League form picks up and Chelsea come to townOctober
Nobody ever thought it would be easy for a new-look Shrewsbury side to take League Two by storm, and a 1-0 loss at Plymouth – their fifth away defeat in a row – was another reminder. It was a result that saw the Shropshire side drop to 12th in the league table.
If a few supporters were worried at this stage, the manager certainly wasn’t – and his faith was rewarded by a fantastic run of results through the rest of the month.
A 3-1 win at home to Cheltenham was followed by a 1-0 win at York; Town’s first victory of the season on their travels. They left it late, with James Collins netting on 87 minutes, but then late goals were to become a trademark of this side in the weeks and months ahead. Next up was a 5-0 thrashing of then-League leaders Bury (featuring a fine hat-trick from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro), before a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Portsmouth that saw Shrewsbury back up to fourth place and just three points behind new leaders Luton.
The month would end with that much anticipated cup clash with Chelsea. Thanks to sponsorship from Capital One, allowing Town to put temporary stands in the corners of the South Stand, the Greenhous Meadow was able to boast its first ever crowd of more than 10,000 (to be exact, it was 10,210). Those fans certainly got their money’s worth too, as the League Two side gave their illustrious rivals a big fright. Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a 48th minute lead but Andy Mangan came off the bench to net a deserved equaliser in the 77th minute, only for the unfortunate Jermaine Grandison to turn into his own net for Chelsea’s winner four minutes later.