A goal from Scott Hogan provided the difference between Aston Villa and Shrewsbury Town at Montgomery Waters Meadow this afternoon.
Words by Regan Foy | @FindFoy
Aston Villa played their second pre-season game of the summer against Shropshire side Shrewsbury Town at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
First Half XI: Jed Steer, Frederic Guilbert, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Neil Taylor, Birkir Bjarnason, Jack Grealish (C), John McGinn, Andre Green, Jota Peleteiro, Keinan Davis.
Shrewsbury Town started the game the most dominant of the sides, playing a few balls into the box within the first two minutes after a mistake from Frederic Guilbert allowed them to get the ball into the deeper half of the Aston Villa half.
Andre Green was the first of the Aston Villa players to try his luck, which came at the end of some well worked passing from the likes of Jota and others. His shot was from the outside of the box, but was straight at Shrewsbury Town’s goalkeeper.
Shrewsbury then came close just before the 13th minute, as Pierre fired over the bar on the half-volley.
Jack Grealish was then the first player of the game to be put into the referee’s book for what was adjudged to be a late challenge.
Keinan Davis came agonisingly close just before the 20 minute mark as he headed a ball into the ground which bounced precariously in front of the goalkeeper before landing on the roof of the net.
More sustained pressure from Aston Villa nearly paid off in the 23rd after a ball fell to Jota, who rifled it goalwards. The ball was saved but bounced onto the line before being cleared by a Shrewsbury Town defender.
Keinan then forced O’Leary into a great save in the 25th after turning in the box and firing towards the goal.
There were a few other chances for both sides in the first half, but neither side was truly testing the other for the vast majority of the first half. Chances, but not testing each-other.
Ezri Konsa put his body on the line after a poor mistake from Mings had let the Shrewsbury forward through, a great sign early into the centre-back’s career.
The half finished with a shot from Andre Green, which was straight at The Shrews keeper.
Second Half XI: Jed Steer, James Bree, James Chester (C), Kortney Hause, Matt Targett, Conor Hourihane, Callum O’Hare, Henri Lansbury, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Scott Hogan, Wesley Moraes
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and Wesley combined well early into the Second Half, as Wesley took a ball down well before spraying it wide for Hepburn-Murphy. The youngster darted into the box and fired towards goal before his shot was blocked.
Aston Villa then had a shout for a penalty around the 57th minute as O’Hare was brought down in the box – O’Hare did well to recover though and won the ball back within seconds.
Shrewsbury Town had a free-kick in a threatening position in the 62nd, on the left hand side of the Aston Villa box – but it was helped away by Hourihane and out for a corner.
Jed Steer was booked in the 64th as he charged out to the edge of the box to dispossess Shaun Whalley and fouled him.
Scott Hogan broke the deadlock in the 66th, as Wesley held the ball excellently and played a teasing ball into Hogan, who sprinted towards the Shrewsbury goal and fired. The ball bounced off of O’Leary, but ended up nestling into the back of the net.
Callum O’Hare’s inability to release a shot stopped Aston Villa from making it two in the 71st, as Wesley got to the end of a high ball from James Bree and played in O’Hare who was clear through on goal. The midfielder was quickly stormed and couldn’t get a shot away.
James Chester came close in the 83rd, with a diving header forcing Shrewsbury Town’s defenders to play it out for a corner.
Conor Hourihane also had a chance from a free-kick. He played the ball to the feet of Henri Lansbury, who stopped it dead before Hourihane fired at goal. The ball slithered just wide.
From here, there wasn’t much to report. A decent showing from the 22 players, but it could have been better.