The young Blues started their season with a point against Shrewsbury on Friday afternoon as they came back from a goal behind in both halves.
Keighran Kerr had the best of the chances in the early stages for United as he was played through by a combination of passes from Taylor Charters and Liam McCarron. The keeper stood up on both occasions to keep the score at 0-0.
Ward made a good save as Shrewsbury tried to get into the game, before the Blues broke but McCarron dragged his shot disappointingly wide.
It was Shrewsbury who broke the deadlock just after the half hour as a striker was slid into the box. He finished well with a firm shot which flew high into the roof of the net.
United were back on terms on the stroke of half time after a low free kick from Charters was blocked. It ricocheted nicely for Kerr, who was alert in the box, to finish well past the keeper.
It was nip and tuck at the start of the second half before a deep cross was mishit by a Shrewsbury midfielder. It caught Ward unawares as he strayed off his line and it dipped into the back of the net.
Darren Edmondson's side pulled things level for a second time with ten minutes to go as a free kick from the left was initially cleared. Casson got it back into the box and McCarron was there to pop it home as Shrewsbury struggled get it clear.
Speaking at full time, the academy boss said: "We'll come away pleased with the point after going behind twice. Some of our attacking play in the first half probably deserved a couple of goals. But if you don't take your chances when you're on top it makes it difficult.
"Shrewsbury are a good side with some good players, but their second goal was fortunate. It was a cross rather than a shot, but those things can happen in games.
"It was good to see some of the things we've worked on in pre-season come out in a proper game. We've still got to work on composure for one or two players who take the wrong options, at times, but I'm sure that will come as they play more games.
"It's been a difficult few weeks because we've picked up a couple of serious injuries to important players. We've had to re-group and some of the first years are having to step up quicker than we'd probably like, but it's a good learning curve for them."
"We've got lads who were with us last year travelling to Exeter with the first team today as first year pro's, which is a huge lift for our current players," he commented. "They can see if they work hard there is a chance to be involved, and we've seen that lift in all of them every day in training."
United - Ward, Kelly, Wilson, Lightfoot, Brockbank (Birch 82), Casson, Armstrong (Barnes 61), Charters (Soper 61), Galloway (Rooks 90), Kerr, McCarron. Sub - McLachlan.
Goals - Kerr (45), McCarron (80)