While Charlton will be searching on Saturday for their first home win in five games, the visitors Shrewsbury will be looking for their first away win in six. Does that mean a draw is on the cards?
The Shrews arrive at The Valley on Saturday in an impressive tenth position, six points ahead of us with a game in hand. After a poor November and December they returned to form in January and, although never really threatening the top six, they have been comfortably in the top half ever since. It was wins at Burton, Milton Keynes and Oxford that propelled them back up the table but they have since lost at Accrington, Peterborough and Ipswich and only drawn at Exeter and Derby.
It is a sign of the times in SE7 that Shrewsbury and Exeter are probably the only two clubs that we have a chance of catching this season and we will have to have a strong finish to achieve even that. They are both clubs who are punching above their weight while we flounder.
That was certainly also the situation in May 2018 when Shrewsbury beat us home and away in the play-off semi-final before losing to Rotherham at Wembley. That was the season under Paul Hurst when they topped the League until December and were in the automatic promotion places until caught by Wigan at the end of March. After Hurst's departure for Ipswich, his replacement Sam Ricketts failed to sustain the momentum and they only avoided relegation by two points the following year. Steve Cotterill took over in November 2020 and it now looks as if he will lead them to their first top half finish for five years.
With little to play for but pride, many Charlton fans will be asking themselves whether it is worthwhile making the journey this weekend. However, we currently have the player with the second highest goal to game ratio in League One and you never know how much longer he will be with us. With a league goal every 138 minutes, Miles Leaburn trails only Derby's David McGoldrick (128 minutes) and leaves standing the likes of Peterborough's Jonson Clarke-Harris, Pompey's Colby Bishop, Bolton's Dion Charles and Plymouth's Ryan Hardie. If he scores again on Saturday while McGoldrick fails at Ipswich, Miles will become the undisputed sharpest shooter in League One.
Surely, you would want to be there to see that?
Miles's total of ten goals for CAFC puts him in the exalted company of the following who have scored ten goals for the club at the age of 19 or under:
- George Biswell
- Robert Lee
- Keith Peacock
- Mark Stuart
- Stuart Leary
- Alan Campbell
- Eddie Firmani
- Lee Bowyer
- Ademola Lookman
(acknowledgment to CAFC Facts & Stats)