Shrewsbury sensed Chelsea blood after equaliser - Liam Lawrence
Shrewsbury's Liam Lawrence thought Chelsea looked vulnerable when the Town levelled Tuesday's League Cup tie.
Just three minutes after Andy Mangan's equaliser, Jermaine Grandison's own goal gave Chelsea a 2-1 win to see them through to the last eight.
But Lawrence felt pride in giving the Premier League leaders a real test.
|The Shrews' near taming of the Blues|
|Left-back (and boyhood Chelsea fan) Micky Demetriou: "We did ourselves proud. We've come off disappointed that we couldn't get anything. Who'd have thought after 90 minutes against the team at the top of the Premier League that we'd be disappointed to lose? We just have to hope we can continue that form in the league."|
|Midfielder Ryan Woods: "I'm absolutely shattered, We came here to give a good account of ourselves and I think we did that. It was the best feeling I've ever had when Andy Mangan scored, but it was so sad we could not hang on. The fact that was the difference between the two sides says it all."|
"As soon as we scored, you could sense a bit of blood. Even Jose Mourinho, if he's an honest man, could sense things weren't going his way," said Lawrence.
"So he brought on the team that played Manchester United on Sunday. Willian and Nemanja Matic are incredible players. But that's all credit to everyone at Shrewsbury Town for giving them such a game."
Summer signing Lawrence, the club captain at the Greenhous Meadow, did not know he was playing until being called up by Town boss Micky Mellon just half an hour before kick-off to skipper the side when fellow midfielder James Wesolowski pulled out with a groin injury.
"I came into the dressing room to get my tracksuit and put a few layers of clothing on for keeping warm on the bench," he told BBC Radio Shropshire. "And then the gaffer said 'I think you're going to be playing'.
"He'd been feeling it a bit since the weekend and they tried to nurse him but then he's gone out to do the warm-up, felt it go when he played a ball and he just had to say no.
"I got changed and off I went. It was a nice surprise and I just did the best I could."
|Didier Drogba talks to BBC Radio Shropshire|
|Drogba, who notched his third goal in as many games in Chelsea's 2-1 win, was making his second visit to Oteley Road. "I played against them last year in a pre-season friendly with Galatasaray," he said. "So I knew this team already. They have improved. I started somewhere like this. It brings back great memories. The crowd was fantastic, pushing them. The weather conditions were not the best. And I can't say I enjoyed it because the game is difficult, but that's football. For us, the most important thing was to win."|
After the exhilaration of bringing back memories of his Premier League days with Sunderland and Stoke City, facing clubs such as Chelsea every week, the night ended disappointingly for Lawrence and his men.
But he will still always have the memory of the magical moment on 77 minutes when substitute Mangan scored with his first touch just two minutes after coming on.
"He said to me in the warm-up that he was going to score and, when he did, the fans went nuts," said Lawrence. "They were magnificent all night.
"Playing in front of a big crowd like that night makes such a difference, like an extra man, an extra set of legs for the lads."