The Imps picked up another superb win on the road in the Papa John’s Trophy after defeating Shrewsbury Town 4-1 at Montgomery Waters Meadow. City secured their place in Round Three of the competition with goals coming from Anthony Scully, Zack Elbouzedi, Remy Howarth and Jorge Grant.
Michael Appleton made six changes from Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Rochdale with Melbourne, Scully, Howarth, Gotts, Elbouzedi and Roughan replacing Edun, Jones, Grant, Montsma, Walsh and Hopper.
The Imps started the match strongly and on the front foot which caused plenty of problems for the home side causing many frustrations for the Salop supporters who were in attendance.
The first chance of the game fell to City in the 8th minute following a free-flowing move which led to Anthony Scully curling in a terrific cross to the back post, but Zack Elbouzedi’s header was well saved on the line by Harry Burgoyne, and the home side cleared.
The Imps continued to impress on the counterattack as Remy Howarth skipped past two challenges shortly after, before winning a free kick on the edge of the Shrewsbury box. Scully stepped up to take the free kick and was inches away from the opener as his effort shaved the outside of the post on it’s way wide.
The breakthrough finally arrived in the 19th minute of the match following a devastating attack and it was fully deserved. Anthony Scully worked brilliantly hard to win the ball back in his own half before laying a pass off to Zack Elbouzedi. The Irish U21 international then sprinted fully 50 yards with the ball before laying off a perfectly weighted pass to Scully, who neatly finished past the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Moments later, Alex Palmer was called into action for the first time in the match as he made a great instinctive save from Scott High from the edge of the box before City cleared their lines.
The Imps continued to pile pressure on the Shrewsbury backline as a wonderful defence splitting pass from Brennan Johnson put Harry Anderson clean through, but his effort was saved by the home keeper and the danger was averted.
In the 35st minute, City almost extended their lead as Anthony Scully broke down the left before pulling his cross back to Remy Howarth but he lost his footing and his deflected shot was well saved by Burgoyne.
Anthony Scully was in the thick of the action yet again he followed up with a terrific half volley from 25 yards which was excellently tipped wide by the home keeper for a corner, which came to nothing.
Jason Cummings then created space in a rare attack for Salop but his left footed drive flew over Alex Palmer’s cross bar.
The Imps doubled their lead in the 40th minute following another exceptional move as Brennan Johnson rode two challenges before laying the ball wide to Harry Anderson. Harry’s deep cross to the back post was emphatically headed home by Zack Elbouzedi who notched his first goal for the club in an outstanding display.
Just as it looked like the Imps were heading into the break with a 2-0 lead, the Shrews equalised against the run of play as Shilow Tracey was played in behind the City defence before angling a right footed shot into the bottom corner.
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Lincoln City
City made one change at the interval with Jorge Grant replacing Conor McGrandles who picked up a yellow card in the opening period.
The chances were still arriving for City with the attacking players looking dangerous every time they broke forward. Elbouzedi sprinted down the left wing once again before cutting inside and passing to Howarth. Howarth then twisted and turned on the edge of the opposing box before eventually firing his right footed strike straight at the keeper.
Shrewsbury improved in the opening periods of the second half with numerous spells of good possession as the home support got behind their team. City’s backline held firm though and kept a good shape throughout with Alex Palmer confidently commanding his box when needed
Johnson continued to threaten for Appleton’s side as he consistently picked up the ball from deep and drove at the home defence and one of these opportunities lead to a cracking third goal in the 67th minute. The young 18-year-old midfielder spun his man expertly to break forward before laying the ball wide to Zack Elbouzedi. Zack then cut inside and made a crisp pass to Remy Howarth who turned his man and made no mistake from inside the area.
Jorge Grant continued to pull the strings in the middle of midfield. His back heel on the edge of the box fell to Elbouzedi who struck a powerful shot at Burgoyne who could only parry his effort, but the hosts cleared.
Shrewsbury then created their best opportunity of the half as they worked the ball wide to Josh Daniels in the 76th minute who whipped in an excellent cross, but Dave Edwards couldn’t convert his header.
City continued to move the ball extremely well as Shrewsbury couldn’t cope with the movement of the attackers. Intricate play led to Brennan Johnson being fouled inside the penalty area for a chance to make it four. Jorge Grant stepped up confidently and drilled the ball into the bottom corner to score his 10th goal of the season in all competitions as the Imps stretched their lead.
Hayden Cann was handed his second first team appearance as the Lincoln born and bred centre half replaced TJ Eyoma during the closing stages of the match.
The Imps had great control of the match throughout the 90 minutes and fully deserved to progress to the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy as it ended 4-1 to the away side.
Shrewsbury Town 1-4 Lincoln City
1. Harry Burgoyne
3. Scott Golbourne
4. Dave Edwards
6. Sean Goss
13. Jan Zamburek
17. Donald Lowe
20. Shilow Tracey
22. Josh Daniels
24 Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Williams 45')
25. Scott High (Barnett 65')
35. Jason Cummings (Caton 85')
33. Dejan Iliev
5. Ro-Shaun Williams
12. Ryan Sears
19. Ryan Barnett
30. Charlie Caton
36. Louis Lloyd
37. Nigel Aris
Goals; Tracey 44’
1. Alex Palmer
3. Max Melbourne
11. Anthony Scully
17. Remy Howarth
18. Conor McGrandles (Grant 45')
20. Brennan Johnson
22. TJ Eyoma (Cann 83')
24. Robbie Gotts
25. Zack Elbouzedi
26. Harry Anderson
30. Sean Roughan
31. Sam Long
9. Tom Hopper
10. Jorge Grant
16. Joe Walsh
33. Hayden Cann
Goals; Scully 19’, Elbouzedi 40’, Howarth 67’, Grant 79’
Referee – Ben Toner
Assistant Referees – Lisa Rashid & Paul Graham
Fourth Official – Scott Simpson