Marcus Braddock reflects on all things Shrewsbury Town
It's been another exciting week for Town fans and with February's league programme out of the way it's time for a look back.
We played six games this month, winning three, losing two and drawing once. We failed to score on one occasion, managed two clean sheets and ended up with ten of the eighteen points available.
Our challenges were quite great this month. Bristol Rovers were on a six game unbeaten run when we beat them, Plymouth had lost once since December when they narrowly beat us, similarly, Gillingham had lost just once this year before our draw and Rotherham have been on an incredible run and are looming ominously in the rear view mirror having beaten us.
In addition to that we've had a debilitating bug laying waste to the squad and the usual stress of playing six games in just three weeks.
All told I think we've done pretty well and the performance against Charlton signalled a return to our excellent best at just the right time. It was a game that we could have won four nil on a different day against a team that Paul Hurst described as outstanding in his pre-match comments.
Alex Rodman continues to impress, he's playing at the highest level so far in his career and at times he makes it look so easy. He's back and forward like the proverbial fiddlers elbow, covering when needed and foraging in forward positions at other times. His head never seems to drop and his goal was utter class.
Omar Beckles is another who has capped some excellent performances with a couple of recent goals. He was a late addition from Accrington and although his online highlights were rather good, I did wonder how he was going to force his way into an already burgeoning defence. He did though through hard work in some difficult roles and his cameo's further forward are examples of his growing confidence.
Speaking of confidence, Dean Henderson was particularly important early in the game with key saves that were key in the clean sheet.
The week ahead provides further excitement with the visit of Yeovil in the Checkatrade Trophy. The winners will go on to face Lincoln City in the final at Wembley Stadium in April, a feat we've only managed once in this competition. Special prices have been announced for the game with admission costing-
Adults - £5
Juniors / U18s - £1
Seniors - £1
Town are also at home next weekend with Peterborough United visiting Montgomery Waters Meadow. They're another team on a run but a run with a difference, they're on a run of four draws. They looked to be a good bet for promotion early in the season but have fallen away a little since the start of the Autumn. Posh are tenth and may well still fancy a push for the play offs after four games unbeaten so not an easy game. They beat us 1-0 in late October, our first defeat in the league this season so we owe them something similar. Hopefully our winless home run will be out of date by then!
Shrewsbury Town Ladies collected the three points again this weekend without kicking a ball. This weekends opposition Atherstone forfeited the game after being unable to field a team.
In off field news, Town CEO Brian Caldwell shared the Football League news that the transfer deadline is to end before the season starts in August. The Football League has also decided to use goal line technology in this seasons play off finals and semi-finals.