Walsall defeated their old rivals Shrewsbury Town 2-1 in the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophey at the Banks's Staduim by two goals to one but made heavy weather of it after going into a 2-0 lead before half time with two really quality goals from Ryan Jarvis and Richard Taundry which should have been the prompt to go on to a big win against the men from Shropshire but it didn't work out that way and but for a double save from goalkeeper David Grof in the second half it could have gone to penalties.
Walsall had Jon Macken out injured and Will Grigg away on international duty so Ryan Jarvis and Alex Nicholls were up top and Ryan Jarvis continued from where he left off at Bournemouth the previous Saturday with a terrific strike from 35 yards into the top corner to set the 2,000 odd Walsall fans alight. Richard Taundry, who has really shone so far this season, helped himself to a goal and at 2-0 it was looking good.
At the start of the second half Saddlers centre back and captain Andy Butler scored an unfortunate own goal as his header slipped inside the the post past a helpless Grof. Thereafter it was nearly all Shrewsbury as the pushed forward on countless times. However when Walsall were awarded a penalty it seemed they would recover their two goal lead. However Jarvis went for pace and crashed his penalty hard against the bar. Groff made that double save late on and it was a case of the home side hanging on for grim death which they managed in the end.