EFL Trophy - Final
Lincoln City1Shrewsbury0

Lincoln City 1-0 Shrewsbury Town

Lincoln City made their first trip to Wembley in the club's 133-year history
Lincoln City made their first trip to Wembley in the club's 133-year history

Lincoln City upset the odds as they beat Shrewsbury to win the Checkatrade Trophy on their first trip to Wembley.

Elliott Whitehouse's close-range strike proved enough for the League Two play-off hopefuls to defeat League One automatic promotion chasers Shrewsbury.

But the Imps rode their luck, Bryn Morris hitting the bar for Shrewsbury.

Town should also have had a penalty for handball against Luke Waterfall as luckless Shrewsbury's fourth visit to Wembley ended in a fourth defeat.

The Imps had their biggest let-off when big striker Matt Rhead was only booked in the 10th minute for his blatant elbow on Shrewsbury goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Lincoln's Matt Rhead collides with Shrewsbury goalkeeper Dean Henderson
The moment Lincoln's Matt Rhead collided with Shrewsbury goalkeeper Dean Henderson
Shrewsbury goakleeper Dean Henderson on the floor after his collision with Lincoln's Matt Rhead
Shrewsbury players rushed to goakleeper Dean Henderson on the floor after his collision with Lincoln's Matt Rhead

Morris had already gone close for Town with his 25-yard left-foot half volley which clipped the top of the bar when Lincoln should have been reduced to 10 men.

Instead, Rhead stayed on, as did the dazed Henderson after lengthy treatment. And, just six minutes later, Lincoln went ahead when the Town keeper could only parry from a corner - and Whitehouse was first to react.

Then, after Shaun Whalley had shot just wide, Shrewsbury twice could have levelled in the same incident on 32 minutes.

After Omar Beckles' header was saved brilliantly one-handed to his left by Imps keeper Ryan Allsop, fellow defender James Bolton's follow-up effort was kept out by Waterfall's outstretched arm.

A blistering start to the second half brought a succession of Shrewsbury chances, but they could not find a way through.

And, instead, the best opening came at the other end when the reprieved Rhead volleyed over from 12 yards, just before he was taken off.

Shrewsbury battled hard to the end but, when Beckles ballooned a volley high and wide late on, it summed up their frustrating afternoon.

Lincoln's Elliott Whitehouse scores
Lincoln are unbeaten in the seven games Elliott Whitehouse has scored in

Back at Wembley in May?

For both clubs, Sunday's final could prove the first of two visits to Wembley this season.

Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst did that with Grimsby Town two years ago, when his team won promotion via the National League play-off, then lost the FA Trophy final to Halifax a week later.

But he is still hoping to win automatic promotion, despite Town dropping back into third place this weekend - and their next stop is at Bradford City on Thursday night.

As for Danny Cowley's Lincoln, coming off the back of last season's National League promotion, the Imps stay sixth after this weekend's results.

With six games left, they are seven points off an automatic place, although they have at least game in hand (and in some cases two) on every one of their promotion rivals except leaders Accrington.

More pertinently, going into next weekend's trip to relegation threatened Port Vale, they are four points clear of eighth-placed Mansfield - and very much on course for a play-off place.

Reaction

Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley told BBC Sport:

"It was always about winning. We were only going to enjoy the occasion if we won. And the fact that we were able to do that makes me very happy and proud.

"To have 27,000 fans watch a League Two club play at Wembley for the first time, having been a non-league club so recently, and then also win too makes it even more special.

"We were very respectful of Shrewsbury. Paul Hurst has done an amazing job there. But we stuck to our game plan and the players executed it so well. We matched them and managed to restrict their more technical players.

"We woke up this morning knowing we had a chance to do something special. The best teams grab the opportunity and we did that."

Shrewsbury manager Paul Hurst told BBC Sport:

"I've been told there was a couple of decisions which were major talking points. But it's a pointless exercise making excuses as it's not going to change the result.

"I certainly wouldn't want to run into Matt Rhead, that's for sure. He's a big lad. Clearly, there was an incident, something happened. Whether Dean Henderson was winded, or dazed, or whatever you want to call it, he had every right to be on the floor and take a bit of time.

"A lot of the decisions made were debatable. If you did try to stand up to the physical element, you were pulled up for it.

"But I don't want to kid anyone. I just don't think we were good enough. We found the occasion difficult to handle."

Line-ups

Lincoln City

  • 22Allsop
  • 23Eardley
  • 16Bostwick
  • 5Waterfall
  • 3Habergham
  • 4Whitehouse
  • 30Woodyard
  • 19FrecklingtonBooked at 83mins
  • 24RoweSubstituted forAndersonat 64'minutes
  • 9RheadBooked at 10minsSubstituted forPalmerat 63'minutes
  • 10GreenSubstituted forLongat 90+5'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Farman
  • 2Long
  • 8Palmer
  • 12Chapman
  • 26Anderson
  • 32Stewart
  • 36O'Hare

Shrewsbury

  • 1Henderson
  • 13Bolton
  • 22NsialaBooked at 49mins
  • 5Sadler
  • 6Beckles
  • 16MorrisSubstituted forRodmanat 67'minutes
  • 7WhalleySubstituted forGnahouaat 86'minutes
  • 20NolanBooked at 84mins
  • 4Godfrey
  • 10ThomasSubstituted forPayneat 75'minutes
  • 9Morris

Substitutes

  • 3Lowe
  • 11Gnahoua
  • 14John-Lewis
  • 15MacGillivray
  • 21Eisa
  • 23Rodman
  • 45Payne
Referee:
Gavin Ward
Attendance:
41,261

Match Stats

Home TeamLincoln CityAway TeamShrewsbury
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home7
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away10
Fouls
Home17
Away17

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fleetwood33007259
2Leicester City U21311135-24
3Carlisle31023303
4Morecambe301236-32

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Blackpool32107347
2Accrington32018446
3Wigan311156-15
4Middlesbrough U213003411-70

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rochdale31205146
2Bury320145-16
3Blackburn31112204
4Stoke City U21301214-32

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Port Vale32105238
2Oldham32105147
3Newcastle United U21310236-33
4Crewe300337-40

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Walsall32106337
2Shrewsbury32016336
3Coventry31116605
4West Bromwich Albion U21300328-60

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bradford32016606
2Chesterfield311167-15
3Rotherham31115324
4Manchester City U21302145-13

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lincoln City33007349
2Mansfield32014406
3Notts County310245-13
4Everton U21300325-30

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scunthorpe32106337
2Doncaster31203217
3Grimsby302134-12
4Sunderland U21301225-32

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portsmouth32107437
2Charlton32015326
3Fulham U2131118715
4Crawley300328-60

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Gillingham330010649
2Southend32014226
3Colchester301225-32
4Reading U213012710-31

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Swindon32017526
2West Ham United U2132016516
3Bristol Rovers31028803
4Wycombe310236-33

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Yeovil32106338
2Chelsea U2131206425
3Plymouth302156-14
4Exeter301248-41

M

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Swansea City U2133006249
2Forest Green32014316
3Cheltenham310245-13
4Newport300326-40

N

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Luton31205417
2Wimbledon32019816
3Barnet31116604
4Tottenham Hotspur U21301268-21

O

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1MK Dons32106338
2Oxford Utd311111834
3Stevenage311157-24
4Brighton and Hove Albion U21301237-42

P

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Peterborough32105147
2Northampton30305506
3Southampton U21311145-14
4Cambridge301214-31
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