Marcus Braddock takes a look back the last week
It's difficult to talk about a team that's not quite got it's act together without sounding a little critical or depressing but I'm going to give it a go this week. It's pretty hard going at the moment, even without unhelpful comparisons to previous managers and seasons. I like to keep positive if I can and I can see the foundation of a very good team within our ranks. A foundation that can play some excellent passing football at pace and a team that looked to be turning the corner with two clean sheets in as many games. The second of those was last Tuesdays 0-0 away draw at highflying Doncaster Rovers, a game that we could have won had we converted one of our thirteen attempts on goal. So going into the weekend game at Luton I was feeling pretty positive about how things were going.
Just over twenty minutes in and we were awarded a penalty, which Shaun Whalley converted into a one goal lead. This seemed perfect, with our back line looking so handy we should clean up the three points. With the second half just a few minutes old, Luton midfielder Jorge Grant stepped up to take a free kick on the edge of our box. It sailed into the top corner giving Joel Coleman no chance, a top quality goal that would have looked at home in the Premier League.
We got back into the game via Lee Angol scoring an odd goal when the keeper threw the ball down to kick. As the ball was put into active play by their keeper, Angol was able to take it and put it into the Luton goal. It's available on the clubs YouTube channel if you haven't already seen it. The equalizer was the result of not marking properly, defender Jack Stacey found himself in acres of space, received the ball and lashed it into the net. It was a frustratingly preventable goal, which I'm sure John Askey will be revisiting in training this week. The third Luton goal was one from an identical position as the Grant goal and I had a feeling that it was net bound from the moment the ref blew his whistle. Again, Joel Coleman had little chance to save when the free kick took a displeasing deflection and putting Luton into the leas for the first time in the game.
We're currently sat in the bottom four after five games, which is a little worrying but it isn't like we haven't got time to sort it out. If you're going to spend any time at the bottom of the division, the opening weeks are probably the best time for it. But we need to mend our course as soon as is possible, football is a game where confidence is all-important and defeats don't do a lot for that. I think the team needs a victory of any sort at the moment and not just because of the points, we need to prove to ourselves that we can win.
We have a couple of home games this week, both of which are great opportunities to play into confidence. First up we have the Football League Trophy and Manchester City under 21's visiting the Montgomery Waters Meadow. I know there are a few supporters out there that have very little love for this competition but it could be a great opportunity to get that first win under our belts.
Saturday brings Bristol Rovers to the Meadow, a team that has recorded just the one win so far and that was away from home against Wycombe. They will fancy their chances of getting something from a team in our position and we need the points, so it's likely to be quite an exciting game.
The Youth Team played their first game in the Youth Alliance Cup on Saturday after an unbeaten start in their League Campaign. Sadly they lost 2-1 but can still progress, as this part of the competition is the group stage, Walsall and Doncaster makes up the rest of the group. This week the youth team face Preston North End on Wednesday evening at Shrewsbury Sports Village in Sundorne, kick off is at 19.00.