Dave Edwards hoping to kick on for Shrewsbury Town
Dave Edwards hopes more goals are on the way after finally netting his long-awaited first Shrewsbury Town goal since returning at the beginning of the year.
The hometown midfielder, from Pontesbury, struck high into the net in the closing stages of the 3-0 EFL Trophy victory over Newcastle United's under-21s, his first Town goal in more than 12 years - 4,579 days previous.
Edwards returned to Sam Ricketts' side as one of eight changes from the win at Tranmere in what remained a strong and experienced Shrewsbury team and Fejiri Okenabirhie and Jason Cummings scored two well-taken early goals.
Former Wales international Edwards, 34, admits the return from summer ankle surgery has been difficult but feels his first goal back in blue and amber is another step on the road to recovery.
"It was nice to just get the monkey off my back," said Edwards.
"I had quite a few chances in that run of games at the start of the season but couldn't quite get one away.
"It was nice to get that half a chance and take it reasonably well. It would've been nice if I could've ran off and celebrated with the fans but the atmosphere is a bit subdued for these games.
"I didn't think it would take me 10 months after signing in January to get my first goal.
"I can really kick on from here, I just needed that first goal to go in. I know I'm a good finisher, I worked so hard on it for the last 10 or 15 years.
"Hopefully I can get the second the next opportunity that comes along."
Newcastle under-21s impressed at 2-0 down in the second period and hit the woodwork twice as they came out and attacked Ricketts' hosts.
But the three points put Shrewsbury second in Group D ahead of next month's visit of Macclesfield which will decide who progresses into the knockout rounds.
The Town boss was able to give crucial minutes to Okenabirhie, Cummings, Edwards and Louis Thompson, all of whom are building up their fitness.
Ricketts said: "I thought we started well. We had fairly good control and created chances. We played six or seven who hadn't played in a long time and fatigue started to tell but we dug in.
"There were an awful lot of positives and boxes ticked."