Marcus Braddock takes a look back and forward at the events at the Montgomery Waters Meadow
Paul Hurst and Chris Doig have only been here for just over a year but never have I had such faith in the ability of my football club to add quality to the squad. The anticipation going into the last hours leading up to the close of the transfer window was almost palpable. It was like Christmas Eve without having to go to bed early, the chances were that we would get something we wanted and knowing Mr Hurst and co we would also get something we really needed and weren't totally expecting.
Nathan Tomas was the one we wanted, he'd had his name bandied about as coming here and in the end we knew we'd added a touch more class to the squad. There are a couple of goal reel videos online of him doing what he does best. In particular there is a goal he scores for Hartlepool when they were wearing pink where he turns and lobs the ball with the deftest of touches. I'm hoping he'll show us more of that sort of thing as often as possible.
Abo Eisa is another forward player who looks to have the skills to play centrally or wide. The 21 year old from Wealdstone looks an exciting acquisition and if his online content is any indicator, we have a quick witted, pacey player with a strong desire to take on players and the ability to beat them. What I really liked about his video was when he was taken out cynically but is up and away after the ball, no rolling around, all desire.
Sam Jones is an interesting player, started with a good club like Leeds but ended up travelling around Australia before coming back and starting close to the bottom of the pile. He seems to favour an attacking midfield position but has been used in different areas and his online videos show him to be quite a skilful, tenacious forward. One in particular of him nicking the ball off a defender and going on to score shows him to be just the sort of player that will fit in here.
With the signing of defenders Max Lowe and Luke Hendrie earlier in the window, this has to be the best January transfer window this club has seen. Obviously time will tell but just now, everything seems to be working out just beautifully so I have moderately high hopes.
With the transfer fun out of the way we went into the weekend’s game replenished but with an in form Bristol Rovers to get past. The headline going into the game was that we'd not won away to Bristol Rovers since 1969. I had a look at the actual date and it was a couple of weeks after I was born but I won’t dwell on the amount of years!
Rovers hadn't lost this year until they met us and having seen the extended highlights we looked confident and strong. I heard Rovers midfielder Stuart Sinclair interviewed and he summed up the way we do things now. He said a couple of times how our players were in their face, not letting them breathe, working hard. It's also great to see our defenders winning games for us at the other end as well as keeping things tidy at the back. In our last three games we've scored five goals, four of which were scored by four separate defenders.
Shrewsbury Town Ladies won 5-0 again, this time beating Atherstone. Charlotte Budd made it a brace of braces with a two goal hall this weekend and last. Charlotte Sewell, Katie Doster and Danniella Garrett also got on the score sheet. Next weekend the Ladies visit Ludlow Town for a County Cup game.
The Under-18 team didn't have a fixture but are away at Accrington this coming weekend.
On Saturday, the first team are back at home to entertain Plymouth who were difficult opposition at their place and look like they will be again at ours as they're in excellent form and have just ended Blackburn's unbeaten record. No easy games.