Shrewsbury Town 2-2 Blackpool FC
Shrewsbury came into the game with confidence after a 6-1 victory against Doncaster Rovers in the Youth Alliance Cup last week. Eric Ramsey made four changes to the side that lost against Wigan Athletic in the League two weeks ago; with Reiss Corfield, Edan Sears, Lewis Redding and Archie Elmore replacing Zac Hartley, Tom Davies, Jamaine Turner and Ryan Grosvenor respectively.
Shrewsbury found themselves in front of goal just two minutes after Blackpool kicked off, but Lifumpa Mwandwe was unable to find a teammate as his cross into the box was blocked and cleared away from goal. Mwandwe, who signed a professional contract with the club in the week was in front of goal again a short time after, but couldn’t produce enough power on the ball and his shot was comfortably saved by Blackpool goalkeeper Sam Kellett.
Just a minute after Lifumpa Mwandwe’s shot was saved, Shrewsbury were on the back foot as Blackpool found the back of the net, with Jack Atkinson having initially saved the first shot but couldn’t quite prevent the rebound. They nearly doubled their lead three minutes later but Emil Jaaskelainen’s shot was blocked by Edan Sears and went out for a corner. Blackpool’s corner was headed away by defender Luke Ward, but Shrewsbury weren’t out of danger as the visitors were in control of the ball just outside of the box, but Dan Walker finally cleared danger after making a crucial tackle.
A good spell of possession for Shrewsbury couldn’t find its way into an equaliser when Archie Elmore, Jack Leask, Lifumpa Mwandwe and skipper James Rowland all linked up well but Rowland struggled to find anyone in the box with his cross. It only took 14 minutes for Blackpool to double their lead, this time through Sean Graham who curled the ball past Atkinson into the top left corner. Lifumpa Mwandwe and Kian Taylor had shots on goal in quick succession but both were blocked by the strong back line of Blackpool. A free kick conceded by Luke Ward gave Nathan Shaw the opportunity to score a third, but Jack Atkinson dived to his right and punched away the ball to deny the visitors. Roles were reversed at the other end of the pitch shortly afterwards, as Luke Ward stepped up to take a free kick for Shrewsbury, but his shot was narrowly wide of the target.
Shrewsbury started the second half in desperate search of their first goal of the game; with Reiss Corfield having his shot blocked and Kian Taylor seeing his shot rocket over the crossbar. Substitute Ryan Grosvenor found himself through on goal but keeper Sam Kellett prevented him from reducing the score line to one goal. Lifumpa Mwandwe, Ryan Grosvenor and Reiss Corfield were involved in a great spell of possession for the home side, but Corfield was unable to find the net with his shot also going over the crossbar.
But in the 66th minute, Shrewsbury found the goal they were looking for through Lifumpa Mwandwe who smashed the ball past Kellett, much to the relief of his team. This was well deserved for Shrewsbury as they had multiple chances beforehand. The goal was Mwandwe’s sixth goal in two matches after putting five past Doncaster Rovers last week. A dodgy clearance by Blackpool’s goalkeeper met Ryan Grosvenor who was through on goal, but couldn’t quite find the ball after putting too much power on it; slipping in the process.
Ethan O’Toole, who replaced Reiss Corfield almost found the equaliser but the ball inched centimetres of the post. He was also involved in play two minutes later after creating a brilliant solo run down the right-hand side, eventually finding Lifumpa Mwandwe but his shot rattled the bar; denying him from getting his and Shrewsbury’s second goal.
Two minutes before the 90th minute, Ryan Grosvenor doubled Shrewsbury’s tally and more importantly found the equalising goal. Luke Ward did well at the corner flag to find his way past his opponent and impressively crossed the ball into the box, finding the feet of Grosvenor who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Celebrations then began for the Shrewsbury players who all rushed over to the goal scorer to celebrate the well-deserved goal, which ultimately ensured that they shared the points with Blackpool.
Team:Jack Atkinson, Reiss Corfield (Ethan O’Toole 72), Dan Walker, James Rowland (c), Edan Sears, Luke Ward, Lewis Redding (Zac Hartley 45), Kian Taylor, Archie Elmore (Ryan Grosvenor 50), Jack Leask, Lifumpa Mwandwe.
Unused Subs: Jaden Bevan, Roman Allen.