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Despite taking a 1-0 lead this morning, the youth team fell to a 2-1 defeat against Shrewsbury at Gawthorpe, a place that resembles a building site right now rather than a training ground.

It’s certainly a different experience there now with the game played in front of a backdrop of sand carrying trucks as work moves on apace on the new training pitch that will replicate the one at Turf Moor.

The changing Gawthorpe

The changing Gawthorpe

It’s a very strict roped off route to the youth team pitch but there are visible signs of the new building to the left as you walk across the bridge and there is no doubt that our training ground of over sixty years is going to look a much different place soon.

Our team included four players who will be leaving us at the end of the season; Shaun Hobson and Lewis Norvock lined up in the centre of defence with Andy Nugent at left back and Hamam El-Fitouri in midfield.

It was a quiet opening but it t was Burnley who broke the deadlock on 14 minutes. The ball was played forward out of defence with players of both sides failing to control it as it worked its way through. Nashé Chakwana got onto it and used his pace to get into the Shrewsbury box to get a shot in and his effort was turned into the net by a Shrewsbury defender.

In today’s world of television scrutinising every goal, this one would probably be recorded as an own goal, but I’m sure the defender doesn’t want it and I’m certainly happy to give it to Chakwana.

Marcel Wusiewicz, in goal because of an injury to Connor King, made a very good stop to keep us in front but then it could so easily have been 2-0 soon afterwards. Olatunde Bayode broke clear down the right. He’s lightening quick and once he’d gone inside the defender he got himself a shooting chance but the ball went agonisingly wide of the post.

Burnley looked more than comfortable for the rest of the first half and looked certain to go in at half time with a lead until a defensive slip saw Shrewsbury’s George Hassall beat Wusiewicz with just over a minute remaining.

Shrewsbury took full advantage of that and only seven minutes into the second half found themselves in front through Ethan Jones, a player who is apparently close to a first team call.

More sand on the move as Andy Nugent takes a free kick

More sand on the move as Andy Nugent takes a free kick

We had our chances to draw level, but equally they could have stretched their lead on more than one occasion. Twice the Shrewsbury goalkeeper pulled off outstanding saves to keep their lead and the game ended with them winning it 2-1 as more trucks of sand moved around the touchline.

It had certainly been a more enjoyable performance than some I’ve seen recently and I even got my first sighting of Taofiq Olomowewe, I think, I believe it was him who was watching the game with Ntumba Massanka and Khius Metz.

The team was: Marcel Wusiewicz, Billy Grogan, Shaun Hobson (Vashiko Dixon 53), Lewis Norvock, Andy Nugent, Olatunde Bayode, Hamam El-Fitouri, Mark Howarth, Tyler Shrimpton (Tristan Jumeau 80), Tommy Wood (Josh Dolling 67), Nashé Chakwana. Sub not used: Miles Fenton.

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