LIONEL AINSWORTH is being strongly linked with a move to Shrewsbury.
The transfer-listed Town winger, who played under new Shrews boss Graham Turner at Hereford, played the full 90 minutes as an inexperienced town side lost 1-0 in last night’s friendly at Frickley Athletic.
It is believed that the 22-year-old, signed from Watford in January 2009 but who has been unable to break into the Town first team, is heading for the League II club.
Ainsworth and Jim Goodwin were the only senior players on duty at Westfield Lane, where 18-year-old trialist Manchester City goalkeeper Nathan Dean was beaten Mike Whitwell’s angled 56th minute shot.
After fielding his senior players at Bradford Park Avenue on Wednesday, boss Lee Clark gave his young guns the chance to impress against the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League outfit.
Trialists John Rooney and Australian Calum Hare were both given further run outs after featuring in the opening friendly at AFC Emley.
Frickley had former Town duo Danny Broadbent and Luke Malcher up front, but Town bossed the first half.
However, they had nothing to show for their efforts as Rooney sent a curling effort just over in the 15th minute, before Chris Atkinson latched on to Aiden Chippendale’s cross into the box but scuffed his shot.
Michael McCaffery had a great opportunity in the 29th minute when Jack Hunt played him in. Frickley keeper Ben Simpson saved his initial shot and the teenage striker put the rebound over.
McCaffery then played a nice one-two with Chippendale only for his goalbound shot to take a deflection wide.
Frickley’s only chance of note came in the 21st minute when Leon Henry freed Broadbent only for Dean to make a good save.
But the home side, much to the delight of their fans in the 412 crowd, had a great second half.
After Danny Walsh came close to with a low drive Whitwell struck what proved to be the winner.
Town gave run outs to academy quartet Dominic Dickinson, Aidan D’Arcy, Adam Colton and Max Leonard but they struggled to find much cohesion, although Rooney had a couple of efforts one saved and the other deflected wide.
Town:@ Dean, Hunt (D’Arcy 72 mins), Chippendale, Goodwin, Pearson (Dickinson 54 mins), Ridehalgh, Hare, Atkinson (Colton 84 mins), McCaffery (Leonard 54 mins) Rooney, Ainsworth.