Marcus Braddock takes a look at all things Shrewsbury Town
After a week where the weather dominated the fixtures, last week was a good return to football for Shrewsbury Town. On Tuesday we battled with a determined Yeovil Town team for a place in the Football League Trophy final at Wembley next month. Yeovil did their best to be a difficult obstacle but a Shaun Whalley cross for a headed Carlton Morris goal in the 63rd minute sent Town to Wembley for the first time in this competition since the 1990's.
Both Omar Beckles and Dean Henderson stuck out on Tuesday night, the latter for his excellent saves and the former for his assured performance and the way he sprayed passes all over the pitch. When he arrived at the start of the season, his passing from defence was the thing that impressed me most from his online videos but on Tuesday his overall performance was excellent and defensively he wasn't found wanting either.
If this season wasn't exciting enough already, a chance to make it third time lucky at New Wembley makes this a great one. Had someone offered me League One survival and getting to Wembley at the start of the season I would have happily taken it! If someone had offered me 71 points at the start of the season I'd have taken it in hope of a play-off place but we have 71 points with eleven league games to go! Currently we average just over 2 points per game, if we can keep to that statistic I can see further excitement for Town supporters.
We went one better than that statistic on Saturday, taking all three points and breaking our winless home run in the league. It was also nice to see us beat Walsall, although the Derby aspect seemed less pronounced than in other years. The Derby is almost an irrelevance, we're focussing on the
game, it's just another one we have to win.
Jon Nolan was his usual busy self, seeing passes that others don't and challenging defences with his pace on the ball. Alex Rodman was as tireless as ever and he took his goal with the aplomb of a confident player in the form of his life. It almost seems unfair to single out players in this team, near faultless performances are the norm for most of the first team this season. The only thing I would have changed would be to score the second goal a little earlier, at 1-0 up it only takes a moment of fortune for the opposition to get an equalizer.
Shrewsbury Town Ladies had another successful weekend, booking their place in a cup final by winning 2-1 at home to Telford. A Katie Doster brace was enough to end Telford's dreams of a cup final and make it two semi-final wins in a week! It's their third successive final in the Tom Farmer Cup and given their season so far, they stand every chance of winning it. This weekend Shrewsbury
Town Ladies take on Staffordshire based Wyrley at home, on Sunday at London Road.
The Youth team took on Fleetwood Town away this weekend and having had a goal disallowed in the second half, they were unfortunate to be beaten in stoppage time. This weekend’s youth team game against Tranmere Rovers is on Saturday morning at Shrewsbury Sports Village in Sundorne.
The first team have no midweek game for a change but we do travel to Scunthorpe on Saturday. The Iron have dropped off the pace a little in recent weeks but pulled off a surprise 3-3 draw at Wigan this weekend. Form is only temporary and results like Saturdays may have a positive impact on their form going into the last weeks of the season.