The latest round-up from Marcus on all things Town
It's Monday again and time to have a look at what's been going on with Shropshire's top football club. As I'm sure you have seen already, we drew 1-1 at Portsmouth and in my Friday preview I said I'd be happy with a draw at an in form, table topping team. With a day or so to think about it I am indeed happy with the draw but at full time on Saturday, that draw felt like a defeat after such a good performance. The first half in particular was as good as I've seen from this team so far and although Pompey piled the pressure on, I thought we'd done enough to take the three points.
There are plenty of positives to take from the weekend’s game. The better teams punish mistakes like that and Docherty certainly makes us a better team. The team's performance was probably the best of the season so far, particularly in the first half when we looked more like the home team than the visitors. All this against the second best team in the division so far.
Greg Docherty scoring his first goal for us was well deserved, he's one of many who have worked hard for little reward so far this season and it's a just reward for not letting his head drop. I particularly liked the way he pounced on the mistake in the Pompey defence with such speed of thought. The debut for Josh Emmanuel was another positive, he certainly looked the part, calm and unflappable.
Kenny Jackett's comments about us being in a false position were nice to hear. There are a few managers whose comments I wouldn't take too seriously but KJ isn't one of them. He's a seasoned manager with a good record and a reputation to match, he doesn't have to say anything positive about the opposition.
It's difficult to hide from the fact that we're still looking for our season to properly catch light and it's difficult not to come to the conclusion that but for a couple of soft penalties we'd be sitting comfortably in mid table. However, playing “what if?” is dodgy ground, you could also look at missed chances and think what might have been or any number of other factors. What if Pompey's top scorer Ronan Curtis hadn't been selected for international duty? What if James Bolton hadn't picked up an injury? What if the wind direction changed? You could drive yourself demented looking into the infinite “what ifs”, where do you draw the line?
All I can do is look toward our performances and think we're definitely heading in the right direction in terms of performance, we just need to dig even deeper for that first win. We've had a fair amount thrown at us since the play-off final, we've seen a manager unceremoniously disappear, replaced him with a good manager who fashioned a decent looking team. That team then had an integral part of it removed with days to go until the season started. Now we're turning in very good performances and big decisions look to be costing us. When that first win comes it'll be particularly significant because of what we've overcome to get there. It'll also be a huge weight lifted from the player’s shoulders. As much as I might say there isn't any pressure at this point of the season, they're professionals and they want to win games and progress as much as we want them to.
This coming weekend brings us Southend United at Montgomery Waters Meadow. They've had a mixed season so far but sit above us in 16th place with seven points. They lost 2-3 at home to Peterborough United at the weekend and will be looking at our position with hopes of a point or two. They've won away once this season, a 0-1 against Bristol Rovers in late August.
The youth team drew 0-0 at Fleetwood Town this weekend in rather unpleasant weather. Rain and wind threw themselves at both teams who manfully struggled against it to record a clean sheet each, which is a good response to last weeks defeat to Preston. Their next game is on Saturday at Midday against Walsall in the cup.