Sam Ricketts reflects on Town's Leasing.Com fixture with Manchester City's under 21's.
Shrewsbury Town welcomed Manchester City’s under 21 side to the Montgomery Waters Meadow for the latest Leasing.Com fixture.
The tie signified the end of Town’s journey in the competition as the young Citizens managed to win the game via a penalty shoot-out after a tightly-contested 1-1 draw.
Town manager Sam Ricketts was frustrated with the result and felt his team tired towards the latter stages of the game.
“I am disappointed at being knocked out,” said Sam. “I am also disappointed it went to penalties. I thought we were good in the first-half and it panned out exactly how we thought.
“In the second-half, we probably ran out of steam. We didn’t pass forward enough when we won the ball – maybe it was a lack of energy. We had five lads who hadn’t played 90 minutes in a long time.
“It was a great strike from Golbourne, but in the second-half we began sinking and couldn’t really hurt them on the counter, which we were trying to do. First-half we were looking good and looked a threat on the break but looked vulnerable in the second.
“The standard of penalties was very good. Unfortunately, someone had to miss and it fell to Scott who has been excellent. Max O’Leary was unlucky, another inch and he would have saved a couple of penalties.”
Sam was pleased a number of the Town squad were able to get needed minutes in the tie and is now looking forward to Town’s Sky Bet League One fixture with Oxford United.
“They are probably one of the best sides in the league, if not the best side this year,” said Sam. “It’s another test that we are ready for.
“We got minutes into five lads that probably needed it tonight. I thought we saw a lot of good stuff in the first-half, as well as areas where we can improve
“It was great to have Lenny back for his first start after 10 months out. It was the first start for Daniel Udoh as well, so it’s good to have him back in.
"Those two were probably feeling sharp in the first-half. In the second-half as they fatigued a little bit, we struggled to really hurt them on the break.”