Shrewsbury Town are out of the Papa John’s Trophy at the first hurdle after falling to defeat against league rivals Wigan Athletic.
Whilst not the most prestigious of competitions, Steve Cotterill will be disappointed with exit at the group stage. Goals courtesy of Adam Long and Chris Sze saw off the visitors.
The headline team news saw Josh Vela start a game for the first time in six weeks after recovering from a knee injury. Youngster Callum Wilson and Leicester loanee Leshabela were also handed rare appearances.
The visitors started the contest of the front foot. Sam Cosgrove, who began his career at the Latics, fired a long-range effort which was acrobatically kept out by Jamie Jones. At the other end, Welshman Gwion Edwards dragged his effort wide in a lively opening to the match.
The hosts took the lead in the 9th minute. Shrewsbury were unable to clear their lines from a set-piece and Tom Pearce’s recycled delivery was powered home by Adam Long.
The contest quietened down until the end of the first half. Luke Leahy’s free-kick was nodded over the crossbar by Aaron Pierre. Then, Harry Burgoyne was called into a flying stop as he denied Gwion Edwards.
Substitute Shaun Whalley, initially thought to be unavailable due to a calf problem, showed superb speed, control, and trickery to advance forward. He was eventually denied by the alert Jamie Jones. The resulting corner was attacked by George Nurse, but the former Bristol City man was unable to work the goalkeeper.
In the 53rd minute, Wigan doubled their lead. Chris Sze beat George Nurse to the punch and raced through on goal. The teenager showed maturity beyond his years to chip over Harry Burgoyne and clinch the victory.
Due to the international break, Town are not in action until the 20th of November where they will visit Cheltenham. Wigan have an FA Cup replay to navigate against Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.
Attendance: 1,121 (37 Town fans)
Team Line Ups
1. Jones, 31. Carragher (22), 34. Robinson, 32. Long, 11. Massey, 36. Smith, 30. Aasgaard, 3. Pearce, 42. Adeeko (77), 7. Edwards, 43. Sze (77)
Subs: 8. Power, 19. Lang, 33. Costello (77), 38. McHugh (77), 40. Tickle, 44. Hughes, 45. Baningime (22)
Subs Not Used: 8. Power, 19. Lang, 40. Tickle, 44. Hughes
13. Burgoyne, 25. Wilson, 4. Ebanks-Landell, 6. Pierre (45), 14. Ogbeta (45), 18. Bloxham, 10. Vela, 16. Davis, 24. Leshabela, 3. Leahy, 9. Cosgrove (74)
Subs: 7. Whalley (45), 12. Bowman, 15. Pyke, 17. Bennett, 19. Caton (74), 23. Nurse (45), 31. Bevan
Subs Not Used: 12. Bowman, 15. Pyke, 17. Bennett, 31. Bevan