Nottingham Forest battled through tough conditions to beat Shrewsbury Town 2-1 in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Goals from Mustapha Carayol and Jason Cummings sealed The Reds’ passage into the second round at a rain-soaked City Ground, with Shaun Whalley’s penalty ensuring it was a nervy ending.
Mark Warburton changed all eleven players from Friday night’s win over Millwall, handing debuts to Andreas Bouchalakis and Jason Cummings as well as a full Reds debut to Kieran Dowell.
Shrewsbury set themselves up well and looked organised in the opening exchanges as they forced The Reds to play the majority of the time inside their own half.
The first effort of note came on 23 minutes through Cummings as his tremendous long range effort clipped the top of the bar. The Scotsman played a one-two in the middle of the park with captain Chris Cohen before letting fly with an effort from 30 yards which dipped over Dean Henderson in the Shrewsbury goal but not under the crossbar.
Forest didn’t have to wait long to take the lead though and five minutes later they were ahead through Carayol. Dimitar Evtimov launched a long kick forward which Carayol latched onto then as he charged into the area he was brought down by Shrewsbury skipper Abu Ogogo.
The winger brushed himself down and stepped up calmly to send Henderson the wrong way and put Forest 1-0 up.
The second half started with the conditions worsening as the rain came down harder on Trentside, making it more difficult for both sides to get a grip on the game.
The introduction of Ben Osborn to The Reds midfield allowed them to take control of the game and start moving the ball around with confidence.
Three efforts in quick succession saw Forest denied as first Carayol then Chris Cohen had efforts blocked before sub Tendayi Darikwa lashed just wide from the edge of the box on 72 but debutant Cummings broke down The Shrews defence to double the lead three minutes later.
Carayol picked the ball up in the middle of the park and played a perfectly timed pass for Cummings to run onto behind the defence, and the summer signing brilliantly fired past Henderson at his near post.
The visitors responded well and they were back in the game on 79 through a penalty of their own. Niall Ennis was brought down in the area by Bouchalakis and substitute Whalley stepped up to convert despite Evtimov getting a strong hand to the ball.
Shrewsbury pushed men forward in search of an equaliser, leaving gaps at the back which The Reds looked to exploit. Cummings almost found his second on 88 when he sent an effort towards the far corner only to see Henderson pull off a great save.
The League One side had one last chance in added time as Whalley got to the byline to stand a cross up at the back post. Alex Rodman rose highest to head at goal but Evtimov was on hand to save and keep The Shrews at bay.
It was a tough night for The Reds in difficult conditions and against a stubborn Shrewsbury side but Mark Warburton’s men progress into the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Forest: Evtimov, Lichaj, Mills, Hobbs, Fox (Darikwa 63’), Bouchalakis, Cohen (c), Dowell (Osborn 63’), Carayol, Cummings, Vellios (Walker 74’)
Unused subs: Smith, McKay, Brereton, Worrall
Goals: Carayol pen 29’, Cummings 75’
Bookings: Fox 17’, Cummings 65’
Shrewsbury: Henderson, Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Brown, Rodman, Nolan, Ogogo (c), Adams (Dodds 83’), Gnahoua (Whalley 66’), Ennis (John-Lewis 83’)
Unused subs: MacGillivray, Jules, James, Shielis
Goal: Whalley pen 79’
Bookings: Ogogo 29’, Ennis 83’
Attendance: 7,546 (841 away)
Referee: J Busby