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Ian Dawes On Cup Win

25 March 2015

Under-18s Coach Discusses MFY Cup Win

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"The players enjoyed going to AFC Telford in the Shropshire Senior Cup and playing on that occasion, and I'm sure they will enjoy this one as well," he said.

"It's another opportunity for them to showcase their ability and talent.

"We know how good Walsall are but, on our day, we're just as good."

And Dawes sees no reason why his side cannot go on to win the competition.

Town will now face Walsall in the final at the Banks's Stadium on Monday 20 April.

"Ryan played 90 minutes for the reserves, pulled me after the game and said he still wants to be involved (in the evening) which shows what his character is like," said Dawes.

"Credit to him because he got the goal that took it to extra time and I thought he was excellent when he came on.

"The attitude and application of all of the players this season, regardless of performances in certain games, has been excellent and they never go out onto the pitch with the wrong attitude."

And Dawes praised the defender's character for wanting to be involved.

Hickman, who had played the full 90 minutes in the development squad's friendly at Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier in the day, smashed home the loose ball from a corner to equalise for 2-2 in the 86th minute.

"I thought we fully deserved it," said Dawes.

"Player for player, we were excellent bearing in mind that the opposition are top of their North East league.

"They were a very strong side and it was a tough challenge for us, but overall I thought we deserved it.

"We believed that we were going to win in the end and, even though we had to do it the hard way, we did.

"We also had three under-16s playing across the back three and they were excellent.

"It was a young side that we had out because of the reserves friendly in the morning and on the whole we were very good."

And Dawes, head of academy coaching, was pleased with the performances of the under-16s defenders in the win over the Spireites, who sit top of the North East league.

Town's Under-18s needed a late equaliser from substitute Ryan Hickman to send the game into extra time before eventually winning 4-3 in the penalty shootout - after a 2-2 draw at the end of 120 minutes.

Ian Dawes felt Shrewsbury Town deserved their Midland Floodlit Youth Cup semi-final success on penalties against Chesterfield on Tuesday night.

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