Draw for youths thanks to goals from Ryan and Watkins
U18’s Shrewsbury Town 2 – 2 Coventry City
Saturday 20th July 2013
Town: C. Burton, Rowley, Hickman, Carpenter, Smith, Richards, Astley, Ginnelly, Jones, Molineux, Fletcher, Flint, Easthope, Watkins, Anderson, Ryan
Goals: Ryan, Watkins.
After a slightly tentative start and allowing Coventry a large proportion of the possession we started to play our way into the game. Before the first period ended, chances for both sides were squandered and it remained 0-0 after 30 minutes.
In the second period we started to defend much better. After Niall Flint broke up the play in midfield he released Josh Ginnelly who ran at the heart of the Coventry defence from inside his own half before threading a pass through to Scott Ryan who finished coolly underneath the Coventry goalkeeper. Shortly after, Ryan had another chance after Matty Jones slid the ball down the side of the defence but this time he did not hit the target.
In the third period, we doubled our lead through Jeff Watkins, after Scott Ryan regained possession for us and with some composed defensive work gave the ball to Sam Molyneux who played a defence splitting pass. Although we were troubling Coventry through our counter attacks, we felt we could gain more control of the game if we were more patient with the ball. Chances to put the game to bed were not taken, and would prove costly, as Watkins missed two good opportunities and Jack Richards was denied by the Coventry goalkeeper. This gave Coventry hope and our lack of ball retention was beginning to hurt us and as the game wore on our decision making on the ball worsened.
After losing the ball cheaply on the half way line Coventry struck with 5 minutes to go to make it 2-1 and after more sloppy defending and missed chances to take control of the ball Coventry forced an equaliser with a strike into the top corner. Coventry could have won the game but goalkeeper Shaun Rowley did well to tip over a last minute volley from the edge of the box.
In the end the boys were disappointed to let a 2-0 lead slip but lessons need to be learned on how to manage a game when you put yourself into a winning position. Improving our ball retention and patience in possession is something we will look to improve on when we face Crewe on Tuesday.