Barnett strike downs StanleyShrewsbury Town: Gregory, Sears, Davies (Esien 79’), Hughes ©, Bonner, Kerins (Taylor 86’), Corfield, Gallagher, Ofori (Higgs 61’), Barnett (Hassell 61’), Jones.
Substitutes: Atkinson, Taylor, Higgs, Hassell, Esien.
Accrington Stanley: Little, Peritt (Gilboy 32’), Mills (Waterhouse 76’), Moran ©, Mohamad, Burgess, Reilly, Hmami, Blackburn, Rathbone, Watson (O’Neil 65’).
Substitutes: Holland, Waterhouse, O’Neil, Gilboy.
Shrewsbury Town Under-18s stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a fine 1-0 win away at Accrington Stanley.
Town took the lead after just 16 minutes as Ryan Barnett volleyed home Reiss Corfield’s cross – and despite applying pressure late on Stanley never really looked like pulling one back – allowing Salop to cruise to victory.
After an uneventful opening 15 minutes Town’s opener came after Corfield’s lightning break following a Stanley corner. After a fine run which took him deep into the Accrington’s half, Corfield’s initial cross was blocked but the ball rebounded to him and he was able to pick Barnett out at the back post who applied the finish.
As the first half went on Town dominated possession and looked comfortable throughout – as ‘keeper Cameron Gregory was left twiddling his thumbs for much of the opening 45 minutes.
Town should have doubled their lead in the 37th minute and if it were not for a fantastic double save from Jack Little in the Accrington goal they would have.
Little first denied Barnett’s flick-on header, before diving at full stretch to tip George Hughes’ effort wide, after his defenders were unable to clear the ball to safety.
Though Little had Luke Moran to thank in the 40th minute, as the Stanley skipper was there on the post to clear Ryan Sears’ goal-bound header, after Sears had risen highest to meet Chris Gallagher’s corner.
Half Time: 0-1
After offering little in the first half, Accrington had the first real chance of the second half as Harry Blackburn’s header from Lewis Gilboy’s right wing cross drifted wide.
Though, in truth Town continued to dominate possession and enjoyed play down the flanks in particular. Stanley’s Moran almost turned into his own net on the hour mark as he attempted to clear Matt Jones’ cross and two minutes later Rhys Davies broke into the box and had a shot well saved.
Shortly after that chance Barnett and Tyrone Ofori, who both performed well, came off to be replaced by Charlie Higgs and George Hassell.
In the 68th minute Town were unlucky not to double their lead as the impressive Corfield latched onto a flick-on from Sears and forced his way into the box by blowing his marker away with his pace before unleashing a thunderous strike which cannoned back off post with Little well beaten.
Five minutes later Stanley had their best chance of the match as Alex O’Neil struck the bar from the edge of the penalty box after meeting Joe Rathbone’s cross.
This chance gave the home side a second wind, which saw them pressure Town in the final stages. Though despite ‘keeper Little venturing into the Shrewsbury box for a 94th minute corner – they were unable to score and Town held on to win 1-0.
A thoroughly deserved victory for Town’s youngsters who are now six matches unbeaten - especially after a superb first half in which they totally dominated and were unlucky not to net one or two more.