Marcus Braddock looks at all things Shrewsbury Town
It's been a pretty positive week on the pitch for Shrewsbury Town fans but there was also sadness as we heard the news that Brian Edgely had passed away aged 81. Local lad Brian Scored 12 goals in 113 games between 1956 and 1960 before moving on to a successful career as a player, coach and then businessman. It's such a shame that today's technology wasn't available back then because I'd love to have seen players from the 50's and 60s like Edgely, Rowley and Broadbent who I've never had the privilege of seeing.
On the pitch the youth team had an important derby with Walsall under new coach David Longwell. They came close to winning but had to settle for an eventful 2-2 draw in the end. There's an excellent review of the game on ShrewsWeb with David's thoughts on his first game.
The first team won a huge three points from their second away win of the season at Peterborough. I've heard one or two people say we were fortunate to get anything with Ivan Toney hand-balling on the line but the ball was goal-bound which didn't happen by accident or luck. There was certainly no luck involved in the resulting penalty or the inch perfect shot from Tyrese Campbell a short while later. It was a moment of sheer quality as Campbell kept a cool head to shoot across the keeper with deadly accuracy. I'm not sure I can recall a better goal from a Town player, if you haven't seen it yet, it's on YouTube and IFollow and it's well worth a look.
The difference in the way the team played before and after the goal was noticeable, we looked comfortable and confident once we'd scored. Passes that may not have reached their target 10 minutes earlier became more accurate and we stroked it about nicely for quite a while. At 1-0 down things weren't quite going for us but the goals seemed to restore some self-belief. Yes we had an extra player but often the depleted team become quite pugnacious in their defence.
Posh pushed themselves into the game a little more in the second half, forcing our midfield and defence back. It's a bit of a cliché' these days but ref's don't always need much encouragement to even up a sending off. I admire Ollie Norburn's 100% committent but with a player already sent off and a yellow card given I was hoping he could just rein it in a little and not draw too much attention for ten minutes. It's easy for me to say that from the sidelines though, I want players to show that sort of passion but I'm not sure it's that easy to turn it on and off like you would a tap.
The most important thing was to hold that lead. I was on edge for the whole game because we've found it difficult to stay ahead this season but they worked their socks off and were rewarded. Anthony Grant was as impressive as ever, you need leaders like him on the pitch, infecting the rest with his tenacity. His wasn't the only great performance, they all played their part and deserve their victory. It was such a relief to get a win, particularly as the win means we don't have the worst away win record in the division, that honour now belongs to Oxford who have won just the one. It also means we climb out of the bottom four and have a game in hand on four of the five teams below us.
We have a couple of home games this week with play-off contenders Doncaster visiting on Tuesday night and bottom placed Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon. Both teams have half decent away records with Doncaster winning six away games and the Wombles winning five this season. Wimbledon won their last away game 4-3 at Rochdale and Doncaster drew theirs at Scunthorpe so neither team will be short on confidence.
The youth team travel to Blackpool this weekend in the EFL Youth Alliance, a team that drew 2-2 when they visited back in November.
The main news away from the pitch this week is the official opening of the Community Football Hub. It's taking place at Smithy's Bar, on Wednesday at 7.30 and tickets cost £5. The very wonderful Stuart Dunn will be hosting the event which will also feature the equally wonderful David Edwards.