Under-18s Battle Back From Two Goals Behind
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Shrewsbury Town v Rochdale (Football League Youth Alliance - North West league, Tuesday 17 March, Lilleshall National Sports Centre, 2pm kick-off). NEXT FIXTURE:
BOOKED: Askew (36), Ben Jalo, (65).
GOALS: Kubwaro (3), Ilesanmi (15).
SUBS NOT USED: Luke Pilling, Jack Fleming, Eddie Clarke.
: Patrick Rutter (GK); Jake Hulley, Jay Hunter, Gabriel Kubwaro, Evan Gumbs (c), Liam Smith, Tolani Omotola, Ben Jago, Sam Ilesanmi, Joe Lamb (Tom Croughan, 67), Darren Askew (Lewis Moynes, 37). TRANMERE ROVERS LINE-UP
GOALS: Jones (26), Carta (57).
SUBS NOT USED: Harry Lewis (GK), George Hughes.
: Shaun Rowley (GK); Trialist, Ben Burton, Joel Carta (Alex Fletcher, 70), Callum Grogan, Niall Flint, Ryan Hickman (c), Ethan Jones, Kaiman Anderson, Josh Ginnelly (Jordan Wilson, 80), Tom King (Callum Roberts (86). SHREWSBURY TOWN LINE-UP
FULL-TIME: Shrewsbury Town 2-2 Tranmere Rovers
As the game entered injury time, Town seeked out one last chance when Jones drove forward before laying the ball into the path of substitute Callum Roberts, who saw his near post drive brilliantly saved by Rutter to earn his side a point.
Tranmere weren’t done themselves however and as the clocked ticked onto the 90 minutes, Liam Smith rose highest from a corner to head inches past Rowley’s post.
Wilson must have thought he had won it with only two minutes remaining when he met a superb Rickman cross with a bullet header which Rutter somehow managed to keep out before Anderson’s headed follow up was deflected out for a corner.
Town looked the more likely side to find a winner and substitute Wilson thought he had done when he dispossessed Rover captain Evan Gumbs before seeing his shot saved by the feet of Rutter.
Town’s final change came with five minutes remaining as they looked to grab a winner, with Tom King replaced by Callum Roberts.
Tranmere almost got themselves in front when a neat flowing move ended when the two of their substitutes, Lewis Moynes and Tom Croughan, combined well before the latter saw his shot saved by Rowley’s legs.
Ginnelly’s penalty claim came at a cost, with the winger having to be stretchered off and replaced by Jordan Wilson.
Whilst the tricky winger was down, Tranmere countered and were it not for some last ditch tackling, Town may have been punished, with Rowley making a comfortable save in the end.
At the other end, Town appeals for a penalty were waved away when Ginnelly poked the ball past Rovers’ last defender whose momentum seemed to take Ginnelly’s feet from under him.
Keeper Rowley then pulled off a magnificent save to deny Tolani Omotola when the forward turned his man before curling his effort into the far corner, only for Rowley to tip it onto the post.
Manager Dawes made his first change of the game with goal-scorer Carta being replaced by Alex Fletcher.
Town had the ascendency now and almost snatched the lead when Anderson linked well with Niall Flint, before the latter crashed a shot into the side netting.
Steady pressure from Town ended with Jones forcing his way to the by-line before drilling in a cross that deflected its way into the path of Joel Carta who side footed home from six-yards.
The importance of the challenge was evident moments later when Town grabbed themselves an equaliser on 57 minutes.
Blues defender Grogan proved his worth at the other end of the pitch when his last ditch tackle denied Ilesamni his second of the game, with the centre-back then receiving treatment from the physio’s for his efforts.
Town started the second half brightly and should have been level after Ginnelly’s teasing corner agonisingly eluded the head of Callum Grogan and was palmed away by Rutter.
HALF-TIME: Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Tranmere Rovers
Town had to be strong towards the end of the half with Ilesanmi causing more trouble in the penalty box, but they held firm to go in at the break just the one goal behind.
Tranmere made their first change of the game following a late tackle from Darren Askew, who’s late lunge took out Hickman, and despite the referee brandishing a yellow card, his manager deemed it fit to substitute him for Lewis Moynes.
Ginnelly went close moments later when he met Ryan Hickman’s deep cross, only to see his header go harmlessly over Rutter’s goal.
The goal seemed to give the home side a bit more belief and they went close to levelling matters when Josh Ginnelly’s cross was glanced wide by Kaiman Anderson.
But after getting their unchallenged, Rutter mishandled the ball allowing Ethan Jones to power the ball home, despite the presence of two Rovers players on the line.
Tom King beat his full-back before whipping a teasing out-swinging cross that tempted Tranmere keeper Patrick Rutter from his goaline.
The young blues needed a response and the next ten minutes was all about staying in the game before eventually, they got themselves right back into it.
Once again Ilesanmi caused a nuisance for both midfield and defence and after holding off the advances of three Town players, he drilled home a terrific effort from 25-yards into Rowley’s bottom right hand corner.
Ian Dawes’ side were struggling to get a grip of the opening exchanges and no-one could argue that it wasn’t deserved when Tranmere doubled their lead on the quarter hour mark.
Ben Jalo’s expertly whipped free-kick avoided everyone bar the far post, and although Rowley got across to palm it away, Gabriel Kubwalo was on hand to fire home the rebound.
Town failed to head the heed the warning and allowed their visitors to dictate the flow of the game, and it wasn’t long before their positive start was rewarded.
Tranmere started the game the more positive of the two sides and were unlucky not to be in front after only 30-seconds when powerful forward Sam Ilesanmi rode a tackle before placing his shot too close to Shaun Rowley, who stayed tall and made the save.
Joel Carta then struck to level matters ten minutes into the second half.
Town found themselves two goals down inside the opening 15-minutes at Shrewsbury Sports Village before Ethan Jones halved the deficit approaching half-time.
Shrewsbury Town battled back from two goals down to earn a point against Tranmere Rovers in the Football League Youth Alliance - North West league on Saturday.