Shrewsbury – in front of fans again

Charlton's last visit to the Montgomery Waters Meadow was a 3-0 stroll in January 2019 on the way to the play-offs and promotion. Lyle Taylor and Darren Pratley had put us 2-0 up before Karlan Grant was tripped in the area and was allowed to take the resulting penalty to make up for the three one-on-ones he had missed earlier.

The previous year had of course been a different story. Although we beat them 2-0 in April 2018 it was a hollow victory as, knowing they were too far behind Wigan and Blackburn to gain automatic promotion, they eased off and rested players ahead of the play-offs. It worked - they beat us efficiently home and away to take their place at Wembley. The club had been tipped for relegation before the season started so it was an amazing achievement by Paul Hurst to take his team so far but they were edged out in extra time by Rotherham. Hurst's reward was to be appointed manager of Ipswich two days later but, after just one win in the first fourteen games, he was sacked after five months. He started the following season at Scunthorpe where he lasted a bit longer until being sacked in January this year.

The Shrews could have done with some of his magic this season as they currently occupy twenty third place with only one win (1-0 at Wimbledon) in fourteen games. However, when patience ran out with Sam Ricketts last week the club turned to Steve Cotterill who has been without a club for over two years since leaving Birmingham. In his first game in charge the team overcame Oxford City in extra time to earn an FA Cup 3rd round trip to Southampton. On Wednesday, they were denied their first home league win of the season by a 95th minute Accrington equaliser. That goal meant that, in three of their last four games, they had conceded in injury time - squandering a win against  Swindon and a draw at Ipswich. In the other they had led 2-0 at Milton Keynes before being pegged back to 2-2.

How will Charlton bounce back from their comprehensive defeat by MK on Wednesday evening? Having lost both games played in front of spectators this season they might be apprehensive about another two thousand watching on Saturday. But we are confident that, with at least one central defender hopefully back in the starting line up, a better balanced Charlton side will narrowly prevail.

You can purchase your stream of the game here: