Marcus Braddock gives his weekly view on all things Shrewsbury Town
I think the last month could prove to be one of the most important of the season given the sheer weight of games we've had to get through. Close to thirteen hours of football, not including injury time and I wondered if fatigue and Portsmouth would conspire against us. Happily we got a win that I wasn't fully anticipating but I was expecting us to win last weekend and it didn't happen, so this makes up for that.
I couldn't make the trip to Pompey but the extended highlights on ifollow were a great second option alongside Stuart Dunn's excellent commentary for the actual match. Talking of the match, what I saw of it was typical of this hard-working team, soaking up pressure, defending to the last man and imposing our will when it counts.
I was impressed with Craig MacGillivray's performance this weekend, he made some top drawer saves against a good side after sitting on the bench for most of the season. Without him we may not have taken any points and if he does end up back on the bench I'll remember his contribution.
Of course a confident goalkeeper needs an excellent defence in front of him of course and he has that in spades.
As part of the research I do for the match previews I check the opposition social media because they will sometimes tell you things the press can’t. I go back after the match and look at what they thought of us, sort of fishing for begrudging compliments. One of the things I regularly see is that we are a little cavalier with the rules of the game. Because of my bias I can’t really make a fair judgement so I checked out the fair play league earlier and I find that we're actually third placed behind Blackpool and Walsall.
Next weekend sees us on the road again although a little close as we travel to Bristol Rovers who, like Portsmouth are one of the better teams at home in this division. This season they've played fourteen times at home with 27 points earned, the 7th best home team in League One. They're also on a good run of six games unbeaten so as usual we'll be up against it but this team seems to thrive on adversity. The harder they're pushed, the harder they bush pack.
As you may have already seen, we had a hat-trick of away wins and three clean sheets this weekend. The first team got their 0-1 at Pompey, the youth team beat Port Vale 3-0 but their keeper went one better and scored! The Ladies had the best scoreline of the weekend with a 0-5 away win at Brereton with the seemingly unstoppable Charlotte Budd grabbing a couple in the first half.
Off the field we had Dean Henderson suspended because of a bottle throwing incident at Blackburn. We've all been young and acted rashly under pressure without even realizing it. At the same time you can’t react to a crowd in that way, even if a small minority of them are behaving like throwbacks to the 1980's.
Shrewsbury Town Ladies are at home against Atherstone Rangers at 2.00pm at London Road pitches. The youth team don't have a fixture scheduled for this weekend but travel to Accrington the following weekend.