David Longwell reflects on Town’s 2-2 draw against Walsall FC
Shrewsbury Town came from behind twice to earn a point against local rivals Walsall FC, courtesy of a goal in each half by Lifumpa Mwandwe and substitute Archie Elmore.
This was the U18’s first match under new manager David Longwell, who felt that ‘on another day I think we should’ve won the game.’
He said: “I feel for the boys. I thought they started the game really well; they had really good energy. A lot of the stuff that Callum and Dan have done in training this week, I thought you could see.
“Unfortunately, we switched off and we gave away a silly goal which led to them taking the lead. For us today if you look at the game, we scored two goals which were good. I think we had six shots on target so on another day, I think we should’ve won the game.
“They had two shots on target in the whole game, and they came from mistakes. So, there were more positives than negatives but I think if we can just eradicate those little mistakes in the game, we could’ve won.”
There was only one change to the side that were defeated by Wigan Athletic at the end of January.
Jaden Bevan came in for the injured Sam Agius in goal, and Longwell suggested that the match was a great learning experience for the young keeper.
“Sam got injured in training about two weeks ago, so we’ve brought Jaden in which is a great experience for him for the fact he is a younger player. Both U18 goalkeepers are out injured at the moment so it was a really good experience for him to come in.
“He would’ve learnt so much from the game today. Playing at this level, it’s an older game, it’s more intense and it’s quicker. So, I think it’s really good for him from a learning point of view today.”
The local derby saw a red card for Walsall’s Tyreece Ruddock in the first half; just after he had scored the opening goal for The Saddlers, but the new manager thought that the ‘referee made the right decision’ in the end.
Longwell said: “I thought it was the right decision. I’m sure Walsall would disagree.
“But in fairness, the boy just reacted and if you lift your hands I think the referee and his assistants had no choice but to send him off. Which you don’t want to see to be honest with you, but I think the referee made the right decision and it changed the game.
“I think from a young boy’s point of view and from the development point of view, it was good because now we’re playing against ten men and you’re now sitting in. They’re trying to counter attack so it changes the dynamic of the match so it was a good learning point of view.”