Town fight to earn draw in the snow
Town’s U18’s looked to bounce back to form in their weekend home clash with Tranmere Rovers. Town had only been beaten once this season and started the game on the front foot. Salop went one up in the 25th after a fantastic strike into the top corner from James Rowlands. Pushing forward the boy’s created numerous opportunities for a second but it wasn’t to be, the halftime score 1-0. The second half saw the conditions deteriorate and Town battled a fierce snowy wind to break forward. An unfortunate own goal saw Tranmere draw level midway into the half before sitting back and creating chances on the counter. Town had chances to win but it wasn’t to be, the game ending in a draw.
Town: Cameron Gregory (Jack Atkinson 70), Reiss Corfield (Zac Hartley 78), Rhys Davies, James Rowland, Josh Agbozo, Christos Shelis, Aaron Gilpin (Lifumpa Mwandwe 71), Kian Taylor, Tyrone Ofori, Jack Leask, Ryan Barnett (C).
Subs: Jack Atkinson, Dan Walker, Lewi Redding, Zac Hartley, Lifumpa Mwandwe.
Tranmere: Patrick Wharton, Josh Solomon-Davies, Ben Kerr, Joe Blackham, James Devine (C), Declan Drysdale, James Salkeild, Ali Al-Hamadi, Bailey Thompson, Danny Walker-Rice, George Nugent.
Subs: James Ellison, Frankie Ward.
The game started with an attacking pace as both teams looked to gain an early advantage. A clever ball forward by Agbozo curled its way to Gilpin on the right side of Tranmere’s half. Gilpin knocked it past his man before driving forward, his low cross was well held by an alert Wharton.
After an initial rush the game settled with Tranmere earning a fortunate opportunity. Corfields underhit pass back to Gregory saw Nugent pick up the ball in the box. He looked to dink it over Gregory but the keeper did well to make himself tall and tip the shot wide.
The breakthrough came for Town in the 25th minute. A dangerous ball into the box was cleared towards Rowland on the edge, who put his foot through it, striking the ball into the top left corner.
Town had a chance for a second, minutes after the restart. Rowlands this time turned provider, lofting a delicate ball into the box for Ofori, who looked to spin and shoot. The keeper did well to tip the low shot wide.
Town looked inform going into the 40th minute finding space down the right. Gilpin did well to hold up the ball up before setting Corfield on the overlap. Corfield beat his man for pace, before pulling a strong ball across goal. Tranmere dealt with it, putting it wide for a corner.
The pair linked up minutes later in an almost identical scenario. This time, Corfield went low with a paced ball across the face of goal. Wharton did well to hold the ball, before Town could capitalise.
Town pushed for a second as the half drew to an end. Gilpin used his speed to work the space out on the right, before bending a lopping cross into the box. The ball was headed on to Barnett at the far side of the box. The captain controlled well before looking to bend it into the far top corner, the shot dipping just over the bar.
Into stoppage time Town broke forward on the counter down the left. Ofori picked up the ball on the edge before driving forward and pulling the trigger from a tight angle, his shot finding the side netting.
Half Time: Shrewsbury Town 1 Tranmere Rovers 0
Gilpin was the first to work a chance in the second. Clever footwork saw him work the space on the edge of the box to shoot, but he got too much behind the shot, bending it over.
Tranmere equalised in the 59th minute with an unfortunate goal. A Corner came in towards Taylor at the near post, who miskicked his clearance into his own net.
The right-hand side had been Town’s strongest outlet and they used it to their advantage again in the 69th as Gilpin and Corfield worked the overlap. Corfield bent an inch perfect cross towards Ofori in the middle. Ofori’s header looped back across the keeper but it bounced off the cross bar and fell kindly for Tranmere to clear.
Substitutions: Cam Gregory was replaced by Jack Atkinson in the 70th minute and Aaron Gilpin was swapped for Lifumpa Mwandwe in the 71st.
Moments after coming on Mwandwe had a strong chance to give Town the lead. Barnetts ball from wide right found Davies on the far side of the box. Davies did well to pick his head up and find Mwandwe in front of goal, but he couldn’t keep the shot down and fired it over.
A Tranmere counter attack saw them break through one on one moments later. Atkinson was alert and came off his line early to put off the attack before holding the shot in a fine piece of goalkeeping.
Substitution: Reiss Corfield was replaced by Zac Hartley in the 78th.
Into the final moments, Town looked to push on in search of a winner. Barnett tried a volley on the edge after the ball fell kindly for him but didn’t catch it right and the ball strayed wide.
Tranmere weren’t lying down though and looked dangerous on the counter. Earning a corner for their troubles in the 88th. As the ball came in it looked to be sailing into the top corner only for Atkinson to tip it wide.
Town cleared the resulting corner and looked to hit with pace on the counter. A nicely worked one two between Barnett and Ofori opened up space for Barnett to seek the pass. He found his ball out wide to Hartley on the right. Breaking forward Hartley sent a clever low ball into the box which deflected up into the side netting.
Into stoppage time, Town pushed on looking for a winner. Breaking forward down the right-hand side again. The ball came across for Agbozo and Ofori in the middle. Neither could steer it home though and Tranmere cleared to the sound of the final whistle.
Full Time: Shrewsbury Town 1 Tranmere Rovers 1