Under-18s come from behind twice to earn drawShrewsbury Town’s Under-18s twice came from behind to earn a point at Wrexham on Saturday in the Football League Youth Alliance’s North West table.
The young Shrews fell behind to Danny Reynolds’ header early in the second half at Colliers Park Training Ground, but captain Jeff Watkins pulled Town level with a stunning strike 20 minutes from time.
Wrexham retook the lead with little under ten minutes to go from Iwan Cartwright’s penalty, but a Tom King effort in the 90th minute rescued a draw for Ian Dawes’ side.
The result means Town have made an unbeaten start to their 2014/15 North West league campaign, following a 2-0 win at home to Fleetwood Town on the opening day.
Shrews made a strong start and could have taken the lead inside three minutes, when Josh Ginnelly skipped inside from the right and saw a strike off his left foot beaten away by Adam Whitlock at his near post.
However, the hosts caused a number of problems from set-pieces and Jack Davis found himself free from a number of Wrexham corners but could not find the target.
The best chance of the half fell to Kaiman Anderson, though, as he burst down the inside left towards the edge of the box and saw his effort skim just past the far post heading into the break.
HALF-TIME: Wrexham 0-0 Town
The second period proved to be more eventful, and it took within two minutes of the restart for the first goal as Reynolds climbed highest to head home Iwan Cartwright’s corner for the Dragons.
Town substitute King had a chance to level approaching the hour mark but lashed over a half volley from the edge of the box.
At the other end, Shrews goalkeeper Alex Ashton had to tip an effort from Davis around the post, before the resulting corner was headed wide by Roberts.
There was a great chance for Anderson to get the equaliser for Town in the 65th minute before Watkins eventually did, when his downward header from Niall Flint’s corner was saved at full stretch by Whitlock.
However, Town levelled the game to 1-1 thanks to a spectacular strike from centre back Watkins, who collected the ball from deep and went forward before unleashing a rocket shot into the top left corner from 25 yards out.
The defender was nearly in for another from Flint’s free-kick five minutes later as Town looked to take the lead, while substitute Jordan Wilson was denied by a low stop from the left.
At the other end, Alex Ashton was on hand to tip around a long range effort from Cartwright which was swerving into the top corner.
It appeared it would not be Shrewsbury’s day when the referee awarded Wrexham a penalty with ten minutes to go, after Ben Burton brought down substitute Adam Harvey-Davies inside the box.
Cartwright converted the spot-kick into the bottom left corner, leaving Dawes’ side staring at their first league defeat of the campaign.
But after Ginnelly had blazed a strike over with moments to go, Town fought back with an intricate passing move which saw Wilson feed King on the inside left, before the latter drilled low into the far corner to equalise heading into stoppage-time.
There was even a chance for Town to win the game inside four minutes of added time, when King’s half volley from the edge of the box forced a diving save from Whitlock after the ball had bounced in front of him.
But it finished all square between the two side, leaving Town with four points from their first two North West fixtures of the season.
FULL-TIME: Wrexham 2-2 Town
TOWN LINE-UP: Alex Ashton, Jack Butts, Ben Burton, Ryan Hickman (Astley, 45), Jeff Watkins (c), Alex Fletcher, Niall Flint, Joe Kenton (King, 45), Kaiman Anderson, Josh Ginnelly, Ethan Jones (Wilson, 64).
SUBS: Tom Astley, Harry Lewis, Tom King, Joel Carta, Jordan Wilson.
GOALS: Watkins (69), King (90).
WREXHAM LINE-UP: Adam Whitlock, Jake Phillips, Jonny Smith, Rakim Newton, Daniel Roberts, Matty Hammons, Leo Smith, Iwan Cartwright (c), Joe Williams, Danny Reynolds, Jack Davis.
SUBS: Adam Harvey-Davies, Jamie McColl.
GOALS: Reynolds (47), Cartwright (pen, 81).
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