Under-18s Ruthless In Pre-Season FriendlySUBS: Joel Bonner, Jacob Rammell, Joel Carta, Ryan Barnett, Charley Higgs, George Hassell, Nathan Mills, Tom King,
: Harry Lewis (GK), Jack Butts, Callum Roberts, Ryan Sears, Callum Grogan, George Hughes, Chris Gallagher, Matt Jones, Ethan Jones, John McAtee, Joe Kenton. SHREWSBURY TOWN LINE-UP
Burton’s dangerous front-man Dinanga, who had been switched to left-back through injury, came close in the dying seconds when his driven effort went wide of the goal, and with that the referee drew to a close a good day at the office for Town's youth team.
With nine minutes remaining, a lapse in concentration amongst the Town back four allowed Burton’s Shaw to race through and confidently slot the ball past Harry Lewis in the Town goal to give Burton the consolation they deserved.
Town substitute George Hassell almost crowned off the home side’s performance with what would have been the goal of the game when he burst through onto Jack Butts’ clever pass, only to see his outrageous chip drop agonisingly on the wrong side of the post.
With that goal, the impressive Kenton and E. Jones made way, with the latter looking delighted to get 60 minutes under his belt following his recent knee troubles.
But as Burton started to get a grip on the game, they were dealt a final killer blow as Kenton made room for himself on the edge of the box before his deflected shot looped over the hapless goalkeeper and nestled in the back of the net.
Following a half-time talk involving Shrewsbury's first team Manager Micky Mellon, Town made several substitutions as they looked to keep up their high intensity.
Seconds before the referee signalled for the interval, E. Jones played a superb reverse pass into Kenton, but his first-time effort was well saved.
As the first-half came to a close, Town made it three when the returning Ethan Jones showed speed and strength to get into the penalty box before crossing for McAtee who showed great composure to calmly steer his volley home.
And that defensive reshuffle may have explained the lapse in concentration by the Town back four as Burton’s Marcus Dinanga was given plenty of room in the six-yard box, only to see his free header go over the crossbar.
Goalscorer Ryan Sears saw his afternoon cut short as an injury saw him replaced by Joel Bonner.
Burton looked to respond quickly and following a short corner, Gallagher was hand to head away a brilliantly executed 25-yard volley from under the crossbar.
The goal arrived just as Town were starting to look the more dominant side and within two minutes they doubled their lead when Matt Jones’ cross caused confusion in the box and with the keeper distracted by Ethan Jones’ run, Kenton was on hand to pass the ball into an empty net.
But Town’s bright start was rewarded after 14 minutes when a wicked corner from Northern Ireland Youth international Chris Gallagher was met at the far post by Sears, who volleyed home from four yards out.
Striker McAtee was the first player to see a sight of goal but despite finding himself some room 25-yards out, his effort went some way from testing Burton’s keeper.
Having been on the back end of a 4-1 defeat last week up at Finch Farm, the home of Everton’s Under-18s, Town started brightly but found their opposition well-organised and equally determined to get a result on a sunny yet blustery Shropshire morning.
Ian Dawes’ side had suffered two consecutive defeats beforehand, albeit against Premier League opposition, so this performance will come as a welcome reminder of what this young side are capable of.
First-half goals from Ryan Sears, Joe Kenton and John McAtee put Town in a commanding position before Kenton added a second and, despite a late consolation from Burton’s Cameron Shaw, Town saw the job through to pick up a morale-boosting victory.
Shrewsbury Town’s youth team showed their ruthlessness in front of goal as they picked up their first pre-season win with a convincing victory over Burton Albion.