Youth team start season with win against Rochdale
Rochdale 1 Shrewsbury Town 2
Town: Wearing, Carpenter, Richards (Wells 85), Smith, Westray, Musslewhite, Easthope, Gwilliams, Stephenson, Flint (Evans 62), Anderson (Jones 70).
Subs not used: Fletcher.
New faces, new season and a great win to kick of the new campaign. Football’s is all about confidence and beginning with a good performance and a win should give the boys more self belief that they can produce results.
Early pressure came from the home side and when a corner was met by a free header Connor Wearing had to dive low to his left to produce an excellent save. Rochdale’s early dominance of possession largely led to crosses and longer range efforts which were not really troubling us and our balanced midfield were denting space for Rochdale to play through.
Musslewhite pinched the ball in midfield to feed Kaimen Anderson who turned, ran and played in Niall Flint who carried the ball into the 18 yard area, he then faked to strike with his right before curled a tremendous left footed shot in off the far post for a 1-0 lead on 24 minutes. This gave the lads confidence and on 27 minutes a good strike from Stephenson was deflected wide for a corner, from this good movement from Smith and a sneaker block gave Westray a free header to make it 2-0.
A natural reaction from the home side began to put us under more pressure which largely dealt with until a corner was poorly dealt with allowing a free shot from the edge of the box to pull one goal back for Rochdale.
Still working hard and playing the way we want the boys too, very bravely at times I may add to their credit, we created good chances with Anderson wasting one good one after being put through 1v1 with the goalkeeper and quick counter attacking moves with Gwilliams, Jones and Stephenson looking a threat with pace in wide areas but just lacking that final pass or decision to capitalise on our 2-1 lead.
Overall a very pleasing start to the season as we tried to play, we worked hard up and down the pitch and we looked relatively compact in defensive and midfield areas. Yes we can improve on our decision making when going forward but we have been determined not to get beaten and realise that hard work will reward in good results.
Town’s youth team now travel to Morda on Tuesday evening (14th) for their final game of pre-season, 7pm kick-off.