Vale prove too strong for Town in the reserves
A Ben Williamson goal 15 minutes from time condemned Shrewsbury Town reserves to a 1-0 defeat against Port Vale in their Central League opener at the Greenhous Meadow this afternoon.
Former Vale goalkeeper Joe Anyon was joined in an experimental Town side by three fellow members of the first team squad in Alex McQuade, Dave McAllister and Ryan Woods.
Several of the club's youth teamers were included while Graham Turner also took the chance to run the rule over some trialists.
Vale, watched by manager Micky Adams, included a host of players with first team experience, among them Trinidad & Tobago World Cup midfielder Chris Burchill, Louis Dodds, Williamson, Chris Shuker and Kaid Mohamed.
Vale made most of the running in a goalless first half with Anyon twice pulling off fine saves to deny former Cheltenham man Mohamed at his near post and also block a shot from Williamson with his legs.
Dodds also squandered a golden chance to fire Vale in front when he drilled wide at the Salop Leisure Stand end with only Anyon to beat.
Woods was full of energy in Town's midfield throughout but chances were hard to come by.
A minute after the restart, though, and Shrewsbury were close to a breakthrough as McAllister's low shot from the edge of the box was turned round a post by keeper Sam Johnson.
Vale eventually broke the deadlock 15 minutes from time when Shuker's cross from the right was headed home by Williamson.
McAllister sliced a 20 yard shot off target as Town chased an equaliser and then had another shot blocked by a defender as Vale claimed maximum points.
Town are quickly back in reserve team action at Morecambe on Monday.
TOWN: Anyon, Hickman, Delfonseo, McQuade, Richards, Lampkin, Woods, McAllister, Denton, Anderson, Ginnelly. Subs: Watkins, Fletcher, Easthope, Carpenter, Burton.
PORT VALE: Johnson, Alexander, Morris, Price, Jefford, Shuker, Birchall, Lloyd, Mohamed, Williamson, Dodds. Subs: Boot, Hugill, Carvalho, Tambini, Bell, Smith.