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Youth: Walsall 1-0 Town

17 August 2014

Under-18s suffer first defeat of the season

A second-half strike from Walsall's Levi Rowley condemned Shrewsbury Town's youth team to their first defeat of the season on Saturday.

Town dominated the opening period at the Birmingham FA County Headquarters but could not find the breakthrough against Neil Woods' side.

And Rowley's effort in the 51st minute was enough to give the Saddlers all three points in the Youth Alliance (North West) week three fixture.


The young Shrews were without the injured Alex Fletcher so Joel Carta started in midfield, while the other change from the draw at Wrexham saw Tom King replace Joe Kenton.

Town looked sharp in the early stages and their first chance fell to Kaiman Anderson after four minutes, when Niall Flint drove the ball across from the right, but the striker's attempt towards the near post was deflected behind for a corner.

Ian Dawes' side kept up their pressure on the Walsall goal and Josh Ginnelly tried his luck from the edge of the box with an effort which dipped and forced Saddlers goalkeeper Dan Jezeph to tip over.

King also outsmarted a Walsall defender on the half-hour mark before firing low and wide, while Town stopper Alex Ashton was on hand to beat away an effort from the hosts at the other end.

But the best chance of the first half arrived for Town striker Ethan Jones, who robbed Saddlers defender Raekwon Smith before bearing down on goal and seeing a fierce strike across goal punched around the post.

Neither side were able to grab the opening goal before the break, though.

HALF-TIME: Walsall 0-0 Town

Despite a positive start to the first five minutes of the second period, Town fell behind in the 51st minute when Walsall worked the ball up to Rowley who eventually cut onto his right foot from the edge of the box and found the right corner with a powerful low strike.

Dawes' side nearly responded four minutes after falling behind when Anderson lost his marker from Flint's cross but headed wide of the target.

Flint also saw a low free-kick from a central position around 20 yards out pushed around the uncovered corner by Jezeph.

Town tried in vain to force an equaliser and Ginnelly went close when his inswinging shot from the left clipped off a Walsall head and just skimmed past the far post.

The midfielder also had a penalty appeal with a minute of normal time remaining as he went down under a challenge after seeing a low strike tipped around the near post.

But it was not Town's day in front of goal as they suffered their first defeat of the 2014/15 Youth Alliance season.

FULL-TIME: Walsall 1-0 Town

TOWN LINE-UP: Alex Ashton, Jack Butts, Ben Burton, Ryan Hickman, Jeff Watkins (c), Joel Carta, Niall Flint, Tom King, Kaiman Anderson, Josh Ginnelly, Ethan Jones.

SUBS: Harry Lewis, Nathan Millis, Joe Kenton, Jordan Wilson, Tom Astley.

BOOKED: Burton (38).

WALSALL LINE-UP: Dan Jezeph, Sam Ottley, Lewis Probert, Jordan Sangha, Kyle Rowley (c), Raekwon Smith, Luke Delaney, Maziar Kouhyar, Romario Reid, Levi Rowley, Brendan Pooni.

SUBS: Jamie Smith, Tevin Shakespeare, Nathan Owen, Kane Louis, Rory Oliver.

GOALS: L. Rowley (51).

NEXT MATCH: Town v Oldham Athletic (Saturday 23 August, Lilleshall National Sports Centre, TF10 9LQ, 12pm kick-off).

For the latest league tables and fixture information from the Football League Youth Alliance, click here.

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