Liam Lawrence looked set to line up for the Shrews at Cardiff City Stadium, before departing for Bristol Rovers on Thursday. The former Sunderland and Stoke midfielder signed for City in May 2012, on loan from Portsmouth, going on to make fourteen first-team appearances and scoring a winner in the Championship at Barnsley. Indeed, he featured in City’s two Play-Off semi-final games against West Ham United in the May, before returning to Portsmouth after just two months in the Welsh capital and subsequently going on to sign for Greek club, PAOK Salonika.
One former City player who will be returning to South Wales this weekend is central defender, Anthony Gerrard. Anthony originally signed for City from Walsall in July 2009, making forty-seven appearances and scoring twice in his first season with the Club. However, having made just the two League Cup appearances at the start of the 2010/11 season, Anthony moved on a season-long loan to Hull City – in fact, making his debut for the Tigers in a 2-0 Cardiff win at CCS. He returned for 2011/12 and featured prominently for the first two-thirds of the campaign, though his final appearance in the blue shirt would come at Wembley Stadium where he appeared as an extra-time substitute against Liverpool.
PLAYED FOR BOTH SIDES
Forward Gary Stevens, who joined us from Evesham in September 1978, is set to be in attendance on Sunday. Gary made over a hundred and fifty League appearances for us before joining Shrewsbury at the end of 1981/82; he made close to a hundred and fifty League appearances for them, too, prior to spells at Brentford, Hereford United and Knighton Town as a player/coach.
Brian Edgeley joined the Bluebirds from Salop in July 1960 following our promotion to top level, while former Wales International Alan Durban(pictured), who began his career with us, was Shrewsbury’s player/manager after leaving Derby County. He managed Stoke City and Sunderland and was appointed our manager in the mid-1980s.
Midfielder David Tong came to us from Shrewsbury in July 1982, while forward Gerry Nardiello came on loan to us from Shrewsbury in March 1986. The following August ’86 saw full-back Andy Kerr join us from Shrewsbury, while our last signing from Salop was defender David Hughes in February 2001. After leaving us in 2003, David was appointed Manager at Barry Town, but left the Club in December 2004. He later became Coach at Port Talbot Town, and eventually went back to Shrewsbury where he was Head of Youth Development for two years. A former Wales Under-21 and B International who had begun his career at Aston Villa, David joined Watford in September 2011 as Youth Team Coach.
WELSH CUP ENCOUNTERS
Shrewsbury Town were a non-league club when we first played them. That was in February 1924 when we were leaders of the old First Division. We played them at Gay Meadow (their former home) on February 14th in the Welsh Senior Cup Third Round, and drew 0-0. The replay took place at Ninian Park thirteen days later, and we won 3-0 with goals from Billy Hardy and Joe Clennell (2). Our next meeting was in April 1931 when we lost 1-0 in a Welsh Cup semi-final at Gay Meadow. Derek ‘Danny’ Showers, a media regular at our home matches nowadays, will remember a Welsh Cup semi-final of March 1974 – he scored in our 2-1 win at Gay Meadow. In May 1977 we lost a two-leg Welsh Cup Final against Shrewsbury, winning 2-1 at home but losing 3-0 away.
THE LAST TIME
We have never played Shrewsbury in the F.A. Cup, but aside from Welsh Cup matches we have played them twenty-six times in League, League Cup and League Trophy matches (Shrewsbury having become a League club in 1950).
We once played Shrewsbury (home and away) in the old Second Division (second tier). That was in 1984/85 and both matches were drawn 0-0. Roger Gibbins, now one of our match-day hospitality hosts, played in the home match against them.
In fact, Russell Slade’s Bluebirds drew 2-2 with Shrewsbury in a pre-season fixture back in July (highlights below), although our last competitive meeting was on April 28th 2001 in a Third Division (lowest tier) game at Ninian Park when Scott Young (2) and Robert Earnshaw scored in our 3-1 win.
Our line-up that day was: Thompson, McCulloch.Subs not used:Walton, Gabbidon, Weston, Young, Perrett (sub. Bonner), Legg, Boland, Evans, Brayson (sub. Earnshaw), Fortune-West (sub. Low), Bowen.
Watch Player HD highlights of City v Shrewsbury from this pre-season, below...