Under-18s slip to home defeat in the leagueShrewsbury Town’s youth team slipped to defeat at home to Morecambe on Saturday.
Ian Dawes’ side took an early lead through Josh Ginnelly’s deflected strike in the game at Shrewsbury Sports Village, but Cameron Rigby pulled the visitors leveller in the 23rd minute.
The Shrimps then moved 2-1 in front, seven minutes before half-time, with Jack Kelleher finding the goal.
Town’s Under-18s fell further behind seven minutes after the break as well, as Kelleher got his second.
Striker Kaiman Anderson did pull one back for the young Shrews with less than half an hour to go, but Town were unable to find a late equaliser and ultimately slipped to defeat.
Head of academy coaching Dawes made three changes to the side which drew 3-3 with Preston North End two weeks before.
With midfielder Alex Fletcher serving the first of a two-match suspension, Joel Carta came back into the midfield while Josh Ginnelly replaced Joe Kenton.
The other change saw Jack Butts start at right back in the absence of Ryan Hickman.
There was a lively start to the game at the Sports Village, which first team manager Micky Mellon attended, with Anderson being stopped by a last-ditch challenge at one end before Nathan Bondswell fired just wide for Morecambe at the other.
Town’s best chance before the opener fell to Ethan Jones when Ginnelly laid the ball back, but the striker’s side-foot attempt was parried away by Will Kitchen in the Shrimps’ goal.
However, Dawes’ side took the lead in the 15th minute when Ginnelly tried his luck from outside the box and saw his effort deflect low past a helpless Kitchen.
Town could easily have doubled their lead less than two minutes later although Anderson, at the far post, was just unable to reach Jones’ teasing low ball across goal.
Morecambe then equalised in the 23rd minute through Rigby as the young Shrews switched off.
Dawes’ side were desperately unfortunate not to retake the lead soon after, though, when Ginnelly’s thunderous strike from long range hit the crossbar before bouncing down and away from the goal line.
And the Shrimps then went on to punish Town by taking the lead through Kelleher in the 38th minute, and they remained in front at the break.
HALF-TIME: Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Morecambe
After the interval, the young Shrews went close to an equaliser when Ginnelly fired the ball low across goal and Niall Flint at the far post could not get enough power into his diving header, after stooping down low.
And Town were punished again as Kelleher broke away down the inside left before poking the ball under goalkeeper Shaun Rowley to put Morecambe 3-1 in front.
Dawes’ side never gave up despite the deficit and Anderson reduced it to 3-2 by tapping in Jones’ pull back from the right.
But there was to be no equaliser in the end, with Ginnelly blasting over Town’s only real chance to snatch a draw.
FULL-TIME: Shrewsbury Town 2-3 Morecambe
TOWN LINE-UP: Shaun Rowley (GK); Jack Butts, Jeff Watkins (c), Callum Grogan, Ben Burton, Niall Flint, Joel Carta (George Hughes, 60’), Josh Ginnelly, Tom King (Joe Kenton), Kaiman Anderson, Ethan Jones.
UNUSED SUBS: Alex Ashton, Callum Roberts, Jordan Wilson.
GOALS: Ginnelly (15’), Anderson (63’).
MORECAMBE LINE-UP: Will Kitchen, Dan Towers, Ben Thomas, Ross Hilton, Adam Reynolds (c), Jay Roberts, Cameron Rigby, Charlie Bailey, Jack Kelleher, Nathan Bondswell, Aaron Dotse Pomeyie.
UNUSED SUBS: Max Povey, Jack Preston, Jake Townsend, Lewis Tomlinson, Lewis Masters.
GOALS: Rigby (23’), Kelleher (38’, 52’).
NEXT FIXTURE: Shrewsbury Town v Wigan Athletic (Youth Alliance – North West league, Shrewsbury Sports Village, 11am kick-off).
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