Vale Youth slip to defeat against Shrewsbury
Midland Youth Cup – Group Games
Shrewsbury Town 1 (0) v Port Vale 0 (0)
Vale - Hemmings, Evans, Warner, Whieldon, Price, Morris, Croft, Pryor (Wright 44), Davies (Kapend 80), Osbourne, Beasley (Lander 46). Subs not used – Boot, Haughton.
The final Group game saw Vale’s youngsters visit Shrewsbury needing to win to progress, as both teams had beaten Hereford, but Shrewsbury had a better goal difference.
Vale’s scorer against Hereford, Marland, was missing up front as was Smith in defence.
The game started slowly in the thick fog, with both goals only just being visible, and the first 10 minutes were very cagy, consisting of long balls by both sides being collected by the respective ‘keepers.
The first real chance of the game came when Beasley broke down the left and his cross found Croft arriving at the corner of the 6 yard box, but he failed to control his first time effort and the ball ballooned over the bar.
The home team responded, but their effort was even further over the bar as Vale’s defenders closed the attacker down.
A Warner cross intended for Davies then broke loose as he was challenged and rolled harmlessly to the ‘keeper.
Vale were now in charge of the game and after 27 minutes forced a corner that eventually saw Croft’s header hit the bar and come back out.
Beasley was then brought down, resulting in yellow card for the offender and the resulting free kick was only partially cleared and a shot brought a good save from the ‘keeper. Warner was then fouled and Whieldon’s shot curled just past the post.
A Davies snap shot whistled over the bar and Pryor was then clattered as he headed the ball forward. He resumed after treatment, but only for a few minutes and was substituted on the stroke of halftime.
Vale continued in the second half as they finished with most of the play but no clear cut chances.
The referee and his assistants also continued in the same way with a number of decisions that baffled both teams and the ref’s positional sense saw him complete more interceptions than any of the players.
Osbourne was delivering some good crosses and twice Davies saw efforts deflected for corners.
Whieldon broke twice from midfield and his efforts saw a good save from the ‘keeper the first time, but his second cleared the bar.
In between time Price had cut out a shot at the expense of a corner for Shrewsbury.
With 14 minutes remaining and Vale still hoping their pressure would bring the goal they required an under hit back pass by Morris saw the Shrewsbury forward arrive just before Hemmings and he rolled the ball past him into an empty net.
Vale piled on the pressure and their frustration was being compounded by some poor refereeing decisions and Whieldon eventually went in to the referee’s book.
With two minutes remaining Vale’s last chance came and went as confusion in the home defence allowed Croft to cut the ball back into the middle, but the ‘keeper’s outstretched foot deflected the ball over the bar.
Match Report Lindon Roberts