Under-18s pick up first win of the season against local rivals Vale
Four first half goals and an impressive performance secured Shrewsbury’s first win of the season against a very resilient Port Vale side, who just fell short of goals in what was an action-packed game of football.
Shrewsbury started the game the more dominant team, creating numerous chances within the minutes of the whistle. Jamaine Turner quickly made an impact on the game for Shrewsbury, using his pace to get the ball to his teammates. A free kick in the opening ten minutes of the game eventually proved pivotal for the home team as Kian Taylor whipped the ball into the box which initially resulted in a save from the Port Vale goalkeeper Mawgan Blight. Fortunately for Shrewsbury, Lewis Redding was in the right place at the right time and comfortably slotted the ball home. But they were straight back on the front foot again and looking for their second when Ryan Grosvenor forced a save from Blight yet again.
It only took three minutes for The Blues to double their lead; this time through Lifumpa Mwandwe who fired the ball into the back of the opposition net. This was more than he deserved after starting the game with full confidence. This was his second goal of the season so far, after scoring in their first game of the season away to Carlisle. With Port Vale spending the majority of the first half on the defensive, it didn’t take long for roles to be quickly reversed when Joe Berks created the first chance of the game for the visitors through a free-kick which ended up hitting the side netting. However, his shot didn’t seem to concern Jack Atkinson, who had very little to do in the half.
The theme of the day for Shrewsbury was impacting the game in a positive way in quick succession and this continued when Luke Ward opened his goal scoring campaign and headed in two goals within three minutes of each other. Mwandwe nearly got his second of the game when he forced a save out of Blight with a cracking shot at goal, but the Vale goalkeeper stood strong and prevented Shrewsbury getting their fifth goal of the game. Referee George Enever was forced to intervene in the dying seconds of the half when Taylor and Berks had a tussle with each other which saw the Shrewsbury player shove his opposite number away. Enever had a word with both players and let play continue with a free kick to The Blues.
With Shrewsbury starting the half comfortably ahead, it was the visitors who started off as the dominant team but saw their hopes of getting an early goal dashed when they were flagged offside. Atkinson was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening moments of the second half when he comfortably saved Lucas Green-Birch’s shot, and did the same again in the minutes that followed. The best chance of the half fell to the visitors, who were still in search of their first goal of the game when Green-Birch found Berks in front of Shrewsbury’s goal, but saw his shot fall wide of the post and later saw another opportunity wasted when his shot sailed over the crossbar.
Port Vale finally found the breakthrough goal they were looking for when Jack Wakefield scored an unstoppable goal, much to the surprise of both sets of players and Atkinson who was unable to do anything about the shot. Vale were unable to capitalise on their momentum, as they allowed Shrewsbury to try and find their fifth goal. Many chances followed for the home team, but they were unable to convert any, with the defensive line of Vale putting on a brilliant display to deny their local rivals. In the remaining seconds of the game, Shrewsbury conceded a penalty when Alex Hallchurch was brought down in the box, much to the anger of the players in blue. Berks converted from the spot which saw them narrow Shrewsbury’s lead to just two goals.
This result saw Shrewsbury earn their first win of the season, and a brilliant performance gives them the upmost confidence going into their next game against Tranmere Rovers next week.
Shrewsbury – Atkinson, Hartley, R.Davies, Rowland, Ward, T.Davies, Turner, Taylor, Grosvenor, Redding, Mwandwe.
Subs: Garfield, Walker, Corfield, Leask, Elmore