Idowu 68), Perry, Sobowale (Bayliss 68), Kenneh, Shipley, Bowman (Mata 79)

Subs: Burgoyne (G/K), Winchester, Loughran, Whitney

Wrexham (3-5-2): Okonkwo, Cleworth, Tozer, O’Connor, Forde (Barnett 68), Cannon (Jones 77), Evans, Lee (J.Davies 90+4), McClean, Mullin, Fletcher (Dalby 68)

Subs: McNicholas (G/K), McFadzean, Young, Boyle, Bickerstaff

Referee: Andrew Kitchen

Attendance: 9,304 (1,659 away)


Shrewsbury: Bowman (57), Anderson (60)

Wrexham: McClean (57), Tozer (88)

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