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Derby County 2-3 Shrewsbury Town

Posted by Stuart Hughes on August 10, 2011 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Derby County were knocked out of the Carling Cup at the first round stage yet again. League Two Shrewsbury Town visited Pride Park Stadium and left in jubilant mood after a 3-2 victory over the Rams.

Make no mistake about it, Shrewsbury Town thoroughly deserved to win and the odd-goal-in-five score line flattered Derby County.

The Rams defence had been outstanding against Birmingham City three days earlier, but were unrecognisable in a first-half that saw the Shrews rack up three goals in the opening 36 minutes.

Former Rams player Lionel Ainsworth ran Irish international Kevin Kilbane ragged, created all three of Shrewsbury Town’s goals, and would have scored a brace himself had he had his shooting boots on.

Kilbane couldn’t stop Ainsworth getting the ball into the penalty area but a combination of poor marking and standing still ball watching by Jason Shackell, Mark O’Brien and John Brayford allowed the Shrews attackers time and space to score at will – Marvin Morgan on 15 minutes, James Collins on 33 minutes, and Morgan again on 36 minutes.

The Shrews fans were in dreamland as Shrewsbury Town totally outplayed Derby County and deservedly led.

And it should have been more. The Shrews had two good penalty shouts after shots hit Kilbane’s arm. The assistant referee even signalled that the first one was a penalty but referee Darren Drysdale said no.

Derby County frankly had no idea. The Rams passed the ball between the back-four and the midfield quartet, as well as back to goalkeeper Frank Fielding, but were unable to produce any telling passes into attacking areas.

Quite simply, nobody from midfield made any forward runs, the full-backs did not get forward, and strikers Steven Davies and Theo Robinson could not get into the game.

Steven Davies was left to try and recreate his spectacular long-range strike from Saturday a few times but none of his efforts were on target.

After the break Derby County did, at least, make more of an effort. Midfield players started running forward, full-backs overlapped, and the Rams did create some good chances.

Chris Maguire rounded off a neat passing move to head home within a minute of the restart. Theo Robinson scored a good goal on 77 minutes. Other chances went begging too.

But Shrewsbury Town missed second-half chances themselves. Marvin Morgan missed two glorious opportunities to complete his hat-trick, shooting wide from four yards, then running through with only the goalkeeper to beat and shooting over the bar.

Derby County played better after the break with Chris Maguire and substitute Tomasz Cywka influencing the play.

Had the Rams played like that for the entire game the result may well have been different … but take nothing away from League Two Shrewsbury Town because the Shrews thoroughly deserved their victory.

Published on RamZone 10th August 2011.