A full strength Yarlet 'A' side arrived at Shrewsbury Prep School to encounter very heavy pitch conditions and an enthusiastic Shrewsbury side which included players of very good ability.
The game began at a frantic pace with goal keepers being tested. Ben Eden and Mackenzie Tart both had early efforts that were well saved before Sam Archer had what looked a certain goal-bound shot miraculously palmed away for a corner by their keeper. It was evident from the outset that Shrewsbury's number 1 was something special and we would need to be on top form to make our mark against him.
At the other end Joseph Shaw was also performing heroics of his own saving several goal bound efforts and bravely diving at the feet of their very fast and skilful centre forward to prevent us from going behind.
Yarlet did open the scoring when Sam Archer placed a well struck shot into the bottom corner after 5 minutes but almost immediately Shrewsbury equalised after a shot through a crowed area left Joseph slightly unsighted. It became a very hard fought game up until half time with some strong tackles and good defending from both sides, Henry Pickering in particular for Yarlet, as well as fast, incisive attacking play. Slightly against the run of play Shrewsbury added a second to leave us trailing 2-1 at half time.
The second half began with Alfie Farrington, Sam Archer and Ben Eden all going close with shots and looking dangerous on the break supported by Jon Cunliffe who was covering every blade of grass to get us back into the game. The equaliser came with a shot from Alfie Farrington after lots of pressure, which again their keeper had somehow thwarted with some fantastic saves and almost immediately we went 3-2 ahead when Ben Eden's pace and subsequent shot proved unstoppable. Sam Archer then had a brave header well saved and we had several other half chances to put the game out of reach with substitute Oliver Heath having a close range effort well saved.
It was still end-to-end stuff and it was Shrewsbury that equalised from a throw in and a header that was well placed by their dangerous number 9 into the top corner.
With a well fought draw looking likely Shrewsbury broke fast after we lost possession in their half and despite another great save from Joseph the rebound fell to a Shrewsbury player who guided the ball into an empty net from 20 yards. In one last desperate attack Yarlet had a goalmouth scramble cleared and the final whistle blew to record a 4-3 defeat.
There was maximum effort all round by the Yarlet players against a strong Shrewsbury side and in difficult conditions with some fine all round performances. With cooler heads a 3-2 winning position with minutes remaining could have been preserved with better possession play and the team will also have learnt from this game that chances need to be taken to finish off dangerous teams.