Being Me #0 | An Introduction

As I enter into my second year blogging, I'm going to start an irregular series of posts, all relating to being me (self centred I know).

In these posts, I intend to look into a number of situations and explain how I'd deal with them, including some of the rational behind why I do (or don't do) something in these scenarios.

I know a couple of things that I want to post about but if there's something in particular that you'd be interested in, drop me a comment or tweet with the topic and I'll look to cover it in the future.

My Broken Thoughts | One Year In

🎵 Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to Broken Thoughts, Happy Birthday to you! 🎵

On Saturday, my blog celebrated it's first birthday, so it feels appropriate to have a review and have a bit of a retrospective on publishing over the last year.
When I started my blog, I wanted to be able to use it to get my thoughts down and get an insight into what makes me tick.  I'll admit that I've struggled sometimes with this, I have (generally) kept to publishing my weekly 'The Last Week' roundups and the 'Five Favourite Friday' posts.  Although in recent weeks I have struggled to keep up with my 'The Last Week' posts* and also come up with ideas for the 'Five Favourite Friday' posts.  I've also felt that some of my posts have been a bit repetitive, so I'm going to give some thought to mixing it up a bit and not constricting myself to certain aspects of my blog.  My initial thoughts will be to move the 'Five Favourite Friday' posts to once a month, with ad-hoc specials thrown in and do a round-up of highlights each week.
Looking back, I thought I'd be doing more war-gaming and doing some posts about games / starting a new army, but a lot has gone on with life and I haven't had much opportunity to play many games and I haven't bought anything new for over a year. Perhaps in the future I'll be get round to doing this.  There have also been a number of series that I wanted to start but haven't managed to keep up, which I've felt was a shame.

Looking forwards, in the future, I want to focus on publishing more reviews of events that I go to (I've found myself putting these on the backburner in favour of other posts and then they don't feel relevant so don't post them), films I watch and days out with my family.

Having just glanced at my most popular posts, I find it interesting that the majority have come from some of my most recent post which is hugely encouraging for me (perhaps my niche is Pokémon Go & Shrewsbury Town, who would have thought!).

I want to end this post on a high, and because I love statistics, I've had 14,234 page views in just over a year, which I find amazing. I want to say thank you to anyone that's read any of my posts over the last year, here's to the future! 
*This all came about by not having a picture for the first week and falling a bit behind and it snowballed from there.

Five Favourite Friday... Five Favourite Friday Posts

In honour of my blog turning one year old, I've decided to reveal which Five Favourite Friday post have been my favourites to create.
1) Video Games
Video games are a huge part of my life and have been since I got my first console (Nintendo SNES), so I had great fun deciding which games deserved to make it on to the list.

2) Family Friendly Festive Films
Perhaps not the easiest of topic to select from, but I loved the alliteration I managed to get into the title.

3) National Trust's list of 50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4
I have been a member of the National Trust for as long as I can remember, and having a young son that work through the with, it was really inspiring seeing all the activities they suggest. I'm really looking forward to doing all 50 with my son.

4) Disney Songs
Although I do enjoy some Disney films a lot, this was definitely a topic that suited Nikki. However, looking at the backlog of songs you realise how many recognisable songs they have included in their films. Choosing for this post probably gave me the biggest headache, trying to work out which songs not to include!

5) New Meadow Memories
Considering this was one of the more recent posts, it's one of my favourites. Shrewsbury Town are a big part of my life and we've experienced a number of ups and downs together, especially in the last ten years. This post gave me a fantastic opportunity to go back and look at some great memories at the stadium.

If you've read through my Five Favourite Friday posts over the last year, thank you, let me know what your favourite post was in the comments below!

Shrewsbury Town 3 - 2 Rochdale | League One | 19/08/2017

Shrewsbury Town 3 - 2 Rochdale | League One | 19/08/2017

The second home fixture at the Montgomery Water Meadow for Shrewsbury as they took on Rochdale after successive away fixture. Having lost the game against Nottingham Forest in the first round of the EFL Cup, Shrewsbury returned to winning ways against AFC Wimbledon when they played last week. Rochdale had opened their League account with a defeat and a draw, either side of a victory in the EFL Cup against Mansfield Town.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Brown; Whalley (John-Lewis 90), Ogogo, Nolan, Rodman; Dodds (Adams 81); C Morris (Payne 68)
Substitutes: Gnahoua, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, Adams, Jules, Ennis, Payne

Rochdale: Moore, McGahey, McNulty, Canavan (Done 45), Ntlhe (Bunney 45), Rathbone, Rafferty, Camps (Allen 42), Henderson, Davies, Inman
Substitutes: Williams, Done, Collis, Allen, Cannon, Kitching, Bunney

First Half
The game started with both teams comfortable in possession crafting half chances, but it was Rochdale who were given the chance to take the lead as they were awarded a penalty after Toto Nsiala lunged in on a Rochdale player as they drifted into the box. From where I was sat, I thought it was a dive, but if the referee had deemed it a foul, the Shrewsbury defender could, possibly should, have walked for a reckless challenge. However no card was given, but Rochdale reaped the rewards by converting the penalty for with a powerful shot up to the keepers right.

The lead didn't last long as Shaun Whalley won a penalty bursting into the area, only to be brought down mid-flight. He dusted himself down and took the penalty himself, sending the keeper the wrong way from the spot. In next to no time, Shrewsbury had hauled themselves in front as Carlton Morris finished an Alex Rodman cross from close range. Shortly afterwards, Louis Dodds should have put Shrewsbury out of sight, as he was gifted a free run on goal after a poor back pass, but he shot tamely at the goalkeeper.

Second Half
The second half started with Rochdale having made all their substitutes in an attempt to stifle Shrewsbury. Again they were given an opportunity to score from a penalty as the referee spotted a handball from a corner much to the bemusement of most in the ground. After much remonstrating by Shrewsbury players, the penalty stood and again, Rochdale seized their opportunity, bringing the game level. Even after watching replays, I'm still convinced that there wasn't an infringement, and with this decision the referee created a toxic atmosphere from a good game.

Shrewsbury took the lead again after a poor clearance by the Rochdale goalkeeper which was nodded back and it landed at the feet of new signing Stefan Payne (who looked offside). He raced clear holding off a defender before placing the ball high passed the goalkeeper, giving Shrewsbury a 3-2 lead which they held on to until the final whistle.

Final Thoughts
It was another strong performance from Shrewsbury, and despite Dean Henderson making a world class save in the second half, they looked value for the win. Even going behind, you felt they could go on and win the game - which turned out to be the case. Apart from the two penalty and one really good opportunity, Rochdale didn't seem to create that many chances, whereas Shrewsbury were clinical, not something that has been seen for a number of years.

Man of the Match - Junior Brown
Another tidy performance by Brown who showed his usual commitment and endeavour to push the team forwards, whilst defending resolutely. It was a good working team performance and there were a number of other players that could have got my MOTM, again Rodman, Nolan and Bolton all caught the eye and Whalley was always a threat.

Five Favourite Friday... Dinosaurs

At the moment, my little boy is obsessed with dinosaurs and one of his favourite shows to watch on Cbeebies is 'Andy's Prehistoric Adventures'. Coupled with the fact someone on TV said about their son's favourite dinosaurs when I was doing my last Five Favourite Friday post about New Meadow Memories, meant we had to go for Dinosaurs this week!
1) Tyrannosaurus Rex - the king of the dinosaurs (despite the tiny arms). Big, strong and powerful, just like me...(Ahem!)
2) Stegosaurus - A large armoured dinosaur with large plates that protruded from it's back to protect it from predators.
3) Triceratops - I've always had an affinity to the number 3, so the triceratops has always been a favourite of mine. Although large and slow, it was always a threat to predators.

4) Dilophosaurus - Known to me from the Jurrasic Park films as the dinosaur that fans out it's neck and spits at Nedry.

5) Plesiosaurus - A long-necked dinosaur that roamed the oceans, propelling itself through the water using it's four paddle-like limbs.

You can find Nikki's favourite Dinosaurs on her blog here.  Next week, my blog celebrates it's first birthday (where has the time gone!), so we're going to look at our favourite Five Favourite Friday posts! Until then...

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Northampton Town | League One | 05/08/2017

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Northampton Town | League One | 05/08/2017

For the start of the 2017/18 season Northampton Town visited Montgomery Waters Meadow to take on Shrewsbury Town. Having finished 16th last season, the Cobblers, I'm sure, will be wanting to look further up the table this year. Salop on the other hand battled relegation all season, so we are hoping to avoid having a third season in the depths of the league most fans would be happy with mid-table obscurity, while others think we might be able to push on a little further, sneaking into the playoffs.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Brown; Whalley (Gnahouaa 79), Ogogo, Nolan, B Morris, Rodman; C Morris (John-Lewis 79)
Substitutes: Dodds, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, Adams, Jules, Ennis

Northampton: Cornell, Pierre, Barnett, Taylor, Buchanan, Powell, Crooks, Taylor (Kasimat 64), Bowditch, Richards (Revellat 73), Waters (Longat 64) 
Substitutes: Kasim, Revell, Lobjoit, Phillips, Long, Goff, Poole

First Half
With defences on top, the only real moment of note was a good passage of play that started with a Northampton player completing a drag back on the edge of the area leaving the Shrewsbury defence exposed and wide open. Henderson came out to close the striker, who knocked the ball past the goalkeeper leaving him the opportunity to chip a cross into the 6 yard box but fortunately Nsiala was on hand to clear the ball.

Despite having more of the ball, Shrewsbury were restricted to a couple long range shots, lacking both accuracy and power.

Second Half
Again both teams remained resolute in their defending and after 60 minutes Northampton had another strong attack, with several 'Hollywood' shots that were blocked as the ball ricocheted around Shrewsbury's penalty area before being cleared. The first opportunity for Shrewsbury might have arose from Ogogo bursting into the penalty area, who appeared to be brought down by a Northampton defender, but the referee gave a free kick for the cobblers, booking Ogogo for diving.

Shrewsbury make a break through at the death as John-Lewis converted Rodman's low cross from the left in the 92nd minute.

There was still time for another Northampton attack. As they attacked, the referee gave saw a foul and gave a free kick on the edge of the area, much to the dismay of the Cobblers who thought it occurred in the penalty box. The free kick was taken and end up at the feet of Rodman who broke free as the final whistle was blown.

Final Thoughts
It's always hard to judge the first game of the season, but I'm glad Shrewsbury have got their first win and important 3 points. It was a very even match, and one that would have likely been lost last season. I'm sure Northampton will be ok this season, as they looked compact and probably had the clearer cut chances.

Man of the Match - Bryn Morris
His performance may have gone unnoticed by some town fans, but he was the destroyer in midfield that allowed Abu Ogogo and Jon Nolan to pitch up the field and support attacks. His tackling was strong and decisive, and his distribution kept simple, with the odd longer pass to teammates, keeping the Cobblers on their toes. 

Five Favourite Friday... New Meadow Memories (So Far)

Tomorrow sees the start of Shrewsbury Town's tenth season at their Oteley Road Stadium and it feels like the right time to reveal my five favourite New Meadow Memories (so far). The stadium has gone through a number of names, and is currently known as the Montgomery Waters Meadow from the start of the 2017/18 season. But no matter the name, there have been a number of ups and downs for the club as a whole. On with my five favourite moments:

1) Shrewsbury Town 1 - 2 Chelsea League Cup Round 4 (28 October 2014)
Even though the game ended in defeat, it was for me one of the proudest moments in the clubs history. Doing well in League 2 at the time, the team pushed Chelsea all the way in a narrow 1-2 defeat. Due to the demand for tickets, additional temporary seating was installed and a new record attendance was set, higher than the standard capacity.

2) New Meadow hosting Concerts
Looking away from the football side of things, the stadium has hosted two concerts for internationally renowned artists, Elton John and Rod Steward. As I worked as a steward for both concerts, I didn't get to see the whole set, but from what I did see they were great performances and gave me memories that will stay with me.

3) Shrewsbury Town 3 - 1 Swansea City League Cup Round 2 (23 August 2011)
I remember this as being our best performance at the New Meadow, beating premier league opponents comprehensively. Despite going behind to an own goal, Shrewsbury commanded the game and really didn't need their final goal, a free kick from Nicky Wroe in the last minute to wrap up the game.

4) Shrewsbury Town 4 - 0 Macclesfield Town League 2 (09 August 2008)
I didn't want to fill this list with goals, so I limited myself to one and it's Shane Cansdell-Sherriff goal from nothing against Macclesfield. Having watched the highlights recently, I've seen that his shot hit the crossbar, came back and hit the goalkeeper on the back and went in, but it's probably the most memorable goal I've seen at the New Meadow.

5) Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Dagenham & Redbridge League 2 (28 April 2012)
One of the best atmospheres that the new meadow has experience at the stadium held its first promotion party. The return of Salop legend Graham Turner saw the club finish second in League 2. The fans were amazing and at the end of the game they spilt on to the pitch as the celebrations began. Players appeared from the souvenir suite to rapturous cheering and applause.

There have also been some (read quite a few) forgettable moments, but my favourite that ended well was an own goal by Neil Ashton, lobbing his own goalkeeper in the playoff semifinal against Bury in 2009, handing them the upper hand. However a strong second leg result meant Shrewsbury proceeded to the final!

If you're a Shrewsbury Town fan, feel free to leave a comment below to let me know your favourite New Meadow memories. Nikki has given this Five Favourite Friday post a miss, but next week she'll be back as we consider our favourite Dinosaurs. Until then.