Shropshire v Warwickshire – 8th February 2021/22 Season
Shropshire u15s kicked off their home fixtures last night, hosting a strong West Midlands side at Lilleshall. A bright start from both sides saw each keeper called into action early on; Zac Prior making a double save to deny the West Mids’ forward and both Ben Smith and Kian Newnes bringing stops out of the opposing keeper.
Shropshire’s best chances of the opening half fell to Newnes. First, Ben Smith crossed low but Newnes saw a firm effort saved, then Isaac Stanley jinked into the penalty area before finding Newnes again who could only sting the palms of the keeper.
A loose pass from Shropshire saw West Mids’ clearest first half effort with their midfielder seeing a low drive whistle just past the post. West Mids started the second half brightly and pressured the Shropshire goal from set pieces. It was Shropshire however, who broke the deadlock; great work from full back Archie Elsdon saw him pick out second half substitute Alex Sharpe who finished smartly from close range.
West Mids equalised some ten minutes later with a powerful strike from range taking a big deflection and beating Rome Jones down to his left.
The game become stretched and scrappy in possession as both teams pushed for the win. Shropshire edged ahead again when man of the match Isaac Stanley released Briar Bateman who finished clinically, low past the goalkeeper. West Midlands levelled the score again in the final throws of the game after Ben Smith’s challenge in the area was punished, perhaps harshly, by the match official. West Mids’ number 9 dispatched the penalty kick despite big contact on the ball from Jones.
The sides will meet again for the return fixture at Castle Vale in March.