Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 Shrewsbury Town: Wolves edge past valiant Shrewsbury in FA Cup cracker
(Photo: Getty Images/Catherine Ivill)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 Shrewsbury Town: Wolves edge past valiant Shrewsbury in FA Cup cracker

Wolverhampton Wanderers  advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over Shrewsbury Town.

Josh Lees

Wolverhampton Wanderers booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over League One side, Shrewsbury Town, in a thrilling cup tie at Molinuex.

After a nail-biting 2-2 draw was played out at New Meadow last week the two sides played out another enthralling cup clash, which the Premier League side narrowly edged courtesy of a brace from Matt Doherty and a winner from Ivan Cavaleiro.

The League One team can be proud of their efforts with first-half goals from James Bolton and Josh Laurent giving them the lead after falling behind early on, and if it wasn't for the late first-half strike of Doherty a minute before the break, Sam Rickett's side could have held the lead at the halfway stage.

However, it wasn't to be for the former Wolves man's side on his return to Molineux and Cavaleiro's winner on the hour mark set up a fifth-round clash with Championship side, Bristol City for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Story of the Game

It was the hosts who started the stronger of the two sides as they flew out of the blocks with an opener inside two minutes. 

After his first cross was blocked, Morgan Gibbs-White delivered a ball into the box a second time and this found Romain Saiss, his touch broke to Doherty who tapped home from close range to give his side a superb start.

The two division difference between the two sides already made the task for the visitors an uphill one, but this didn't phase them one bit as they found an equaliser just after the 10-minute mark.

A corner into the Wolves box was met by the rising Bolton who headed home to draw his side level and to shock the whole of Molineux.

The hosts looked to get over that shock quickly and came close through the full back, Jonny. A slick build-up found Adama Traore who pulled the ball back for the Spanish defender, however, Jonny's goal-bound effort was well blocked by Luke Waterfall.

Just like the initial clash of this tie the game was played in a downpour of rain and this began to suit the away team as Nuno's side began to find it difficult to play their usual fast-flowing football. 

Fortunately for Shrewsbury not only did the wet weather hinder Wolves going forward, it also affected them at the back as the slippy conditions played a part in their unlikely second.

Laurent picked the ball up and hit a strike from distance which skidded across the damp surface and then spilt through the hands of John Ruddy to put Sam Rickett's side ahead.

In spite of his horror mistake, Ruddy's blushes were partially spared just before the break when his goalkeeping counterpart at the other end, Steve Arnold dropped a blunder of his own.

The Shrewsbury shot-stopper looked to collect a cross from Jonny, however his stretching arms fumbled it into the path of Doherty who headed into an empty net for his, and his side's second of the evening, to ensure the two teams went in all-square at the break.

After the restart, the home side started in a similar fashion to the first as they look to stop any 'cupset' happening at Molineux. Sure enough, their early dominance paid off as they re-took the lead on the hour mark.

Cavaleiro broke down the right and cut in on his left foot, and despite being off balance rolled an effort past the helpless Arnold to put Wolves in a commanding position going into the last half hour.

Things only got harder for Shrewsbury as Santo introduced European champion, Joao Moutinho into the Wolves midfield in the hope of maintaining their control on the tie.

However, the introduction of the Portuguese star didn't seem to hinder the away side's hope of finding some famous FA Cup magic, as Oliver Norburn rolled in the substitute, Shaun Whalley who's effort from the edge of the box flew over.

If the away side thought the introduction of Moutinho was daunting then they were in for a shock as Wolves top scorer, Raul Jimenez entered play with 10 minutes left.

The Mexican flew straight into the game and nearly found the net within minutes of coming on after he was played in by Doherty. Fortunately for Shrewsbury Jimenez wasn't able to make it five goals in four games as he hit his effort from10 yards straight at Arnold.

After 85 minutes of superb, hard-working effort the away side found their second wind and came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the dying minutes of the game. Omar Breckles broke to the edge of the Wolves box but couldn't direct his effort on target as he rolled it just wide of Ruddy's post.

It wasn't to be for Sam Rickett's team and the Premier League side held on to deny a cup upset.

Takeaways From the Game

Wolves on the Hunt for Wembley

The win means Nuno Espirito Santo's side are just two wins away from a dream FA Cup semi final trip to Wembley, and with another lower league side to face in Bristol City in the fifth round Wolves fans can maybe start to dream about a trip to the capital in April.

Magic of the cup Still Alive and Kicking

With nine goals scored across the two games in the tie, and a League One side taking a Premier League outfit all the way to the final minute of the 180 played, it's fair to say that any doubt of the FA Cup losing it's famous magic has been cleared up with this clash.

No Shame  for Shrewsbury

Despite the defeat and exit from the competition, Shrewsbury Town can hold their heads high for their valiant effort against Premier League opposition. The League One side caused more problems in the two ties than many top tier sides have caused Wolves in the Premier League this season, which will put them in good stead for their battle against relegation to the fourth tier of English football.