10 man Town beaten at the LaticsTEAMS: Shrewsbury Town – Gregory (Atkinson 46), Sears (c) (Red card, 27), Jones, Rammell, Bonner, Kerins, Gilpin, Gallagher, Higgs (Hughes 71), McAtee, Ofori (Esien 33).
Unused subs: Hassall, Leask
It was a day to forget for the youth team as they went down 4-0 against Wigan Athletic at Christopher Park.
There was a slow start to the game, with both sides trying to get their foot on the ball and play, but the first chance of the game yielded the first goal for the home side.
Clever thinking saw a Wigan quick throw in thrown down the line to a player a few yards behind the defensive line, who raced down the right hand channel before cutting back to one of his teammates, leaving Gregory with little chance at his near post.
Wigan then looked to take control of the game, with their slick passing meaning that Town had to be disciplined in their shape and look to hit them on the counter.
Shrewsbury’s best period of the game came soon after as two corners in succession saw Sears head over from the latter in the 23rd minute.
It was a different story from Town’s next corner however, as prior to the kick being taken Sears was shown a red card for an off the ball incident as players wrestled for position in the box.
This left Town with a mammoth task, as they were now a goal and a man down to a Wigan side that were looking threatening, with 63 minutes of the game still to play.
As a result of the sending off winger Ofori had to be substituted in order to reshuffle the defence, with Callum McKenzie sending on Esien in his place. This meant Esien slotted in a centre back, shifting Kerins to the right back position that had been vacated by Sears.
Shortly after Wigan doubled their lead, with some intricate play on the edge of the box freeing up a striker 12 yards out, who slotted past Gregory.
Wigan were looking to turn the screw, and nearly scored a third as a cross from the right hand side looped over Gregory and bounced off the top of the bar.
Wigan were looking rampant, and might have scored again if it wasn’t for a professional foul from Rammell to stop a break away, which earnt the midfielder a yellow card.
It wasn’t long before the lead was three however, as another looping cross left Gregory scrambling across his line, but he was only able to palm the ball into his own net as he attempted to tip it over the bar.
3-0 was the score at half time, with Town being put under severe pressure after the sending off. Atkinson replaced Gregory in goal at half time, as Town looked to make amends in the second half.
The second half started as the first ended however, Wigan scoring their fourth in the 51st minute. After being released down the left hand side, a dink to the back post picked out his team mate who tapped home from a yard out.
It was a backs to the wall job for Town, as Wigan dominated possession in the final third, and could have had more had it not been for a fine couple of saves from Atkinson in the 63rd and 66th minutes.
Hughes replaced Higgs in the 71st minute, as Town looked to soak up pressure and catch Wigan on the break.
They almost did in the 73rd minute, McAtee turning on the edge of the box and forcing Wigan’s goalkeeper into a fine save.
A speculative effort from McAtee saw the goalkeeper scrambling but the shot just cleared the bar with five minutes to go, as Town searched for a consolation.
It was not to come though, with the score ending 4-0 to the hosts in a day to forget for Shrewsbury Town U18s.