Great first half performance gives Town the winShrewsbury Town: Gregory, Sears, Jones, Hughes (Lovett 62’), Bonner, Roberts, Gilpin, Rammell, Hassall (Higgs, 72’), Gallagher, Barnet (Ofori, 72’)
Unused subs: Esien, Atkinson
Fleetwood Town: Crellin, Kerrigan, Abubakar (Feeney 70’), Unsworth, Holgate, Baines, Collins, Dodd, Garner, Bishop (Finlayson 70’), Mooney.
Unused subs: Menzies, McCarragher, Turner
Shrewsbury Town U18s came away with a hard fought 3-2 win away against Fleetwood Town U18s.
It was a dominant first half display from Town as they looked to knock the ball around and put pressure on Fleetwood from the off.
The first chance of the game however came from a Fleetwood corner, as Town had difficulty clearing the ball and were fortunate that Abubakar’s poked effort pinged over the bar.
The chance seemed to awaken Shrewsbury, who had the next chance when Jones, who’s crossing was a threat all game, put the ball in the box but Hassall’s goal bound header was deflected wide of the goal.
Gregory was tested for the first time in the ninth minute by Fleetwood striker Garner, but he was equal to it and made a good save down to his left.
The deadlock was broken six minutes later, as Sears released Gilpin down the right hand side, who curled a magnificent cross onto the forehead of Hassall, who glanced home for his first of the game.
Conditions worsened on the artificial pitch as the fog began to descend, with Shrewsbury winning the midfield battle but unable to create any notable chances.
Shrewsbury doubled the lead after 34 minutes when the ball broke to Rammell in midfield who sprayed the ball out to Barnet on the left wing, who drove at his full back before slotting underneath the goalkeeper to make the score 2-0.
The lead was three shortly after, as Hassall scored his second goal, and second header of the game. This time the delivery came from the left, where Barnet whipped the ball in for Hassall to nod in.
The away side controlled the game in the first half, and went in with a deserved 3-0 lead.
Fleetwood came out of the dressing room with a point to prove in the second half, and there was a marked improvement in their performance levels after the break.
The first attempt in the second half came from Gallagher, who swivelled on the edge of the box and went to curl a shot into the far right-hand corner, but couldn’t get enough bend on the shot as it flew wide.
Garner then went close to pulling one back for Fleetwood as he manged to bundle through the Shrewsbury defence, but his shot was lashed wide.
The Fleetwood danger man wasn’t to be denied for long however, as he slalomed through a number of challenges and slotted past Gregory to make the score 1-3 in the 58th minute.
In the 62nd minute Hughes was replaced by Lovett, and Gallagher was then shown a yellow card in the 65th for a tackle from behind.
Hassall then missed a golden chance for his hattrick as Fleetwood keeper Crellin spilled the ball on the edge of the box, but his lofted effort cleared the bar.
There was then two double substitutions in 2 minutes, notably goalscorers Hassall and Barnet being replaced by Ofori and Higgs.
Fleetwood then took the game to Shrewsbury, forcing Gregory into a fine double save from Garner and Mooney, before the latter finally broke the resistance in the 79th minute with a neat finish.
Ofori almost hit back for Town immediately after, forcing Crellin into a superb save low to his right.
Gilpin forced another save late on, but Fleetwood were unable to complete the comeback as Shrewsbury held on for a brilliant 3-2 win.