Town through the 4th Round of the FA Youth CupTown: Jack Atkinson, Ryan Sears, Callum Roberts, George Hughes, Joel Bonner, Chris Gallagher, Ryan Barnett, John McAtee (Jacob Rammell 86), Charley Higgs (George Hassall 61), Tyrone Ofori (Lifumpa Mwandwe 92), Matt Jones
Subs: Luke Burton, Aaron Gilpin
Accrington Stanley: Jack Little, Reagan Ogle, Jack Burgess (Harry Waterhouse 62) Luke Moran (Joshua Hmawi 77), Ross Sykes, Zhen Mohammed, Tom Riley, Harry Blackburn, Joe Rathbone, Joel Mills (Niall Watson 71), Adam Cooper
Subs: Nathan Wolland
Shrewsbury Town pulled off a fantastic comeback victory to beat Accrington Stanley 2-1 and make it into the last 32 of the FA Youth Cup. Stanley took the lead in the first half, but Ryan Sears equalised just before the break and Matt Jones’ fine strike just after half time clinched victory.
Matt Rains reverts back to the 3-5-2 formation which has been used for the majority of the season, with Ryan Sears, Joel Bonner and Callum Roberts providing a solid back three. Jacob Rammell is only fit enough to make the bench after injury, whilst Charley Higgs and Tyrone Ofori partner each other upfront. Under-16 Lifumpa Mwandwe returns to the bench after being rested on the weekend.
It was a quiet opening 20 minutes as both sides struggled to make an impression in the opposition third. Town looked the better of the two teams in possession and created the best chance when Ryan Barnett was released down the right hand side, his cross found Tyrone Ofori on the edge of the six yard box, but his shot was weak and easily saved.
It was Accrington who would take the lead on 25 minutes when Zhen Mohammed rose highest from a free-kick to head powerfully past Jack Atkinson in the Town goal.
Mohammed almost repeated the trick two minutes later when he again lost his man from a set-piece, but this time Atkinson made a good save down to his right hand side to keep out a stinging volley.
Town began to put some pressure on late in the half. Some good work from Tyrone Ofori played in Charley Higgs, but his shot was blocked for a corner. Stanley ‘keeper Jack Little then tipped over a powerful free-kick from Chris Gallagher.
The resulting corner saw Town grab an equaliser on 43 minutes. Chris Gallagher’s set-piece caused chaos in the Stanley box and Callum Roberts floated across a perfectly weighted chip from the back post, which found Ryan Sears unmarked from 8 yards to nod past Little.
Half Time: 1-1
Town came out of the blocks quickly in the second half with George Hughes and Matt Jones both having shots from distance blocked.
However, Jones would find the bottom corner two minutes later when his 20 yard drive took a small deflection and nestled in the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Little.
Accrington’s best chance of an equaliser appeared to be from set-plays and they had two corners in quick succession, but both were dealt with well by the Town defence.
The influential Chris Gallagher then nearly scored a special goal as he ran away from three Accrington defenders, but his shot went well over the bar from 25 yards.
George Hughes’ wonderful cross field ball almost presented Ryan Barnett with the perfect opportunity to double Town’s lead, but his shot was blocked by Accrington defender Sykes when it looked destined for the top corner.
Both sides then made their first substitutions of the evening as Charley Higgs was replaced by George Hassall for Town and Harry Waterhouse came on for Jack Burgess for Stanley.
Town continued to dominate the second half as their high pressing game and quick passing put Accrington under pressure. Tyrone Ofori, Chris Gallagher and John McAtee all had efforts which went close, but they couldn’t find the desired finish.
Accrington had Jack Little to thank for keeping them in the game when he made a flying save to keep out a McAtee volley and Ofori’s follow up was well blocked.
Town began to sit back in the final 5 minutes with Jacob Rammell replacing John McAtee in a defensive substation and they had Jack Atkinson to thank two minutes from time when he kept out Ross Sykes low to his right as Town hung on for their place in the fourth round.
Full Time: 2-1