Doster delivers on debut to seal Town win
Shrewsbury Town: Beth Minns, Beth Francis, Holy Nicholson, Erin Taylor, Natalie Turner, Charl Sewell, Lou Wilkes, Chloe Howells, Dani Garrett, Charlotte Budd, Tania Prior, Jodie Carswell, Jess Williams, Jen Wolf, Katie Doster.
Shrewsbury Town overcame a strong Kidderminster side on Sunday, as they opened their pre season with a win at the Stourbridge College Centre of Sporting Excellence.
Town were under heavy pressure in the opening 10 minutes, and were confined to defending their own half. Kidderminster created a couple of chances but could only fire straight at Beth Minns in goal.
It was Town who broke the deadlock, though, with the summer signings from TNS putting their new side ahead on 12 minutes. A throw in from Natalie Tuner was controlled and drilled across goal by Charlotte Budd, and Charl Sewell was on hand to put the visitors in front.
Town continued to withstand the Kidderminster pressure, but could only hold out until the 22nd minute when a shot from the edge of the area fell to the feet of a Kidderminster player, and was nestled into the bottom corner.
The hosts grabbed another in quick succession to lead for the first time in the match, and things went from bad to worse for Town when they lost Chloe Howells to injury.
Howells made way for Katie Doster, who came on to make her debut towards the end of the first half.
The new signing from Shrewsbury Juniors didn’t disappoint, helping her side win a corner which resulted in the equaliser.
The corner was cleared out to Natalie Williams, who played in a first time cross which found Tania Prior, who turned and arrowed a shot into the bottom corner.
Town continued to create chances, and Charlotte Budd’s floated ball into the box allowed Doster to rise and head the ball home, to score her first goal for the club and Town’s third of the game.
Half-Time: Shrewsbury Town 3-2 Kidderminster Harriers
With no changes at half-time, Town came out and continued to press the Harriers’ defence.
Doster had a chance to score her second of the match, but could only hit the post after being put through by a sliced clearance by the Harriers defence.
It was Prior who managed to score her second of the game, slotting home to seal the win and cap off a fine start to Town’s pre season.
After the game, Ladies Technical Director Peter Wilson said: “It was a very professional performance from a young side, we’re two weeks back into pre season now.
“We had an average squad of 18.5 years on Sunday, but they just applied themselves very, very, well on what we’ve been working on in training in terms of defensive set up this season.
“We’ve come away with a very strong performance.
“We knew Kidderminster would be a very attacking side with how they played last year and what they achieved and the players they’ve brought in.
“We knew it was going to be tough in terms of defending, and in the first ten minutes we were really up against it.
“But we weathered the storm, the players did what we asked. We didn’t concede corners, we didn’t concede anything that we didn’t want to and we stayed firm.
“To be fair we broke on to our first counter attack and we scored, which gave us a bit of breathing space and grew into the game from there.
“I was very pleased with how the players responded to what we’ve been working on.”
Wilson saved special praise for those who have stepped up from Town’s Regional Talent Club to Ladies football, having put out a side with an average age of 18.5.
Speaking of their first showing for the Ladies, he added: “It was one of them when myself and Alex were asking, ‘what are they going to be like’, and ‘are they going to stand up to the women’s game?’
“They stood up and they were counted. They didn’t back out of challenges, as the game went on they grew into it more and more.
“In terms of our fitness side we were a lot more dominant than them, and I think that was proved with the result and the performance in the second half.”
Town now look to build on their start to pre season when they face Crewe on Sunday.