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Worcester City 2 Shrewsbury Town 3
Worcester City tasted defeat for the first time in pre-season but still did enough to indicate there could be exciting times ahead at St George’s Lane in the new campaign.
Danny Glover and Tom Thorley both scored first-half penalties after Terry Gonnell had put the League One Shrews ahead before Mark Wright levelled matters before the break.
City defied the three divisions between the sides in the second-half but Gonnell struck with 18 minutes left to hand the visitors victory.
Carl Heeley’s men rose to the challenge in this friendly clash, with Glover and Charlie Reece among the stand-out performers in a decent attacking display with just a fortnight before Blue Square Bet North kicks off.
However, they were breached in just the fifth minute as Gonnell advanced into the box and squeezed a shot under the body of Glyn Thompson.
Thompson may arrive at the Lane with a fine reputation in non-league but the ease with which the ball squirmed home would have disappointed the former Newport County man.
Barely 90 seconds later, though, City were on level terms after Mike Symons barged his way into the box and was unceremoniously felled by Conner Goldson.
Glover nonchalantly lashed the penalty right-footed into the top corner, putting down a marker to take over spot-kick duties from Thorley.
But the all-action midfielder got his chance to audition in the 20th minute, confidently converting from 12 yards after being bundled over in the area by Goldson and Mat Richards.
No sooner had City edged in front than the visitors pegged them back with a fine finish from Wright that gave Thompson little chance.
Graham Turner’s Shrewsbury, warming up to face Leeds United in the Capital One Cup next Saturday, had chances to extend their lead before the break, with most of their moves focusing on Marvin Morgan.
Away from the goals, Worcester left-back Ellis Deeney demonstrated his passing ability, sliding a neat ball behind the defence into Glover’s path but the former Port Vale striker could only divert his effort wide of Joe Anyon’s goal.
Matt Breeze and Thorley were paired in the centre of midfield, both generally disciplined enough to rotate between one roaming and the other sitting deep.
Flanking them were Greg Mills and Reece with the latter stinging the palms of second-half substitute keeper Chris Weale while also sending an effort inches wide.
Mills was equally as industrious on the left wing without giving Weale as much to worry about.
Thompson kept the scores level with a fine save to deny Paul Parry, and Morgan’s follow-up, before Rob Elvins hacked off the line.
But, despite some slick passing moves from Worcester, the Shrews carved out a third in the 72nd minute with Gonnell firing home from Morgan’s square ball across the box.
Worcester City: Thompson, Weir, Deeney (Khan 77), Thorley, Whitehead, Elvins (Ayres 77), Reece, Breeze, Symons, Glover, Mills (Edwards 70). Subs not used: Denny, Smith, Polan, Groves.
Shrewsbury Town: Anyon (Weale H/T), Purdie, Jacobson (Hazell 67), Hall (Wildig 77), Jones (Summerfield 74), Goldson, Parry, Richards, Morgan (Taylor 76), Gonnell (Bradshaw 76), Wright (Doble 76). Subs not used: Woods, Turner.
Referee: C Husband.