Town fall to a 2-0 reverse at ShrewsburySecond-half goals from Tom King and Josh Ginnelly gave Shrewsbury Town’s Under-18s a winning start to the 2014/15 Youth Alliance season against Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
King opened the scoring just past the hour mark by tapping in Kaiman Anderson’s pull back, after the striker had gone around Cod Army goalkeeper Liam Bleeker.
Ginnelly then doubled Town’s lead six minutes later by latching on to Niall Flint’s quick free-kick on the left before sliding the ball in to the far corner.
And the young Shrews held on for a clean sheet at Lilleshall National Sports Centre to make the perfect start to their (North West) Youth Alliance campaign.
The game began in torrential rain which faded as the morning turned to afternoon, and both sides had chances to take a first-half lead.
In the 12th minute, Ginnelly broke through on the inside right for Ian Dawes’ side and saw his strike deflect narrowly past the left post.
At the other end, Conor Smith’s free-kick for Fleetwood on the left just evaded the head of midfielder Michael Muscat inside the Shrewsbury penalty area.
Striker Anderson had the best chance of the first period, twisting and shooting over on the edge of the box after Flint’s low cross to the centre.
Town captain Jeff Watkins also got his head on the end of a corner from Flint but directed it straight at the goalkeeper, and it remained goalless at the break.
Shrewsbury started the second period much stronger, and Ethan Jones nearly squeezed an effort in at the near post just a minute after the restart.
The visiting Cod Army tried to apply their own pressure on the home goal but, after 61 minutes, Dawes’ side scored the opener.
Anderson latched on to a through ball and took it past the oncoming Bleeker before squeezing it back to King from the byline, who finished with ease into the empty net.
And it took just another six minutes for Town to double their lead, as Flint’s quick free-kick caught out the Fleetwood defence and left Ginnelly free to rush down the left, before the midfielder cooly slotted low into the far corner.
There was one long stoppage in play as a Fleetwood player went down with a serious-looking injury late on, but Shrewsbury held on for a clean sheet to start their league season with three points.
SHREWSBURY LINE-UP: Ashton, Butts, Watkins, Hickman, B. Burton, Fletcher, Flint, King (Kenton, 85), Ginnelly, Anderson, E. Jones (Wilson, 59).
SUBS: Lewis, Sears, Carta, Kenton, Wilson.
GOALS: King (61), Ginnelly (67)
FLEETWOOD LINE-UP: Bleeker, Williams, Vile, Muscat, A. Smith (Willetts, 73), C. Smith, Tetteh, Woods, Myers, Hancox (Djaby, 69), Glean (Stinton, 69).
SUBS: Willetts, Wynne, Djaby, Nelson, Stinton.