Shrewsbury Town 0 Charlton Athletic 3
Allez, allez, allez.
A consummate performance yesterday in Salop, the scene of not so fond memories at the end of last season. Since then for Shrewsbury’s part they’ve had their squad and management team ripped apart and have had two managers since. Meanwhile we look much better prepared for promotion 7 months on, and the shoe was on the other foot yesterday as we controlled the game, as they did then.
In May Karlan Grant was at Crawley and Lyle Taylor was a figment of Lee Bowyer’s imagination, but yesterday up front together they caused havoc amongst Shrewsbury’s back line, which was one of the Shrews’ assets last season. Grant could have scored four, but his pace was a constant menace. And it was a sign of his confidence that he stepped up for the penalty and struck it with such aplomb.
It was also a sign of Grant and Taylor’s relationship that the latter handed him the ball to take the penalty. Taylor was again excellent and the two have built a good rapport both off and on the pitch and have now scored 28 goals between them.
With new signing Jonny Williams playing just in behind them, his performance hinted that we may have a player that can play way beyond this level. Ben Purrington made his debut at left back and Dillon Phillips gave a strong performance in goal with Chris Maxwell on the bench.
From the radio, at least, there didn’t sound to be much between the sides in the 1st half, Bowyer frustrated that we never really got going. But we did get the lead, and Bowyer was quick to change an initial five at the back to four.
The 2nd half was one of complete dominance. Every time we went forward we sounded as if we could score. Only Shrews’ goalkeeper Arnold keeping the score down.
Darren Pratley smashed in the second with a terrific strike and when for the umpteenth time Grant sped away from stupefied defenders he was caught with a sliding tackle for the penalty. He dispatched that in front of the travelling Addicks, who would have enjoyed their day out much better than last time.
There’s no hiding that was a very good result yesterday. Under Sam Ricketts Shrewsbury have improved, and yesterday was their defeat at home in ten.
Addicks at New Meadow: Doctor Kish;
Bow: “First-half we didn’t pass, it was driving me crazy. Second-half, we passed it more and created chance after chance.”
Elsewhere: We were the only winners in the top 4. Sunderland and Luton shared the spoils at the Stadium of Light. Portsmouth were surprisingly beaten at home by Blackpool 1-0 and Doncaster lost to two super late goals at Wycombe. Barnsley and Peterborough did both win against Bradford and Rochdale respectively.