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FA Youth Cup: Rochdale 1-2 Shrewsbury Town: Report

16 November 2016

Rochdale's U18s exited the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening following a 2-1 defeat at home to Shrewsbury Town.


Tyrone Ofori put the visitors ahead shortly before the break with a header, before Jordan Prescott equalised midway through the second half.

The tie was set for extra time until substitute Charley Higgi nodded home five minutes from time to send Dale out of the competition at the second round stage.

Dale made the second round after beating Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 7-0 in the first round, giving the youth team another chance to step out at the Crown Oil Arena.

The visitors created the first opening of the game, when John McAtee’s powerful strike flew wide from outside the area.

Dale responded with half chances as Joseph Piggott headed over a Keith Kearney cross, before Captain Jack Lenehan sent a long range effort off target.

Goalkeeper Bradley Wade was forced into a string of saves midway through the first half as the visitors created a number of chances. Matthew Jones low drive looked destined for the bottom corner, but Wade dived low to his left to turn the ball away superbly.

The Dale stopper then tipped a Chris Gallagher wide for a corner at his near post, before safely collecting a Jones header at the second attempt.

Aaron Morley, who has impressed on his first team appearances this season, was displaying some nice passes in the middle of the park. He struck a crisp shot from the edge of the area which had the sting taken out of it via a deflection, with visiting goalkeeper Jack Atkinson collecting comfortably.

Wade was called into action again on the half hour mark when Isaac Ward’s sliced clearance needed turning over his own crossbar. The visitors then carved out the best chance of the game when McAtee’s through ball found Ofori, but the striker’s shot was well saved by the feet of Wade.

There was an almighty scramble from the resulting corner, before Ofori’s shot was comfortably held by the Dale goalkeeper.

Ofori, though, would get the better of Wade two minutes before the break to open the scoring. A cross from the right was met by the striker, who headed back across goal to put Dale behind.

Rapheal Chea was replaced by Jack Stewart at half-time, with Lenehan moving to right-back.

Although Dale started the second half stronger, it was the visitors who rattled the woodwork ten minutes in to the restart. McAtee’s effort from the edge of the area was tipped onto the bar by the fingertips of Wade, before bouncing clear.

Jacob Rammell fired over for the visitors, before McAtee then headed wide a cross from the left wing.

Dale grabbed a stranglehold on proceedings after the hour mark, as Gillam came inches away from equalising. Andrew Hollins’ clearance flew over the Shrewsbury defence and into the path of Gillam, who carried the ball into area before firing just wide under pressure.

Dale would grab the equaliser in the 67th minute though, as Prescott finished clinically. The ball fell to him on the right side of the area, and he struck low across the goalkeeper to level matters.

The home side continued to push looking for the goal that would put them ahead in the tie. Morley shot over from range, before Gillam found Neil Kengni Kuemo with a through ball, but the forward’s effort went wide of the far post.

As the game looked to be heading towards extra time, Dale were dealt a sucker punch as Shrewsbury won the tie with a goal five minutes from time. A cross from the right was stood up to the back post where substitute Charley Higgi nodded in to send Shrewsbury through to the next round.

Dale XI v Shrewsbury: Wade, Chea, Ward, Hollins, Kearney, Morley, Lenehan (Captain), Prescott, Piggott, Kuemo, Gillam. Subs: Murray, White, Appiah, Hoti, Stewart.

Man of the Match: Bradley Wade 


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