Thrilling draw in final home game of the seasonTown: Jack Atkinson, Ryan Sears, Dan Walker, George Hughes, Christos Shelis, Brett Taylor, Aaron Gilpin (Reiss Corfield 51), Chris Gallagher (Harri Lovett 71), Tyrone Ofori (Charley Higgs 51), Ryan Barnett, Lifumpa Mwandwe (James Rowlands 77)
Substitutes: James Rowlands, Wes Garfield, Harri Lovett, Charley Higgs, Reiss Corfield
Burnley: Connor Kane, Leighton Egan, Ali Kioki, Tyler Shrimpton, Scott Wilson, Oliver Younger, Olatunde Bayode, Kian Yari, Harry Limb (Tommy Wood 60), Twashe Chakwawa, Dwight McNeil (Tristan Jumeau 65)
Substitutes: Marcel Wusiewicz, Daniel Moss, Tristan Jumeau, Jordan Cropper, Tommy Wood
Shrewsbury Town’s Under-18s produced a fantastic second-half comeback to draw four-all with Burnley. Burnley had dominated the first half and led at the break, but two goals from Lifumpa Mwandwe and a late Ryan Barnett strike saw Town gain a point in an enthralling game at the Shrewsbury Sports Village.
Burnley came into the game needing to win in order to stay in the title race and they showed their quality earlier on as they caused problems down the Town left. Within the opening minute Twashe Chakwawa saw a close range header go wide after a pinpoint cross from Olatunde Bayode. Bayode then robbed Dan Walker of the ball before slipping in Tyler Shrimpton, whose powerful shot went just wide of Jack Atkinson’s right hand post.
Despite Burnley’s fast start it was Town who took the lead on the eight minute mark. Town won a free-kick on the right hand side of the box when Ryan Sears was pushed and Chris Gallagher’s perfect cross was met by the head of Christos Shelis who powerfully headed home from six yards out to score on his debut.
Burnley got back in the game just before the 20 minute mark when left winger Dwight McNeil showed some great footwork to dribble past Ryan Sears before cutting the ball back for Twashe Chakwawa who coolly side footed into the bottom corner.
Town went into the game with a relatively inexperienced back-four and at times it showed against a pacey Burnley frontline. Bayode in particular looked impressive on the right wing and his mazy run and shot almost saw Burnley take the lead but Jack Atkinson pulled off a fine save to push it behind for a corner.
Sadly for Town, the resulting corner would see Burnley take the lead as Tyler Shrimpton’s brilliant delivery evaded everyone and went over the head of Jack Atkinson before nestling into the top-corner of the net.
Burnley were in the mood for scoring goals and they added a third of the morning three minutes before the break when Olatunde Bayode was fouled in the box by Dan Walker and Bayode stepped up to send Jack Atkinson the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Town started the second-half far brighter as they looked to get on the front foot and it paid dividends five minutes into the half when Ryan Barnett and Aaron Gilpin caused problems down the right and Barnett managed to get a yard before putting in a deep cross which was met Lifumpa Mwandwe whose header proved too powerful for Connor Kane in the Burnley goal.
The goal appeared to energize Town and they had a couple of good opportunities to equalise when first Ryan Barnett had a shot well saved by Connor Kane and then a couple of Town substitutes – Charley Higgs and Reiss Corfield – played a neat one-two, with Corfield forcing another save from Kane.
Despite the good start to the second period, Burnley managed to restore their two-goal advantage from a corner. Jack Atkinson had pulled off a fine save to force the corner, but Tyler Simpleton’s cross was met by Twashe Chakwawa whose first time volley rocketed into the top corner of the goal.
Burnley could easily have conceded a fifth when Tommy Wood found himself in behind the Shrewsbury defence, but Jack Atkinson pulled off a brilliant save. Town then launched a counter attack and Reiss Corfield did well down the right wing before crossing for Lifumpa Mwandwe who side footed home from six yards.
In the final quarter of an hour Town showed great effort and desire and it finally paid off in the 92nd minute. Burnley looked to break through the middle, but Town dealt with it and Atkinson’s long clearance found Ryan Barnett in behind the Burnley defence. Barnett ran 40 yards before slotting the ball past the on rushing Burnley ‘keeper to score the equaliser.