Shrewsbury Town 0 Lincoln City 1
In the first round of the FA Youth Cup, Eric Ramsey made three changes to the side that faced Blackpool FC in the League 12 days ago. Reiss Corfield and Edan Sears made way for Zac Hartley and Tom Davies, with Jamaine Turner also finding himself in the starting line-up, replacing Lewis Redding.
The last time these two sides faced each other was in August in the Youth Alliance Cup where Lincoln City narrowly beat Shrewsbury by two goals to one, with Town’s only goal in the match scored from a free kick by defender Luke Ward.
Shrewsbury’s defence were called into action in the opening minutes of the game at the Montgomery Waters Meadow, when Jordan Adebayo-Smith’s cross into the box was cleared by Luke Ward, and he was there to prevent Adebayo-Smith again just one minute later. Town finally gathered some momentum and had an opportunity of their own when Zac Hartley found the feet of Jamaine Turner, who played in Archie Elmore but he couldn’t produce enough power on his shot and Lincoln goalkeeper Matthew White comfortably saved.
The Lincoln goalkeeper was under pressure in the moments that followed as Shrewsbury created a number of chances in quick succession. The first came when captain James Rowland tried to play in Archie Elmore, but his pass was too close to White who gathered the ball into his arms. And it was a similar situation when Zac Hartley crossed the ball into the box which was also too close to the goalkeeper.
Lifumpa Mwandwe had two chances on goal, with his first shot rocketing over the crossbar and he ran out of pace with his second and the Lincoln defence were able to get back in time to prevent a goal going against them. Roles were reversed one minute later when Luke Ward made a crucial block to deny Jordan Adebayo-Smith, who won a corner for his team in the process, which eventually came to nothing.
The deadlock was broken just before the half an hour mark through Lincoln’s Adebayo-Smith who managed to get past a Shrewsbury defender, forcing goalkeeper Jack Atkinson to come out of his box leaving the goal empty and the forward took a shot at goal and managed to find the net. Shrewsbury nearly found two instant equalisers; the first through James Rowland but his shot ended up in the arms of White and the second was by Jack Leask whose shot ricocheted off the post. There were chances for both teams at the end of the half but both Lifumpa Mwandwe’s and Jordan Adebayo-Smith’s shots went over the crossbars.
Shrewsbury started the second half in desperate search of that all-important equaliser, coming out of their dressing room earlier than their opponents. There was a stoppage in play in the opening minute of the second half when Kian Taylor fouled Jon Smith, which halted Shrewsbury’s efforts.
When play re-started, Town found themselves in front of Matthew White’s goal, courtesy of Dan Walker whose cross into the box found Jack Leask, whose shot was saved. Jordan Adebayo-Smith went on search for his and Lincoln’s second goal of the game, but Luke Ward was able to get back in time to prevent the visitors extending their lead. Lifumpa Mwandwe created a brilliant solo run, but couldn’t get away quick enough and was soon caught by City captain Charlie West who blocked Mwandwe’s attempts to find the back of the net.
Substitute Ryan Grosvenor had a shot on goal just four minutes after coming on to replace Archie Elmore, but saw his effort go inches wide of the target. The chances kept coming for the home team but they were unable to convert them into goals, with Mwandwe’s chance getting blocked and Jamaine Turner putting too much power on his shot after being found by Luke Ward.
Scorer of the goal Adebayo-Smith nearly wrapped up victory for Lincoln City, after Ward couldn’t clear the danger and the forward found himself through on goal, but his effort was inches wide of Jack Atkinson’s goal.
In the remaining minutes of the match, Shrewsbury couldn’t convert any of their opportunities, and it was Lincoln City who won the match by one goal to nil; progressing into the second round of the FA Youth Cup.
Jack Atkinson, Zac Hartley, Dan Walker, James Rowland (c), Tom Davies, Luke Ward, Jamaine Turner, Kian Taylor, Archie Elmore (Ryan Grosvenor 56), Jack Leask (Lewis Redding 79), Lifumpa Mwandwe (Reiss Corfield 69).
Jaden Bevan, Edan Sears.