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youth: Town 2 PNE 0

17 March 2014

Goals from Jeff Watkins give Town victory over Preston North End

Town 2 Preston North End 0
Saturday 15th March 2014
Youth Alliance League

Town: Callum Burton, George Carpenter, Jack Richards, Alex Fletcher (c), Ryan Hickman, Ben Burton, Ethan Jones (Sam Molyneux 61), Niall Flint, Jeff Watkins, Josh Ginnelly, Joe Kenton (Matt Jones 56)

Subs:  Alex Ashton, Scott Ryan

Goals: J. Watkins (2)

Town’s youth side welcomed Preston North End to the Shrewsbury Sports Village looking to get back to winning ways after a run of defeats.

The game hadn’t even started and Town were forced to make a change when Tom King broke his thumb during the warm-up, so in came Joe Kenton to the starting line-up.  This meant that Town started the game with U16s Joe Keaton and Ethan Jones, both will be scholars at the club next season.

Town started the game well and stuck to the game plan that Bernard McNally and Steve Reece had prepared.  This saw them nullify what Preston had to offer and also allowed the home side to create a number of chances and boss the first half.

In the second half Preston came out with an added purpose but Town once again stuck to the plan and weathered the early pressure from the visitors.  As the game went on Town grew and grew putting in a performance which was worthy of the victory.

It was a good game for striker Jeff Watkins who grabbed a brace with goals in each half, the second 10 minutes from time was a superb 25 yard effort that any striker would be proud of.

After the game Academy Manager Steve Reece spoke to ShrewsWeb to give his reaction to the result:”The boys are sent out with the objective to press in the final third and overload and isolate the opponents, this was very effective and we won the ball back on numerous occasions in the first half.

“Central midfield areas were marshalled well by Flint and Fletcher with solid performances, Jeff Watkins is a very strong centre forward who can hold play up and compliments those two very well.

“The first half has seen us with the majority of the play and a lot of the ball to create numerous shooting opportunities which culminated with Jeff Watkins scoring on 25 minutes.

“Second half we have come out expecting a bit of a back flash from Preston and for once we have dealt with it very well.  The play and possession was probably 50/50 between the team but we have worked hard to break things up and Callum Burton was not tested .

“We finished off with a second goal in the 81st minute, with a worldy from Jeff Watkins with a lovely shot from 25 yards out which has sailed over the keeper into the top of the net.

“The lads have done the work to see out a nice 2-0 victory which has seen them do the right things to earn the result.

“We now have a very busy week ahead with games against Wigan, Macclesfield and Carlisle so that will be a test for the lads.”

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