Town unlucky in defeatTown: Cameron Gregory, Ryan Sears, Callum Roberts, George Hughes, Joel Bonner, Jacob Rammell (Fumpa Mwandwe 70), Ryan Barnett, Chris Gallagher, Tyrone Ofori (George Hassell 52), John McAtee, Matt Jones (Aaron Gilpin 76)
Unused Subs: Cameron Esien, Jack Atkinson,
Walsall: Ganley, Tonks, Fisher (Friel 49), Maddocks, Kendrick, Cockerill-Mollet, Mason (Cairns 60), Cela, Peters, Shorrock, Candin (Perry 80)
Unsed Subs: O'Sullivan, Nolan
Shrewsbury Town's U18's went down 1-0 to local rivals Walsall in the EFL Youth Alliance thanks to a second half goal against the run of play.
Ian Dawes makes one change to the side which started the 2-2 draw 8 with Mansfield last weekend. Ryan Sears returns from the injury he suffered in the friendly at Manchester City last month and replaces Jake Kerins. George Hassell returns to the bench in place of Charley Higgs.
Town dominated possession in the early stages as they looked to build from the back, but they failed to create any clear cut chances.
We had to wait for 17 minutes before either side had a meaningful effort as John McAtee shot from distance, but it went well wide of the left hand post.
Town continued to dominate possession and came closest to taking the lead on 25 minutes when Jacob Rammell struck the bar from 25 yards which left the woodwork shaking.
Walsall were almost gifted a goal a couple of minutes later when Town ‘keeper Cameron Gregory lost control of the ball and Ryan Sears had to come back to clear and save Gregory’s blushes.
Tyrone Ofori then came within a whisker of opening the scoring when Chris Gallagher’s perfectly weighted corner found the head of the unmarked Ofori, but his header wen just wide of the post.
John McAtee was the next to try his luck when he left the Walsall defence for dead, but his shot was well saved by Ganley in the Walsall goal.
With Town dominating the game it was important that they didn’t lose concentration and they almost did just that with 5 minutes of the half remaining as George Hughes was dispossessed on the halfway line and Walsall broke quickly, but Mason’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.
The resulting corner saw Cameron Gregory make a good save after Kendrick lost his marker at the front post, but his header couldn’t beat the Town number one and the score remained at 0-0 going into half time.
Walsall started the second half brightly and left winger Candin went close with a shot from the edge of the box.
Town made their first substitution when George Hassell replaced Tyrone Ofori upfront on 52 minutes, as manager Ian Dawes looked to add more presence upfront.
The game became a scrappy affair in the second half as both sides struggled to break down the other. John McAtee was booked for dissent as some of the Town players began to lose their heads.
Walsall then took the lead when a long ball went over the Town defence and Peter lobbed the on rushing Cameron Gregory to open the scoring.
They almost doubled their lead a minute later when substitute Cairns met a corner with his head but it went just wide.
Town came close to finding an equaliser when some good build up play from Ryan Barnett and Matt Jones found Chris Gallagher in space on the edge of the box, but his shot went high and wide.
Town threw men forward in the final stages and hit the post when John McAtee’s cross was met by the head of substitute Fumpa Mwandwe, and the ball bounced to safety.
Despite dominating possession, Town were unable to find a winner and went down to their first defeat of the season.