Westray on target for young Town side in Central League
A young Shrewsbury Town reserve team were just five minutes away from a a Central League win at faraway Hartlepool United until a late equaliser earned the north easterners a 1-1 draw.
Tom Bradshaw and Ryan Woods were the only pros on duty in a game played at Billingham Town.
But the youngsters acquitted themselves well and looked on course to pull off an away victory thanks to a free kick from Sam Westray after 30 minutes which found its way in at the near post.
Town goalkeeper Connor Wearing was hardly tested until Hartlepool grabbed an 85th minute equaliser through a fine volley from Luke James.
Town might still have snatched a late winner but Bradshaw fired over after Woods and Dave Easthope neatly exchanged passes.
"It was a great point for them," said manager Graham Turner. "We sent a very young side up there.
"Ryan Woods and Tom Bradshaw went up there and added their experience to the youngsters and it was a very creditable draw.
"But isn't it ludricous to go all the way to Hartlepool to play a reserve team game? I just find that staggering.
"We'll try and do something about that in the close season, put our views forward about the distances we've had to travel.
"It's not just us as Hull City have had to come across to play here when we've got enough teams in the vicinity to have a decent league without too much travelling."
Town reserves have two matches on successive days next week. They travel to Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday afternoon before hosting Walsall on the training pitch at the Greenhous Meadow on Thursday.
"With a first team game at home to Bournemouth on the Saturday, we can't afford to risk a reserve game on the main pitch so it will be an exception for us to go and play on the training ground," added the manager.
TOWN: Connor Wearing, George Carpenter, Dominic Smith, Warren Holmes, Sam Westray (Lewis Phillips), Javia Roberts, Dave Easthope, Ryan Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Tom Bradshaw, Scott Ryan. Unused subs: Jack Richards, Dylan Stephenson, Matt Jones, Sam Molyneux, Callum Burton.