Town defeated in EFL Youth AllianceTown: Jack Atkinson, Jake Kerins, Callum Roberts, George Hughes, Joel Bonner, Jacob Rammell (Aaron Gilpin 60), Ryan Barnett, Chris Gallagher (Tyrone Ofori 74), Charley Higgs, John McAtee, Matthew Jones
Bench: Cameron Esien, Jack Leask, Fumpa Mwandawe
Blackpool: Jack Simms, Beb Badu, Caleb Richards, Christian N’Guessan, Denzel Williams, Lewis Wainwright, Will Dunne (Liam Robinson HT), Dylan Sumner (Jack Newton HT), Ralph Chea (Tyler Rufus 85), Rowan Roache, Finn Sinclair-Smith,
Bench: Craig Thordason, Alwyn Flynn
A poor second half performance from Town allows Blackpool to record a comfortable victory at Shrewsbury Sports Village.
After the departure of Ian Dawes in the week, Matt Rains takes charge of Town’s U18s for the first time. Rains sticks with the 3-5-2 formation which has been used for most of the season with Tyrone Ofori on the bench as John McAtee and Charley Higgs start upfront. Jake Kerins is in the side for the injured Ryan Sears and Under-16 player Jack Leask comes onto the bench.
Town started brightly with Charley Higgs having a chance within the opening minute, but his shot was saved by Simms and McAtee was beaten to the follow up by a Blackpool defender.
Shrewsbury looked really lively in the opening 10 minutes as they played at a high tempo and came close to taking the lead when Chris Gallagher hit the bar from 30 yards. Matt Jones did well down the left hand side and forced the Blackpool ‘keeper into a poor clearance which fell to Gallagher, but he couldn’t find the top corner with Simms scrambling back towards his goal.
It was Gallagher again who almost beat Simms when his shot from the edge of the box was well saved low to the ‘keepers left.
Blackpool then had their best period of the first half. They almost capitalised on some loose play from Jacob Rammell as Ralph Chea played in Will Dunne, but he couldn’t make connection with the ball when 12 yards out.
The Tangerines then had a free-kick on 25 minutes when George Hughes allegedly brought down Roache on the edge of the box and the Blackpool number 10 took the set-piece himself, blazing it over the bar.
After a slow start, Blackpool were starting to get on top and twice came close within a minute when first Dylan Sumner had a header go just wide of the post and then Rowan Roache’s shot was expertly saved by Jack Atkinson in the Town goal and Jake Kerins cleared from the rebound.
The game began to become scrappy in the final 15 minutes of the half as neither side could get enough of the ball to make an impression. John McAtee had a pot shot right on the stroke of half-time, but it was straight at Simms and that was the last action of the half.
Half Time: 0-0
Blackpool made two changes as the break with Dylan Sumner and Will Dunne being replaced by Jack Newton and Liam Robinson.
After a quiet opening 10 minutes to the second half the game finally came to life. First Rowan Roache dragged his shot just wide of the Town post from 15 yards.
The ground was then stunned when Town then broke quickly with John McAtee racing away down the left and putting in a perfect cross for Charley Higgs whose header looked destined for the top corner, only to be saved by Simms, who seemed to be diving the wrong way before flinging out a left arm.
Blackpool then broke quickly themselves and Jack Atkinson pulled off a good save of his own to keep out Newton who only had the Town number 1 to beat.
Matt Rains then made his first change as Town boss on 60 minutes as Aaron Gilpin replaced Jacob Rammell.
It was Blackpool who would open the scoring when Denzel Williams rose highest from a corner to head past Atkinson on 67 minutes.
They would then double that lead two minutes later when Jake Kerins misplaced a back pass, which went straight to Ralph Chea and the Blackpool striker coolly walked the ball past Atkinson and placed it into an empty net.
Town began to fall apart and another lapse in concentration, this time from Chris Gallagher put Blackpool in for yet another chance. N’Guessan ran through the Town backline before feeding Roache, who was denied yet again by Atkinson.
Rains then added an extra striker as they searched to get back into the game, with Tyrone Ofori replacing Gallagher.
The change seemed to give Town come added impetus and Ryan Barnett went close to getting one back when he hit the bar from 30 yards with a rasping effort.
But, it would be Blackpool who would get the crucial next goal as Rowan Roache finally managed to get it past Atkinson with a shot on the turn.
Town did manage to get one back with 10 minutes to play when Tyrone Ofori beat the offside trap and slotted it past Jack Simms.
However, it would only be a consolation goal as Blackpool saw out the final stages to record a comfortable win.
Full Time: 1-3