Dominant display gives Town fourth straight league winTOWN: Cameron Gregory, Ryan Sears (Brett Taylor 86), Callum Roberts, George Hughes, Cameron Esien, Jake Kerins, Aaron Gilpin, Harry Lovett (Lifumpa Mwandwe 80), Tyrone Ofori (Charley Higgs 68), John McAtee (Chris Gallagher 63), Matt Jones
SUBS: Lewis Redding, Brett Taylor, Chris Gallagher, Jack Atkinson, Lifumpa Mwandwe, Charley Higgs
TRANMERE: Patrick Wharton, Josh Solomon-Davies (Nick Long 46), Jack Fleming, Callum Lucy, James Devine, Gabriel Kubwalo, Jamie Heron, Ethan Devine, Udoyen Akpan (Thompson Bailey 46), Tom Croughan (Joe Brett 46), Kevin Cringle
SUBS: Scott Medlen, Bayleigh Passant, Joe Brett, Thompson Bailey, Nick Long
Shrewsbury Town’s Under-18s ran out comfortable winners over Tranmere Rovers thanks to goals at the start of either half. John McAtee opened the scoring with a cool finish and Aaron Gilpin added a second after the break after some more good work from McAtee. The victory gave Town a fourth consecutive win in the League.
There were only four minutes on the clock when Town opened the scoring. Some good work down the Town left from Matt Jones played John McAtee into space and he turned nicely before coolly slotting home to the ‘keepers right.
Town almost double their advantage a couple of minutes later when McAtee played in Tyrone Ofori with a perfectly weighted pass but Ofori’s effort was well saved by Patrick Wharton in the Tranmere goal.
In an end to end opening 15 minutes Tranmere also had chances. Tom Croughan’s mazy run from the halfway line wasn’t matched with the finish as Cameron Gregory comfortably saved a weak shot. Ethan Devine then went close from 25 yards but his shot sailed over the bar.
Ofori and McAtee were linking up well upfront and the two nearly combined for Town’s second on 16 minutes when McAtee played in Ofori but his shot was wayward when under pressure from a Tranmere defender.
Further chances were few and far between as Town dominated the ball but were at times guilty of overplaying against a Tranmere side who struggled to get to grips with Town’s high tempo style.
The impressive Aaron Gilpin went close for Town just before the break as he cut inside from the right and unleashed a powerful left footed drive, but his shot went just over the bar.
Half Time: 1-0
Tranmere made three changes at the break but it made no difference to the pattern of the game as just like the first half Town got a goal almost immediately at the start of the half when John McAtee played through a perfectly weighted ball which Aaron Gilpin ran onto before slotting past Wharton with a left footed finish.
The game became scrappy as both sides struggled to keep the ball with necessary regularity and Town made a substitution just after the hour mark as John McAtee was replaced by Northern Ireland Under-19 midfielder Chris Gallagher.
With a lack of clear cut chances at both ends Town made their second change of the game as Charley Higgs replaced Tyrone Ofori. Town went close when Callum Roberts played a cross across the face of goal, but there was no one there to apply what would have been a simple finish.
Charley Higgs then went to scoring a third, but his shot was well saved by the head of the Tranmere ‘keeper at point blank range.
Town made a couple more substitutions late on in the half, but neither side could create a clear cut chance as the second half failed to live up the excitement of the first.
Full Time: 2-0