The latest round-up from Marcus on all things Town
It's been a pretty good week for Shrewsbury Town fans with four points from two difficult games against teams in the top ten of League One. On Tuesday we gave a good performance in the 0-0 draw at Bescott against a Walsall team that has only lost twice all season and went on to Beat Bristol Rovers away on Saturday.
The 1-0 win at the weekend was a great result against an Accrington who hadn't lost since the middle of August. If I'm being honest, before the game I was hoping we could get a draw as Stanley were on a run of three wins, during which they'd only conceded once. After a first ten minutes where they'd threatened our goal several times I still thought a draw would be a very good result, they were passing the ball well in midfield, looking to dominate. However we did have opportunities and it was impact of the best of those that set the tone for the rest of the game. With around a quarter of an hour gone, Lee Angol got through on goal after getting between the Stanley central defenders. The onrushing Accrington keeper Connor Ripley leapt at Angol and clattered into him with photo's later showing Ripley's foot a little too close to Angol's throat. I think the picture makes it look worse than it actually was and I think his foot was aimed at the ball but it was panicked and clumsily executed.
After that, Accrington's job was to frustrate and thwart any positive moves we made and they did that pretty well. Town kept at it though and when Accrington had the occasional chance, the defence held strong and pushed the attacking player into less threatening positions. When the goal did come after an hour or so, it was the product of our two wingers working together. With Stanley pegged back, Shaun Whalley crossed from the left about midway into the Accrington half, Alex Gilliead and Fejiri Okenabirhie had taken up position in the penalty area and the ball found it's way to Gilliead who nodded it away perfectly into the left corner for his first Town goal.
Okenabirhie had been an effective irritant to Stanley offering something different for them to worry about. It was good to see him get half an hour to show what he can do and I think there is more to come from the 22-year-old this season. His performance will give John Askey something to think about and add to his options.
Possibly the most pleasing aspects of the past week were the two clean sheets we secured, taking us to five in twelve League One games. That's not a bad record considering the well documented changes forced at the start of the season.
The coming week brings us a bit of a break from League football with an old friend visiting in the Football League Trophy. Micky Mellon brings his newly promoted Tranmere team to Montgomery Waters Meadow. They're doing quite well so far and sit in seventh place in League Two which is no surprise because Micky has got teams out of that division already.
The weekend brings us not one but two matches to enjoy with Town heading to Fleetwood on Saturday and the England under 17 team playing Russia at the Meadow on Sunday at 1. Fleetwood have to be considered a real danger after demolishing Doncaster 4-0 away on Saturday. It wasn't the first time they've scored four or more this season, they also hit five at Scunthorpe. I'll take a better look at all three teams in the match previews but already I've picked out some interesting stats to share.
The big news from the Academy is that the under 18's beat Doncaster under 18's 6-1 away with Lifumpa Mwandwe scoring five of them! Archie Elmore scored the 6th in a game where Doncaster used several under 16 players. Keep your eyes peeled for the match report in the next day or so for further details. They play Blackpool at home this weekend at eleven A.M.
Lifumpa Mwandwe also scored for the reserve team in this weeks Central LeagueCup win against Bristol Rovers. The youngster got the third goal in the 3-0 home win for Town with Fejiri Okenabirhie and Lenell John Lewis getting the other two. Their next opponents in this competition are Walsall who they will play at Walsall on October 30th.