Marcus takes his weekly look at all things Shrewsbury Town
It's been an odd week for Shrewsbury Town fans who have seen 12 goals in three games, nine of which were at home. The first six came when Micky Mellon brought his Tranmere team to Montgomery Waters Meadow in the Football League Trophy. Both teams rested players in a game that could have been very different if Steve Arnold hadn't made an excellent save in the first ten minutes. Tranmere barely had an attack after that as Town dominated, scoring on the 11th minute when Greg Docherty carried the ball 20 metres into the box, passing to Lenell John Lewis who turned and shot into the bottom right corner. A few minutes later roles were reversed as Lenell John-Lewis cut the ball back deftly in the box to allow Greg Docherty to put the ball into the top right corner. The third goal was a Docherty cross that the keeper couldn't handle. Omar Beckles pounced on it to make it 3-0 going into half time. The fourth goal came because we were pressing Tranmere in their own half with Docherty applying the decisive pressure on Harvey Gilmour. His rushed pass was picked up by Fejiri Okenabirhie who shot between the two defenders into the bottom left corner from just outside the box. It was Docherty who again made the decisive pass to Okenabirhie who shot from the left corner of the penalty box. The only goal that didn't directly involve Docherty came in injury time as Lee Angol won a long ball just to the right of the Tranmere box. His cushioned pass bounced invitingly for Okenabirhie to smash into bottom left corner, for his hat-trick. A great result with two stand out players, not an easy decision for man of the match!
Next up was Fleetwood who had only won once at home all season so I was hoping we could get something. Sadly we were second best in the first half and fortunate to only concede twice before half time. To his credit, John Askey didn't hide from the responsibility, saying after the game that his 442 formation the first problem and that our lack of commitment was the second. Greg Docherty and Aaron Amadi-Holloway were swapped with Fejiri Okenabirhie and John-Lewis at half time and it was an improved performance from then on. We scored in the 57th minute when Josh Lauren somehow sneaked the ball into the net after Shaun Whalley passed to the near post from the right of the Fleetwood box. It wasn't enough though and as hard as we tried, we couldn't manage a second, even with the introduction of Lee Angol who came on with a couple of minutes left.
Town take on Sunderland at home this coming Saturday. They're currently fifth in League One having only lost once so far so it's likely to be one of the most difficult games this season.
The youth team entertained Blackpool at home this weekend and they also conceded two goals without reply in the first half. Town piled pressure on to the young Tangerines in the second half and in the 66th minute Lifumpa Mwandwe smashed home his 6th goal in two games. Having signed his first pro contract last week, he christened it with a goal in his first game as a professional. More pressure was applied to Blackpool but it was looking like it may never pay off but Ryan Grosvenor converted Luke Wards cross to level the scores.
The youth team are scheduled to play Walsall away this weekend in the EFL Youth alliance.
There was still one more match to go before the week ended with England's under 17 team playing against Russia. The game was a very entertaining one with the home team scoring three times and keeping a clean sheet. There were some excellent performances and it amazes me how well these youngsters pass the ball. There is also a certain amount of pride in seeing any of our national teams at Montgomery Waters Meadow. It wasn't a bad attendance but it always surprises me how few people want to see excellent football for a bargain price. I enjoyed it so much I'm going to watch England take on Brazil in Telford this week.
In off the pitch news, Omar Beckles spoke at Shrewsbury Collage on World Mental Health Day. The defender is the founder of Hub 365 and spoke to students about mental health issues and the stigma attached to mental illness. Having worked in mental health for a number of years myself, I agree with Omar and applaud him for sharing his life experience with our community.
On October 12th, Shrewsbury Town in the Community announced their new BTEC Football elite training experience in partnership with Shrewsbury Colleges Group. It's aimed at helping year 11 pupils in Shropshire see what the partnership has to offer on their BTEC programme. The first of these experiences is set to run on Friday 26th October at the Shrewsbury Town in the Community pitch, SY2 6ST, between 12 midday until 2pm. For any other enquiries please contact Shrewsbury Town in the Community.