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Match Reports

REPORT: Imps triumph at Wembley

8 April 2018

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The Imps marked their first ever trip to Wembley in style as Elliott Whitehouse's first-half strike secured the Checkatrade Trophy title for City.

The game began at a frenetic pace, with The Imps winning the first corner of the game after just 38 seconds, The Shrews weren’t shy to show their attacking intent too as Bryn Morris smashed a shot goalwards from range which skimmed the top of the crossbar minutes later.

After just nine minutes the City fans thought they had taken the lead when Luke Waterfall leapt to meet a Sam Habergham free kick and turned it goalwards, but there was a collision in the box between Matt Rhead and Shrew’s goalkeeper, Dean Henderson that was deemed a foul and play was halted. The next attack though was to bring the opening goal and it came the way of The Imps.

A corner swung in low from the right from Habergham was sidefooted at goal first time by Waterfall, it was well saved by Henderson but ELLIOTT WHITEHOUSE was there to smash home the rebound and the 27,000 City fans went wild.

City kept up the pressure and the threat from the set piece was almost ever present, but on the break Shaun Whalley was a foot or so away from leveling things for Shrewsbury, his low fizzing effort whistled wide of the far post with Ryan Allsop at full stretch.  Although The Shrews were trying to play their way forward, City were just as potent, if not more so as Rhead did well to hold off the attentions of two defenders to hit a low shot on target which Henderson held confidently. 

Allsop then kept City in the lead with a wonderful reflex save, a corner was curled in from the left and Omar Beckles powerfully headed on target and The Imps number 22 threw out a strong left hand, Aristote Nsiala picked up possession at the back post and he tried to score from a narrow angle but the ball cannoned off the post.  It was an intriguing encounter and the speed of the game didn’t let up as the supporters in red and white were still in fine voice.

With just five minutes to the break the chance for a second went the way of City, a foul on Waterfall presented a chance for Danny Rowe and the winger curled his effort on target but Henderson was well positioned to gather.

Shrewsbury pressed for the equaliser as they won a corner with a minute of normal time to the half time whistle. It was curled into the box and headed clear by Michael Bostwick, the ball bounced towards Carlton Morris and he tried an audacious volley but it didn’t threaten the goal.

Half Time

The Imps 1 Shrewsbury Town 0

City kicked off the second half towards the army of supporters and were quickly on the front foot, Whitehouse latched onto a Rowe flick to hare down the line, winning a corner. Waterfall won the aerial challenge but Shrewsbury managed to clear the ball as it looped back into the six-yard box. The Shrews tried to slow the pace of the game and lure City out of shape but resolute as always there was no shaking the well drilled Imps.

Shrewsbury resorted to an effort from distance but James Bolton was way off target with his shot, their next attack again brought a shot from distance, Waterfall deflected it over the top. The resulting corner then fell to Morris and he thought he’d scored but Rhead was in the way. The first spell of sustained Shrewsbury pressure hemmed in City into their final third but the chances for The Shrews weren’t coming as The Imps continued to defend valiantly.

On the hour mark it was almost a second goal for City, Rhead set things off by spreading play to Neal Eardley, the full back’s marauding run created space for a cross which found Whitehouse at the back post, his knockdown went the way of Rhead who unfortunately couldn’t keep his effort underneath the crossbar.

Whalley did well down the right for the Shrews and his deep ball was right into the path of Beckles, his first time volley though nestled into the arms of a disappointed supporters wearing blue and yellow behind the goal.

The game was becoming a little disjointed with Shrewsbury piling forward but not being able to fashion a chance such was the defensive strength of the Imps.

City were hitting their opponents on the break, and a quick cross from the right was turned just over the top by Whitehouse as the supporters once again got back on their feet.

Ollie Palmer burst down the right, he was brought down by Jon Nolan the free kick was pinged into the box but the Shrews cleared their lines as the ebb and flow of the game continued, it was impossible to take your eyes off the action. 
After five minutes of stoppage time was brought to an end by the referee, the Imps' players celebrated with the fans to mark a historic and memorable afternoon at Wembley. 

Full Time

The Imps 1 Shrewsury Town 0

22       Ryan ALLSOP

3          Sam HABERGHAM

4          Elliott WHITEHOUSE

5          Luke WATERFALL

9          Matt RHEAD

10       Matt GREEN

16       Michael BOSTWICK


23       Neal EARDLEY

24       Danny ROWE

30       Alex WOODYARD


1          Paul FARMAN

2          Sean LONG

8          Ollie PALMER (63’ for Rhead)

12       Ellis CHAPMAN

26       Harry ANDERSON (64’ for Rowe)

32       Cameron STEWART

36       Declan O’ HARE

Booking: Rhead 10’  Frecklington 83’

GOAL: Whitehouse 16’

Shrewsbury Town

1          Dean HENDERSON

4          Ben GODFREY

5          Matt SADLER

6          Omar BECKLES

7          Shaun WHALLEY

9          Carlton MORRIS

10       Nathan THOMAS

13       James BOLTON

16       Bryn MORRIS

20       Jon NOLAN

22       Aristote NSIALA


15       Craig MacGILLIVRAY

3          Max LOWE

11       Arthur GNAHOUA (87’ for Whalley)

14       Lenell JOHN-LEWIS

21       Abobaker EISA

23       Alex RODMAN (67’ for Morris)

45       Stefan PAYNE (75’ for Thomas)

Booking: Nsiala 49’ Nolan 84’

Referee: Gavin Ward

Assistants: Duncan Street & Wayne Grunnill


Attendance: 41,261


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