The New Saints’ Performance Phase vs Shrewsbury Town Under-18s – Match Report

Following the cancellation of two college matches, The New Saints’ Performance Phase faced Shrewsbury Town Under-18s in a friendly at Park Hall this afternoon.

With numerous players set to link up with the first-team for tonight’s friendly game against Machynlleth, prior to the postponement, the side was depleted, and Shrewsbury ran out 4-1 winners in a lively match with chances at both ends of the pitch.

After scoring all four of their goals in the first 45 minutes, the visitors made the task an insurmountable one for TNS, who battled right until the final whistle.

Match Report

With seven minutes on the clock, Saints’ midfielder Ethan Short was the beneficiary of a deflected ball dropping into his path. His edge of the box effort was deflected once more though, bringing the game’s first corner.

The away side had their first chance of the match seven minutes later. The effort was a tame one, however, with Lewis Dutton saving the edge of the box effort comfortably.

The Saints’ keeper wasn’t as fortunate with the next effort though. After a Shrewsbury attacker was brought down right of the edge of the box, the resulting free-kick was expertly dispatched into the bottom right corner, giving the Shrews a 1-0 lead after 21 minutes.

The visitors extended their lead shortly after. A corner from the left was met by a Shrewsbury man in the centre of the area and his header managed to sneak its way into the back of the net.

With 32 minutes gone, James Rutter had a golden chance to reduce the deficit. Capitalising on a misplaced Shrewsbury header, the number 25 raced in behind the defence, but couldn’t keep his effort down, firing high over the crossbar.

It proved to be a crucial miss though, as a minute later the visitors scored a third. It was poor marking from another corner, this time from the right, that allowed the striker to ghost in and head home.

Two minutes before the break, Rutter had another great chance to score. After racing in behind the Shrewsbury defence, he tried to chip the outrushing goalkeeper with a shot, but unfortunately it went the wrong side of the post.

Shrewsbury grabbed a fourth goal with the last touch of half. Once again, it was another corner and more poor Saints’ marking as the attacker headed home.

It was much quieter opening to the second period, with neither goalkeeper tested until the 66th minute. This time, it was a TNS corner in front of the car park end that brought a great save from the Shrewsbury goalkeeper following a strong header.

A minute later, The Saints did finally get their goal. After being slipped in well between the away defence, Luis Edwards finished well beneath the goalkeeper to reduce the deficit to 4-1.

It sparked a mini-Saints resurgence, and in the 69th minute, the very next attack of the match was drilled agonisingly wide of the Shrewsbury goal, denying the Performance Phase a second goal.

It was short-lived however, and barring the odd half-chance in the final twenty minutes, neither side went close to adding to the 4-1 scoreline.


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