Marcus Braddock takes his weekly look at all things Shrewsbury Town
This week has seen plenty going on at Montgomery Waters Meadow but as ever I'll start with the football. Tuesday afternoon saw the reserve team take on Burton Albion in the Central League Cup after having just played them in Skybet League One the previous Saturday. It was a hotly contested game in which Lee Angol showed his goal scoring credentials three times. The game also saw an excellent Shaun Whalley goal from a free kick outside the box, which won the game 4-3 for Town.
There was good news off the pitch last week when it was announced that Danny Coyne and Eric Ramsey had both been promoted to first team coach posts. This meant that Callum McKenzie took charge of the under 18 team at Accrington on Saturday morning. The visitors found themselves trailing at half time after Accrington had scored just before the break. With fifteen minutes to go, Lifumpa Mwandwe scored a stunning equalizer but Accrington swiftly took their lead back. The second injury time goal of the game meant honours were shared and Town finished this terms football on a positive note.
The first team were next to play with Sam Ricketts taking charge of his first home league game. Peterborough United arrived at the Meadow having won seven of their ten League One games this season, a tough test for Town who had lost at Burton the weekend before. We started positively with Greg Docherty scoring another great goal from well outside the box after just a couple of minutes. Posh got an equaliser halfway through the second half when Matt Godden got to Marcus Maddison's cannily curved pass into the box. At the time I thought it was a scrappy goal to concede but it was actually quite a smooth move with Godden arriving just at the right time to nick the ball into the net.
Our second goal came from a Greg Docherty through ball that put most of the defending team out of the game. Fejiri Okenabirhie still had work to do when he received the ball but as luck would have it the Posh keeper decided to intervene and rushed to the right side of his penalty box but Fejiri was no longer there, he was close to the by-line needing an incredibly deft cut to get the ball past two defenders and into the net. He showed his quality yet again and did just that, scoring for the fifth league game in a row.
There was still only one goal in it and Posh pushed for it all the way, finally getting the ball over the line in the closing minutes. The last fifteen minutes have been a strong part of the game for Peterborough and it was a goal that owed more to force of will than it did to finesse but they all count. It felt like a defeat after going down to a goal in the closing minutes but as someone said to me after the game, if we'd been offered a point beforehand we'd have probably taken it. This is one of the best away teams in the division with an experienced manager and a squad with depth. We have a new man at the helm and have had well documented difficulties this season and yet we were disappointed not to have won in the end. I think that says a lot about where we are at the moment with a squad that is viably playing as a cohesive unit and a young exciting management team with new ideas. I can only hope that this will continue because there is time enough to make this season another one to remember.
The Peterborough game was a significant one for Mat Sadler as it was his 200th for Shrewsbury Town and his 500th senior career appearance. His comments after the game show what a professional he is as his first thought was disappointment at not seeing the game out. You need that sort of selfless attitude in a team I think and we've seen it demonstrated time after time throughout those 200 appearances. He's looking at making many more appearances and I'd love that to be for Shrewsbury Town as I think we've been very fortunate to have a player of his quality here for so long. Thanks Mat.
Last week also saw Sam Ricketts face questions from Town fans in his first “meet the manager” event. Shrewsbury Town Supporters Parliament hosted the event and there is a video of the event that should be in the news archive section of this website.
The coming week brings us a second home game in a row with Coventry City visiting at the weekend. After a decent start, Cov have been going through a bit of a rough patch, which we can hopefully extend for a further week. The game will mean a return to the Meadow for Junior Brown and Abu Ogogo; hopefully we can give them a warm Christmas welcome after their efforts for us over the past couple of seasons. As tempting as it can be to jeer an ex-player, it can only spur them on as they seek to reply.
Away from the pitch the Christmas spirit is in evidence at Montgomery Waters Meadow with the clubs Christmas Carol Concert taking place this evening at 7.00 pm. You don't need a ticket, just turn up and enjoy yourself.
The club have announced a promotion on our two seasonal home games with the Fleetwood game being offered at a 50% discount if purchased with your ticket for this weekends League One game at home to Coventry.