Marcus Braddock takes his weekly look at the week in Shrewsbury Town
Last week saw Town get their second win in the space of eight days, but the game in the middle was frustrating in the extreme. Anyone who has watched this team for any length of time will know that on our day, we can stand toe to toe with anyone. However, Tuesday nights game against Tranmere showed us the opposite end of the scale with two goals conceded in the space of a few minutes at the beginning of the game. One or two people I spoke to at half time thought we were dead and buried at 2-0 down, but I believe that anything that can be done in one half, can surely be corrected in the second. I wasn't quiet about that thought either and got a couple of head-shakes from people who probably thought I was just putting a brave face on it.
With just over an hour gone, we were level, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself because it looked as if I was right, we had pulled it back with a couple of decent goals, particularly the one from Callum Lang, he's looked quite an unselfish player, particularly for a young striker and it's nice to see that rewarded with a goal. The win was surely within our grasp, we were at home and Tranmere were looking quite shaky, and those two goals surely gave us the confidence to push on and get a third.
Sadly, that's not what happened, Tranmere pushed a little harder, and we seemed unable to deal with it, eventually conceding the third goal in the last minute. In turn, I was unable to deal with the defeat and was quite angry for quite a few minutes following the game. It made me a little short-tempered and more than a little snappy with people who didn't deserve it. I should probably be a bit more philosophical about the whole thing, but I believe in this team and the coaching staff, and having kept the faith at 2-0 down, I lost it at 3-2.
By the next morning, I was back to being philosophical and hopeful that we could squeeze a positive result out of Bristol Rovers. Their form had been quite poor since Graham Coughlan moved to Mansfield, but they'd won against Blackpool in their last home game, so maybe the recovery was in progress.
As it happened, they didn't seem to offer much resistance, and we looked to have more initiative and desire. It was a much better performance than Tuesday evening, and on another day we could have won by a couple more goals. It was great to see Dan Udoh get the match-winner. Having been given the opportunity at a higher level at the start of the season, he's worked as hard as any player I've ever seen in a Town shirt. There were players ahead of him to play up front, but his desire and attitude looked to have pushed him ahead of them. So it's great to see him get another and such a good one too, I can't think of a player who's deserved it more.
The coming weekend brings us back to Montgomery Waters Meadow to face an Oxford team who've won their last four games, scoring eleven and conceding just once. Unsurprisingly they are in the play-off positions, and like us, they pushed a Premier League team all the way in the F.A. Cup. It's the first in a sequence of quite tough games against good teams, including Coventry and Wycombe, I'm glad we have a couple of confidence-boosting wins under our belt with that on the horizon!