Shrewsbury 1 Norwich City 0
- Credit: PA
Norwich City meekly slipped out of the Capital One Cup against League Two underdogs Shrewsbury on a miserable night in Shropshire.
Neil Adams put his faith in his fringe players with 11 changes to his starting line up from the weekend's Championship draw against Birmingham, but the Canaries shadow squad failed to deliver.
James Collins' glanced home a 55th minute header after City had switched off from a set piece and the visitors only sporadically threatened an equaliser; captain Steven Whittaker going close with an angled late strike on a dire outing at the Greenhous Meadow.
Whittaker, along with Declan Rudd, Elliott Bennett and Carlos Cuellar were the only survivors from the previous round's win over Crawley. Cuellar partnered Spanish compatriot Ignasi Miquel in the young centre back's full competitive debut since his deadline day move from Arsenal.
Vadis Odjidja was another full debutant for the Canaries, with Gary Hooper and Jonny Howson making their seasonal reappearances in the first team after pre-season injuries. Odjidja slotted into a right midfield role in the opening seconds, with Bennett on the opposite flank in.
Kyle Lafferty was deployed alongside Hooper in his first outing down the middle with the likes of Cameron Jerome, Lewis Grabban and Nathan Redmond given the night off.
Scottish youth international Conor McGrandles was included on the substitutes' bench alongside academy products Cameron King, Kyle McFadden and Harry Toffolo.
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Lafferty appeared momentarily interested in Howson's raking crossfield ball but Jermaine Grandison was around on the cover.
Javier Garrido took emergency action to clear Mickey Demetriou's deep cross, which gave the League Two minnows a chance to probe for any weakness from set pieces, but Lafferty cleared his lines at Norwich's near post.
Shrews' skipper Liam Lawrence tried a speculative long range strike that flew into the away supported stationed behind Rudd.
City spurned the first real chance of the tie in the ninth minute when Lafferty was left unattended but headed Bennett's inswinging cross over from barely six yards with only Town keeper Jayson Leutwiler to beat.
Shrewsbury's commitment to possession football was commendable but Cuellar and Miquel were up to the challenge whenever the ball was delivered within the vicinity of Rudd's goal in the opening quarter.
Norwich's high pressing pleased Adams, patrolling at the front of his technical area, as Lafferty and Hooper set the tone from the front.
Gary O'Neil's first time strike cannoned against Connor Goldson in the 20th minute but neither side were carrying enough attacking thrust. Lafferty was again a central figure in City's next real incursion, but his miscued header from Garrido's centre slipped well wide.
Odjidja clipped Collins on a rare counter from Shrewsbury which forced Miquel to head behind only for the gathering threat to fizzle out.
Norwich appeared content to patiently ease their way to the edge of the Shrews' penalty box as the first half elapsed and work Garrido and Whittaker into wide positions.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro drifted away from Miquel in a threatening foray at the other end but drilled a low left-footed effort wide from 25 yards with the hosts growing in confidence.
Captain Whittaker whipped in a cross sliced behind from Goldson, with the City skipper urging his front men to react quicker. Miquel climbed above Collins from the resulting corner but headed over on the edge of the six yard box.
Howson was swamped in central midfield seconds later with the dangerous Akpa Akpro racing down the right channel to collect a throughball and hammer at Rudd from 20 yards.
James Wesolowski then exchanged passes with Lawrence only to slam a right-footed shot against Cuellar with Shrewsbury finishing the half stronger.
Hooper was manhandled on the restart to earn a Norwich free kick but Howson's attempted curler from the edge drifted two yards wide.
Hooper tumbled under the attentions of Nathaniel Knight-Percival inside the Shrewsbury penalty area in their 53rd minute, but referee Mathieson waved away loud penalty appeals from the away support.
Shrewsbury made the breakthrough two minutes later when City failed to deal with a deep free kick angled towards Akpa Akpro and Collins reacted quickest to flick a header up and over Rudd from seven yards.
Adams reacted immediately with Josh Murphy introduced for Odjidja. Jamar Loza then replaced Hooper just past the hour mark with City striving for any spark to ruffle a composed Shrewsbury outfit.
Micky Mellon's side continued to carry a greater threat with Akpa Akpro linking with Collins to test Rudd. Goldson then rose unmarked to plant a header over as Norwich's apparent set piece frailties surfaced again.
Murphy's trickery earned the visitors a chance to test Shrewsbury from a free kick but Miquel was unable to direct his far post header back across goal.
Lafferty incurred the wrath of the referee and the home players after leaving a leg in on Grandison within a minute of a caution but the official settled for a lecture.
City survived another scare when Akpa Akpro dragged an angled right-footed strike just past Rudd's far post before Lafferty was spared any further distress when King was introduced for his senior debut.
Loza's joy was cut short in the 81st minute when the Jamaican international slammed home past Leutwiler but was adjudged to have strayed offside.
Whittaker then surged forward in a bid to take matters into his own hands but the Scottish international's right-footed shot flew a yard wide. Howson ranged forward deep in stoppage time but dragged horribly off-target.
• Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Grandison, Demetriou, Woods, Goldson, Collins (Mangan 86), Lawrence (Vincent 90), Gayle, Wesolowski, Knight-Percival, Akpa Akpro. Subs (not used): Burton, Ellis, Vernon, Griffith, Clark.
• Goal: Collins (55)
• Norwich: Rudd, Whittaker, Cuellar, Miquel, Garrido, Odjidja (Murphy 57), O'Neil, Howson, E Bennett, Lafferty (King 79), Hooper (Loza 62). Subs (not used): Ruddy, McFadden, Toffolo, McGrandles.
• Booking: Lafferty (dissent, 74)
• Added on time: 1 minute / 4 minutes
• Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)
• Attendance: 6,187 (992 away fans)