Marcus Braddock's weekly look at all thing Shrewsbury Town
It's been a bit of a quiet week for Shrewsbury Town with not a great deal to talk about apart from Saturdays home game against Sunderland. In all honesty I was just hoping we could avoid defeat against a team with everything going for them in this division from their numerous supporters (who packed our away end) to the their purchasing power.
The game started with pressure from the Black Cats but that didn't really last long and if anything I thought we were the better team in the first half. We could have been a goal or two ahead after we had a couple of headed opportunities early on from Omar Beckles and Luke Waterfall. We weren't able to turn the chances into goals though and it was the same story a little while later when a Shaun Whalley free kick didn't quite fall for either Luke Waterfall or Mat Sadler to convert. On another day, those opportunities may have fallen for Lee Angol who surely would have put one of the chances away. It shows how fine the margins are in football; if just one of those opportunities is successful we end up with a totally different game on our hands.
The deadlock was broken after 58 minutes when Lynden Gooch put a low cross into the Town box which somehow came off Beckles and found it's way into the net. It was an unfortunate goal to concede at just the wrong time and it gave Sunderland fresh impetus to go on and win the game. They looked a different team after the goal and as their confidence flowed back into them.
Gooch was again the provider again with just a few minutes to go. His deft little flick put an unmarked Luke O'Nien through on goal and he slotted it away to effectively put the game beyond us. Looking at Lynden Gooch's pre-match impressive stats I was hoping he'd stay on the bench for a little longer and when he did come on I then hoped he would be a little rusty after a short lay off. Sadly for us, the Californian was very much on his game and was the difference between the two teams. I left Montgomery Waters Meadow feeling that we’d deserved a little more for our efforts but football can be a cruel game and you don't always get what you deserve.
There were some good performances despite the defeat, Greg Docherty was his usual tenacious self, sniffing out chances and pushing forward at every opportunity. Shaun Whalley gave his customary hard working performance and was unfortunate not to get an assist or two.
We don't have much time to lick our wounds with Barnsley visiting us on Tuesday night. The Tykes currently sit in fifth position with one game in hand on fourth placed Accrington. They lost to Charlton in the capital last Saturday, their first defeat in five games.
This coming Saturday we visit Oxford who are having a rough time in 22nd place. They've won twice this season with the most recent win just over a week ago at home to struggling Plymouth. The U's have to play Bristol Rovers before they face Town and a win could mean that they start Saturday’s game ahead of us. However, a point or three against Barnsley would keep us ahead of Oxford until Saturday’s game.
There was a bit of good news yesterday about Christos Shelis who has been selected for the Cyprus under-19 squad. Christos has already joined up with the squad who still have to qualify for the competition via group games to be played next month. The qualifying games will be played between November 13th and 19th and the draw for the finals will take place on December 6th. The Cypriots face Russia, Montenegro and Latvia with the top two teams qualifying for next year’s finals in Armenia.