Marcus Braddock reflects on an incredible week for Shrewsbury To
There has only been one thing on the minds of Shrewsbury Town this week and that's been the play-off games against Charlton. For the away leg I nipped into the Sovereign club at Montgomery Waters Meadow for a pint with my son and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. It was packed with Town fans singing, laughing and celebrating together. The atmosphere was hopeful to start with but our confidence grew as we saw the lads grow into the tie and then take control of it. What I had hoped for came true as Town began to pressurise Charlton in their own half. The second half was pretty much all Town and Charlton began to look like the away team chasing the game.
The goal is probably the best goal I've ever seen a Shrewsbury Town player score especially considering that it was scored in the most important game in the career if the protagonists. Everything about it was perfect, Shaun Whalley's deft chip, Stefan Payne's cushioned header and Jon Nolan with an acrobatic rocket of a finish that would not look out of place in Russia this June! At 1-0 the end of the game, for all of our dominance Charlton have some excellent forwards that could undo the hard work put in. Thankfully the whole team participated in stopping Charlton coming back.
The few short days between the first and second leg were spent trying to distract myself from our tenuous lead. I was encouraged by our performance but Charlton would surely come at us from the off and throw everything they had at us. When Sunday night came we took what the Addicks threw at us and returned it with interest and our 2-0 win over two legs was the correct result in my opinion. We did ride our luck a little, there was a penalty shout for Charlton that was a little soft but I have seen them given. However, there was a penalty shout for us at Charlton so it all balances out in the end. My abiding memory of the evening was the noise from the home support. It seemed like we sang for the full 90 minutes and when the goal went in, the celebration nearly took the roof off! I hope it's something we can replicate at Wembley in a couple of weeks. It was great to see so many people celebrating on the pitch together, memories make a football club and there have been so many this season and we're still not finished!
The season will end at Wembley, not our happiest hunting ground but talk of a curse or a jinx for us when we play there is frankly stupid and I'm not going to give it any further thought. Even if there was such a thing as a jinx I'd back this iteration of Shrewsbury Town to break it. We've all seen enough this season to know that you have to make your own luck when the odds are against you.