Wrexham 2-2 Shrewsbury Town
Shrewsbury Town returned to Youth Alliance League action for the first time since their 2-2 draw with Blackpool last month. The side chosen to play against Wrexham was slightly different to the one that Eric Ramsay played in their last competitive Cup match which saw them lose one nil against Lincoln City in the FA Youth Cup.
New signing Kieran Boucher took the place of Jack Atkinson in goal, who is facing a lengthy spell on the side lines with an injury. The other changes saw Reiss Corfield and Ryan Grosvenor replace Zac Hartley and Archie Elmore respectively.
Despite the cold morning, Wrexham started the opening minutes of the game with a large share of possession, and had their first opportunity on goal when they won a free kick. Jack Thorn had a shot at goal but Kieran Boucher’s feet denied him the chance to take his side one goal ahead. Wrexham nearly found themselves in front of Boucher’s goal again minutes later but Kian Taylor made a vital interception to deny their counter attack.
Shrewsbury made their presence known in the 10th minute when Reiss Corfield crossed the ball into the Wrexham box, but was unable to find a teammate. Wrexham didn’t clear the danger though and the ball fell to captain James Rowland but his shot went over the crossbar. Wrexham had a penalty shout waved shortly after when Dylan Allshorn reached the ball first after Boucher’s dodgy clearance and was brought down by the goalkeeper as he recovered but referee Ben Watkiss ignored appeals.
The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute as Luke Ward met the end of James Rowland’s corner and headed into the back of Wrexham’s net, after jumping higher than everyone else around him. However, Shrewsbury found themselves back on the defensive from the restart as Jack Thorn found himself with a clear shot on goal, but his final effort took a deflection on the way through and out for a corner, which came to nothing.
Ryan Grosvenor doubled Shrewsbury’s lead ten minutes later through another corner. James Rowland again made the cross which Wrexham goalkeeper Ben Tinkley initially saved but the ball spilled from his hands and Grosvenor was there to slot the ball into the back of the net to give Shrewsbury a two-goal cushion over their opposition.
The home side looked to get a goal back and had an opportunity to do so when Allshorn made a solo run into the box but Luke Ward managed to get back in time to block some of the power off of his cross and Kieran Boucher comfortably gathered the ball. Dylan Allshorn was in front of goal again but this time he shot went flying over the crossbar after he intercepted Kian Taylor’s misplaced pass. Seven minutes before the end of the first half, Wrexham found that all-important goal to reduce the score-line to just one goal at the halfway mark.
With Shrewsbury leading 2-1 at the break, they started the second half trying to add a third. Two chances came in quick succession; the first through Dan Walker who put too much power on his cross and the second through Lifumpa Mwandwe who fired his shot just wide.
Two minutes later Reiss Corfield attempted to cross the ball into the box, but the ball fell to close to Ben Tinkley who comfortably saved.
The scorer of Shrewsbury’s first goal Luke Ward gave away a penalty just ten minutes into the second half, after he pulled down a Wrexham player in the box which also saw him go in the referee’s book; the first yellow card of the game to a Salop player. Fortunately for Shrewsbury, Kieran Boucher made a cracking save and punched the ball over the crossbar to deny the home side from drawing level.
In the space of 15 minutes, Shrewsbury made three substitutions to try and see the game out with all three-points, with Archie Elmore, Zac Hartley and Lewis Redding replacing Lifumpa Mwandwe, Ryan Grosvenor and Jack Leask. Referee Ben Watkiss quickly dismissed Shrewsbury shouts for a penalty in the 80th minute when Archie Elmore fell to the ground, much to the delight of the Wrexham players who were glad that the difference in the score line was just one goal.
With one minute of the 90 left to play, Wrexham finally found their equaliser through Jake Bickerstaff who swiftly placed his shot to the left of Kieran Boucher despite him diving to his left, but he couldn’t quite keep the ball out of the net.
Town’s next scheduled game in the Youth Alliance League is against Bury on Saturday 1st December at the Shrewsbury Sports Village at 11am, where they’ll be looking to come away with all three points.
Kieran Boucher, Reiss Corfield, Dan Walker, James Rowland (c), Tom Davies, Luke Ward, Jamaine Turner, Kian Taylor, Ryan Grosvenor (Lewis Redding 74), Jack Leask (Zac Hartley 62), Lifumpa Mwandwe (Archie Elmore 59).
Jaden Bevan, Edan Sears.