Manager Sam Ricketts praised the opportunism of former Wales international Dave Edwards, who came off the bench to score a second half winner and send Shrewsbury into the FA Cup second round with a 1-0 victory in a first round replay at Bradford.
There was little to choose between the sides in the first match which ended 1-1 and this was another tight game decided with a smart piece of opportunism from Edwards in the 66th minute.
Donald Love crossed from the right and Edwards nipped into space to score from close range and earn Shrewsbury a home tie against Mansfield in the second round.
Edwards, who started his career at Shrewsbury 15 years ago, returned to his home town club last January and Ricketts said: “Dave Edwards has made a career out of arriving late in the box. Donald Love whipped the ball into the danger area and Dave arrived to do what he does best.
“To be honest we were not great, but we were still resolute and hard to score against. We defend very well and it gives us a base in every game.”
League Two promotion contenders Bradford came closest to scoring in a goalless first half. Their first chance came in the 18th minute when Callum Cooke’s corner was flicked on by Hope Akpan to skipper James Vaughan whose shot was blocked before defender Ben Richards-Everton headed wide.
Their second chance came in the 25th minute when Dylan Connolly’s right wing cross caused problems for the visitors’ defence. Akpan’s shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Joe Murphy and the ball rebounded to Vaughan whose shot was blocked.
Bradford created few second-half chances and the strong visitors’ defence was rarely troubled until they were forced to withstand some pressure in the closing stages.
Bantams manager Gary Bowyer, who claimed Edwards’ goal was offside, said: “In both games we have shown what a capable team we are and what a capable team we will be.
“We have a disappointed dressing room now and rightly so, but on reflection we have given a good account of our ourselves against a good League One club.
“That said, we wanted more and we are capable of more. We were disappointed with their goal. He is offside from the cross and that just shows how far we pushed them.
“In the first half their keeper makes a great save from Hope Akpan and James Vaughan’s follow-up shot gets cleared off the line. At half time I asked for a bit more, but it was a nearly performance.
“We are disappointed to be out of the competition, but now our focus is what it was at the start of the season – the league.”
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