Youth team start with a drawRochdale 2 Town 2
Town: Gregory, Sears, Jones, Hughes, Bonner, Rammell, Gilpin, Gallagher, Hassell (Higgs 65), McAtee, Barnett
Unused Subs: Esien, Atkinson, Mwandwe, Ofori
Shrewsbury Town's youth team started their EFL Youth Alliance campaign with a two-all draw away at Rochdale.
Town could have taken the lead early on through John McAtee, but it was Rochdale who scored first, midway through the opening period.
Town hit back quickly when Ryan Barnett ran down the left, before crossing the ball for Chris Gallagher who scored at the second attempt.
Town then took the lead in the second half when Gallagher's corner was headed home by Joel Bonner.
A despite having a number of chances, Town were unable to kill the game off, allowing Rochdale scored an equaliser late on thanks to some sloppy defending.
After the game, Town's Head of Youth, Ian Dawes, reflected on a disappointing performance.
"On reflection, through chances created, we'd probably be disappointed that we never won the game," Ian told Town Talk.
"But, in general play I didn't think we were up to the standard that we normally are. We were poor out of possession. We didn't win enough tackles, enough competitive 50-50's.
"Some of the defending was sloppy and on a whole individual errors led to the goals and we're a little bit disappointed in that respect, but at times going forward, chances created, it was really good.
"A draw in the end is probably not the worst result."
Town’s two goals came from a midfielder and a defender and Dawes reiterated his desire to score goals from all over the pitch.
“I think it’s important whatever level you play at that goals come from a variety of areas,” said Ian.
“You can’t just rely on your strikers or your attacking players to score goals and it’s something we spoke to the defenders about.
“They should be adding 4 or 5 goals a season from corners and to be fair to Joel he’s got off the mark.”
Dawes was disappointed with sides defending and felt his side didn’t win the ball back well enough.
“I just thought all over the pitch, not just the defenders, we didn’t compete enough and we didn’t press with enough aggression,” Dawes continued.
“When we eventually did get there, every 50-50 they came out with the ball and after reviewing the game, it’s something we have to address with the players.”
The game was Town’s first competitive fixture of the season and Dawes felt his players were slightly off the pace.
“I’m hoping we weren’t at the pace because if that is the level of our lads then there’s a vast improvement needed,” Dawes said.
“I’m hoping we’re just a little bit rusty because we haven’t got into league football. We’ve been abroad and played foreign teams, which is a different style of playing, so I’m hoping that was a game which gets them used to playing at this level again.”