Sam Ricketts reflects on Town's Checkatrade Trophy clash with Port Vale.
Shrewsbury Town were unable to book themselves into the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy after a penalty loss at Vale Park.
Town took the lead but were unable to see the game out as the home side snatched a late equaliser.
Sam Ricketts was disappointed with the result but feels his young players impressed.
“I was pleased with the overall performance,” said Sam. “It was mostly the lads who haven’t been playing really.
“It was a chance for them to play and impress and I thought the effort was excellent.
“The players are just disappointed to have conceded such a poor goal so late on.
“I think it was more down to fatigue because most hadn’t played 90 minutes for a long time and you could see that in their performance in the latter stages.
“Young James Rowland was outstanding. He’s only 17 years of age and I thought he was excellent.
“That’s what myself and the club like to do – promote youth. He’s been given opportunities in the past and grabbed them.
“He earned the right to start again tonight and he didn’t let anyone down.”
Sam was also pleased with the nature of Town’s goal, as his side had worked on similar scenarios in training.
“It’s Ryan’s first professional goal, so it’s something he will remember,” said Ricketts.
“It was a great header at the back post and it is something we have worked on – crossing into that area.
“For him to be there and match the cross with the header was perfect. The only thing lacking was us getting that win.
“I am disappointed with the goal we gave away. They didn’t really give us that many problems considering, very respectfully, that was their first-team.
“As a standard of performance I thought it was good. I thought it was very good in that respect.
“Unfortunately the penalty shootout didn’t fall our way. It’s not easy to step up and take a penalty. There are no hard feelings to those who didn’t score.”