Marcus takes his weekly look back at all things Shrewsbury Town
Last week finished on a bit of a disappointing note with Town going down 1-0 to Scunthorpe United at the weekend. I'd hoped we might get a point or more there but Scunthorpe chose Saturday to give their fans their first home victory and first clean sheet in the league. In the first half I thought we'd done OK, we created a few opportunities that were denied by the Irons defence. We did allow Scunthorpe a few chances as well but we defended well enough and 0-0 seemed a fair scoreline at half time.
Sadly the second half was a little different and Scunthorpe went ahead following a free kick that was cleared to Josh Morris on the right flank. His cross from quite a deep area was deftly put away by Lee Novak who with a header that left Joel Coleman helpless.
However Coleman wasn't helpless a moment or two later when Josh Morris had a chance of his own. Under pressure from Luke Waterfall, Morris managed to get a shot off that could easily have found the net but for Coleman's intervention. A short while later and pressure on Luke Waterfall and Josh Emmanuel led to a back pass that Ugbo got hold of and raced clear. The onrushing Coleman did well do limit Ugbo's shooting angles so quickly and stopped the ball easily because of it. The young Huddersfield loanee did enough to be our best player this weekend, which is the main positive I take from the game. It's good to know that if teams do push us defensively, we have someone we can rely on.
The under 18 team had a better result beating Morecambe 2-0 at home on Saturday morning. They were unlucky not to be ahead at half time with plenty of chances created through Archie Elmore and captain James Rowland to name just two. It was Rowland who got the first goal after Rhys Davies' started a move that found Rowland in enough space to easily put the ball into the bottom right corner. Ten minutes later, Town keeper Jack Atkinson made a penalty save to deny Morecambe a game changing equaliser and then made another crucial save moments later. The visitors pushed them all the way but victory was all but sealed in the 88th minute when Zac Hartley found Lifumpa Mwandwe who put the ball in the left corner. It was no more than the striker deserved after a hard-working performance.
Off the pitch it was a relatively quiet week but we did have a little transfer movement with three players going on loan to get valuable first team experience. Zac Jules has joined Barnet, second year Pro and midfielder George Hughes has gone to Stalybridge Celtic and Christos Shelis has gone to Halesowen Town. Find out how they got on in the ShrewsWeb loan update published every week that covers all our loaned out players.
Finally, you may have already read that ex-Town goalscorer Ray Russell has passed away aged 88. He played for Town from 1954 and is one the clubs top ten goalscorers of all-time with 55 goals in 168 games. Rest in peace Ray Russell.
The coming week brings the first team back to Montgomery Waters Meadow to face Gillingham who are just one place below us in 21st place with exactly the same amount of points. They've also won just the once and that was also in a home game so I'm hopeful we can turn our four game unbeaten home record into a five game record. The Under 18 team travel to Wigan Athletic for their EFL Youth Alliance game, kick off is at 11 am.