Youth continue good start to 2018
Town: 1 Cam Gregory, 2 Josh Agbozo, 3 Dan Walker (Rhys Davies, 74), 4 James Rowlands, 5 Christos Shelis, 6 Rory Huntbach, 7 Ryan Barnett (C), 8 Kian Taylor (Reiss Corfield, 64), 9 Charley Higgs (Tyrone Ofori, 64), 10 Jack Leask, 11 Lifumpa Mwandwe (Aaron Gilpin, 64).
Subs: Jack Atkinson, Rhys Davies, Reiss Corfield, Aaron Gilpin, Tyrone ofori.
Vale: Dequan Crockwell, Max Beeston, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, Matt Ward, Josh Ryder, Zak Hill, Jack Grimshaw, Joe Berks, Kyle Johnson, Harry Benns, Jack Wakefield.
Subs: James Speele, Joshua Ede, Finley Jackson, Jake Thomas, Tom Daulby.
Town U18’s showed maturity in their display against Port Vale on Saturday. The Shrews took an early lead through Charley Higgs after creating numerous chances. Cam Gregory doubled the lead before half-time after Vale failed to clear. Town dominated throughout the game and never looked in danger of conceding. Tyrone Ofori came off the bench to seal the win in the 74th. The 3-0 win is Town’s second in a row keeping their 100% record in 2018.
Town started the game on the front foot looking to keep possession and move forward as a unit. Right back Josh Agbozo was first to create a chance, slipping a low ball through Vale’s back line towards Higgs. With the goal to his left, Higgs looked to slip it in at the far post but dragged the shot just wide.
In the Tenth, Higgs found himself in a similar position inside Vale’s box after some confident build up play. Higgs dinked the ball over an outrushing Crockwell to give town an early lead.
The lead was almost doubled moments later as Higgs drifted wide on the right to link up with Barnett. The two showed their quality to pass their way into space down the wing. Barnett thumped a dangerous low ball across the face of goal but no one was there and Vale cleared.
Town impressed inside the first 20 minutes creating a number of chances and looking comfortable in possession. Barnett broke forward down the right wing before pulling an almost identical ball across goal. This time Mwandwe was further forward but couldn’t connect with the ball on the slide and Vale cleared.
James Rowlands had a good game in the middle along with Taylor and Leask. Winning the ball in the middle of the park, Rowlands looked to slip Higgs through on goal with a beautiful ball forward. The low ball moved straight before curling left at the last minute, almost catching out the Vale back line and finding Higgs, but for a scrappy clearance.
Huntbach did well to set Agbozo on the run down the right flank with a lofted pass. Agbozo crossed it with his first touch playing a clever ball towards Higgs but an alert Vale cleared for a corner.
After playing some lovely football Town’s second came under unusual circumstances in the 38th minute. Cam Gregory showed his kicking range to hoof a ball into Vale’s half. Centre back Zak Hill failed to clear the ball, letting it bounce in front of him. An alert Higgs put immediate pressure on Hill as he looked to recover, but the ball ended up bouncing over the outrunning keeper and into the back of the net. Gregory later claimed the goal, although it was not clear if Hill got a touch.
Half Time: Town 2 Vale 0
Town looked to kill the game off in the early stages of the second. Kian Taylor did well to find Barnett inside the box but the Captain’s shot was wide. Minutes later, Barnett rolled his man on the right before finding Mwandwe in the box with a clever pass. Lifumpa checked left and right in search of the space to shoot but Vale were quick to close him down and clear.
Dan Walker had a good game at left back looking solid defensively and looking for the overlap on occasions. Breaking forward with a good turn of pace he looked to find Higgs with the cross. The ball forced an awkward clearance from Vale in which Town had a shout for hand ball but the ref gave a corner.
Substitutions: Charley Higgs, Lifumpa Mwandwe and Kian Taylor all made way for Reiss Corfield, Tyrone Ofori and Aaron Gilpin in the 64th. Barnett slotted into the midfield to accommodate the attacking change.
Gilpin was in the action straight away after coming on. Breaking down the left-hand side he cut back and look to play the ball across goal. He couldn’t find anyone though and Vale cleared.
The goal came for Town in the 74th minute. Substitute Tyrone Ofori picked up the ball in a wide position before shimmying his man and slotting past Crockwell, giving the keeper no chance.
Substitute: Dan Walker made way for Rhys Davies in the 75th minute.
Town pressed on after the goal winning the ball up field thanks to Rowlands. He found Gilpin with space on the edge but his quickly taken shot was well held by Crockwell.
Town maintained possession in the final stages and Vale failed to pose a real threat. Barnett did well to find Gilpin on the edge of the box. Gilpin controlled well before looking to bend it in the bottom corner, forcing a strong save from Crockwell.
Full Time: Shrewsbury Town 3 Port Vale 0