Tyrone Ofori double earns Town late draw at Vale Park
Town: Cam Gregory, Josh Agbozo, Dan Walker (Ryan Millington 79), James Rowlands (Lewi Redding 79), Rory Huntbach (Brett Taylor 79), Christos Shelis, Reiss Corfield, Kian Taylor, Lifumpa Mwandwe, Jack Leask (Tyrone Ofori 51), Ryan Barnett (C).
Subs: Wes Garfield, Ryan Millington, Brett Taylor, Lewi Redding, Tyrone Ofori.
Port Vale: Dequan Crockwell, Jake Thomas, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, Matthew Ward, Joshua Ryder, Finley Jackson, Jack Grimshaw, James Steele (C), Tom Daulby, Harry Benns, Jack Wakefield.
Subs: Lucas Green-Birch, Max Beeston, Zak Hill, Joshua Ede, Kyle Johnson.
Town left it late to earn a draw away to Port Vale on Saturday. Vale took the lead in the first half before doubling after a questionable penalty in the second. Substitute Tyrone Ofori pulled one back in the 78th meeting Agbozo’s cross to make it 2-1. In the last minute, Reiss Corfield broke forward to square an inch perfect ball for Ofori to get a second. The draw puts Town 8th in the Youth Alliance Northwest Division but only two points off Wrexham in second.
Cam Gregory started in goal. Josh Agbozo came into the side at right back with Walker on the left, Shelis and Huntbach guarded the middle. Kian Taylor and James Rowlands sat in Midfield with Jack Leask in front of them. Captain Barnett started on the right with Corfield on the left and Mwandwe through the middle.
Town started the game slowly, a high press in the early stages from Vale made it hard for Salop to find time on the ball.
In the seventh, Leask did well to beat his man in the middle before being clipped as he pushed forward earning Town a free kick. Barnett stepped up to curl in a tempting ball but Vale did well to clear the danger.
Barnett nearly worked the first chance of the game shortly after. Springing Corfield down the right, Corfield play a nice flicked pass back to Agbozo, Barnett and Mwandwe were waiting for the ball in the box but Agbozo couldn’t slip it through to Corfield who’d continued his run.
Vale took the lead shortly after. Breaking forward their attacker beat Gregory to make it 1-0, the goal coming in the 14th minute.
Town looked to hit straight back after the goal, Agbozo did well to pick up a loose ball before finding Taylor with the pass. Taylor looked instantly to slip Mwandwe through on goal but his ball was cut out.
In the 28th, Barnett did manage to slip Mwandwe through on the left. The Vale defence did well to force him wide and as he looked to pull it across goal, the challenge came in to clear.
Mwandwe’s pace through the middle seemed to be the game plan on the counter for Town. This time Barnett picked up possession in a deep position before finding Taylor with space in the middle. Taylor looked for the quick ball to set Mwandwe off again, but a resolute Vale defence stood strong, clearing the danger.
Town were growing impatient looking for the equaliser. This time Mwandwe opted to come deep for the ball before setting Barnett off down the left. Barnett flew past his man before cutting back past another to spring free in the box. Barnett pulled the trigger from the tight angle, only to see his low shot towards the keeper’s legs saved.
Barnett came to life in the latter stages of the first. This time, Walker did well to send him on the run down the left. Cutting onto his right, Barnett looked to dink one over the top for Mwandwe. Lifumpa looked through on goal but a strong challenge came in for Vale, clearing the ball up field.
Shortly before the half time whistle, Barnett sprung down the left again before playing a paced low ball across the box. With no one in the middle, Corfield did well to retrieve the ball on the right before laying it back to Agbozo. He looked to curl one in, cannoning the ball off the defender and earning Town a corner.
Barnett swung in the corner looking for the head of Shelis, who’d rose well in the box. His towering header was wide of the target.
Half Time: Port Vale 1 Shrewsbury Town 0
Opening the second half, Barnett skilled his man on the edge of the box before rolling a clever ball wide for the overlapping run on Agbozo. He played a nicely weighted ball towards Corfield at the far post but saw his cross cleared.
Substitute: Jack Leask was replaced by Tyrone Ofori in the 51st with Town ready for a tactical change in search of the equaliser.
Kian Taylor was next to try his arm. Vale initially did well to clear a Barnett Corner but Taylor picked up the loose ball before rocketing a shot towards the top left corner. The shot was dipping but not enough to curl inside of the posts, sailing over the top.
Moments later, Dan Walker charged down the right before squaring a low ball across the face of goal. The ball deserved a goal but it wasn’t to be with Vale clearing on the opposite side of the box.
Working his way down the right, Agbozo swung a perfect ball into the box for Mwandwe. Lifumpa timed his jump to perfection meeting the ball with is head, only to find the cross bar and for Vale to clear.
One the counter, Vale did well to work space on the wide right before playing a low fast ball across the face of goal. As Agbozo went to clear, the ball took a bobble, rebounding off his foot and onto his elbow. Agbozo couldn’t have reacted quick enough to prevent it but nevertheless, the referee pointed to the sport awarding Vale a penalty. Vale’s number 10 converted past Gregory to make it 2-0.
Town were left frustrated with the penalty and following its conversion, they pressed forward on the attack, refusing to give up. Barnett worked space on the right-hand edge of the box with a couple of step overs before cutting onto his left. He looked to curl one to the top corner with his weak foot, his shot sailed over the bar.
Agbozo had strong second half at right back, his constant offering of the overlap worked crossing space on the right time and time again. Picking up possession in the corner, Agbozo floated a well-timed ball in search of Ofori in the middle. Ofori beat his man in the air to get to the ball but could only head wide of the post.
In the 78th, Agbozo found the same space on the right wing with a pacey overlapping run. Playing in another inch perfect cross, Ofori made no mistake this time, beating his man and finding the back of the net with his header making the score 2-1.
Substitutions: Rowlands, Huntbach and Walker all made way for Millington, Taylor and Redding in the 79th minute.
Town were relentless in the last ten minutes, feeling they should already be level. Agbozo, moving into midfield with the substitutions, looked to slip Ofori through on goal. Ofori chased the ball with intent, earning Town a corner.
Barnett whipped in the corner, looking for the head of Shelis who’d again rose well in the box. This time, his glancing header was just wide of the post.
In the final moments, Reiss Corfield broke forward on the right before squaring a clever low ball across the box. Ofori met the cross on the stretch to put Town level with seconds to play.
Full Time: Port Vale 2 Shrewsbury Town 2