Shrewsbury Town 2 - 0 Walsall | League One | 10/03/2018


After sealing their place in the Checkatrade Throphy, Shrewsbury welcomed a mid-table  (13th) Walsall to the Montgomery Waters Meadow.

Luke Hendrie had come in for Bryn Morris, pushing Ben Godfrey back into the holding midfield role, but otherwise a very familiar side took to the pitch. Walsall on the other hand only contained one player that I recognised, Erhun Oztumer, their playmaker that became in demand a few seasons back after a good season.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Hendrie, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (Thomas 80), Ogogo, Nolan (John-Lewis 90), Rodman; C Morris (Payne 76)
Subs: MacGillivray, Lowe, Thomas, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, B Morris, Payne

Walsall: Roberts, Devlin, Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy, Morris (Cuvelier 71), Chambers, Dobson, Ngoy (Shaibu 86), Oztumer, Bakayoko
Sub: Gillespie, Cuvelier, Kinsella, Shaibu, Flanagan, Fitzwater, Kouhyar

First Half
Shrewsbury started on the front foot and took the lead after 6 minutes. Jon Nolan attempted a one-two with Shaun Whalley, but he still got the ball back from the defenders interception. He darted into the box and teased a low cross to the back post, where Alex Rodman snuck in to steal the opening goal.

A few minutes later Carlton Morris struck the post with a half volley from Shaun Whalley's cross as Shrewsbury continued to dominate the game.

Walsall grew into the game as the half wore on, striking the post and making Dean Henderson make a couple of routine saves.

Second Half
Shrewsbury had the ball in the back of the net for the second time of the afternoon following Whalley’s corner, but the referee spotted an infringement as the ball was bundled passed the goalkeeper.

They did however get the second goal that the team performance deserved with Abu Ogogo stealing in at the near post to connect with Alex Rodman’s right wing cross.

Final Thoughts
The result reflected the match - Shrewsbury were always dominant and Walsall had few chances to score. After the first goal went in it looked like the Shrewsbury faithful would be rewarded with a big over their local rivals, however chance after chance were spurned and it did give Walsall some confidence to push forwards, but their attacks didn’t really threaten, but at 1-0 you are always wary of the opposition. Fortunately Abu Ogogo popped up with his second goal of the calendar year to make sure of the result.

As much as the team performed on the pitch, there should be a special mention to the Shrewsbury fans in the stands. They kept behind their team from the off and the three home stands managed to keep one chant going for over 10 minutes in the second half with even the corporate seats joining in! It really seemed as if everyone was pulling in the same direction after the home form had a bit of a wobble.

I’ve got to say I was quite disappointed in Walsall. As anticipated Oztumer stood out as their best player and all there best play came through him, but there wasn’t the usual fight from them that I’ve come to expect.

Man of the Match - Abu Ogogo
The team played well as a unit, generally controlling the game well, and every player doing their job which maked picking a man of the match difficult. In the end I selected Abu Ogogo who rounded off a strong performance with a fantastic finish putting the game to bed.

My Sunday Photo - Empty Playground

I'm trying to make sure I participate each week in #MySundayPhoto. My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

This week’s subject is the playground in Telford town park. I chose this photo for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is the contrast from my previous visit. I had been in the park on Saturday as part of the Pokémon Go Community Day and the park was heaving, with people staring at their phones and children running amok in this playground in particular. Fast forward two days, the weather had turned with the first signs of the ‘beast from the east’ and Storm Emma were in the air and the park was empty.

Normally I like to take bright photographs with lots of colour and light, but this photograph represents the bleakness of the day and weather. With hardly a soul in the park and the wind whipping round the open area it wasn’t the ideal time to be in the park.


My Sunday Photo - Greyfriars Bridge

I'm trying to make sure I participate each week in #MySundayPhoto. My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

However, being ill over the last couple of weeks I've not been able to get out to take any photographs but this week I've felt more human and we were able to get out and about this weekend. We were out feeding the ducks with my son, sheltering as much as we could from the bitter wind that was blowing when I spotted that the moon was out early (about 16:00) and it was well positioned above this pedestrian bridge for me to take a snap.

What I like about this photo is the contrast between the natural blue sky against the drab metal bridge and the way the photo is segmented into three by the top and bottom of the bridge.


Shrewsbury Town 0 - 1 Rotherham United | League One | 17/02/2018

Mid-week, Shrewsbury had returned to the summit of League One with victory over Fleetwood Town, but they return to the Montgomery Waters Meadow to face in-form Rotherham United. Rotherham arrived having won there last five games and were unbeaten in eleven.

Shrewsbury started the game with a very familiar line-up continuing the consistent team that has been selected for most of the season. Jon Taylor was the only recognisable name on the Rotherham team sheet, but he only made it on to the bench.

HendersonBolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley, Ogogo, Nolan (Payne 68), Thomas (Rodman 84); C Morris (John-Lewis 74)

Subs: MacGillivray, Lowe, John-Lewis, B Morris, Hendrie, Rodman, Payne

Rotherham United: Rodák, Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood, Ihiekwe, Forde (R Williams 63), Towell, Ball (Laveryat 75), Vaulks, Newell (Palmer 90+2), Smith
Sub: Palmer, Taylor, Price, Yates, R Williams, Cummings, Lavery

First Half
Rotherham's first attack stemmed from a long free kick up the pitch being recycled and flicked on to one of their players who drilled his low shot just wide. They then had two good chances in quick succession, again from a lofted pass out from the back along the left wing found a Rotherham player who jinked passed two Shrewsbury player before unleashing a shot that Dean Henderson clawed away, but only to another Rotherham player. He reacted to the chance, but failed to make any meaningful contact with the ball and Mat Sadler could easily clear the ball.

In a rare Shrewsbury attack, Carlton Morris flicked the ball on to Shaun Whalley who drove towards goal leaving the defence in his wake, as the Rotherham defence had been caught high up the pitch. The goalkeeper came off his line quickly and smothered Whalley's shot.

Rotherham kept on the pressure on and their next chance came from a corner.  As the ball came across, Henderson came to punch the ball but an attacker beat him to the ball and glance his header just wide.

They got the goal their play (probably) deserved on the next attack, again the ball was swung over from a corner as Shrewsbury cleared the ball it ended up back with the corner taker. His returned the ball into the box towards the far post, again Henderson came for the cross and failed to get to the ball, with at least two Shrewsbury players between his and the ball. A Rotherham player nodded the cross back into the six yard box and another was on hand to turn the ball home into the unprotected net, 0-1 to Rotherham.

Second Half
Shrewsbury had the first chance of the second half as Jon Nolan chested the ball forwards but a Rotherham defender headed the ball straight to Abu Ogogo. He pushed towards the centre of the box and unleashed a left footed shot, but it was comfortably saved by the Rotherham goalkeeper.

They also had the next chance, with a John-Lewis playing a pass into the box, which Omar Beckles (don't ask me why he was in the centre forward position) flicked the ball to Nathan Thomas, but his first time shot was blocked by the Rotherham goalie.

Final Thoughts
On the balance of play, Rotherham probably shaded the match and so could claim they deserved their victory. However, Shrewsbury were always in the tie and it could be argued had the better chances through Whalley and Thomas.

The game was in no ways a classic and the performance of the referee was integral to this. He picked up every slight knock and gave free kicks which played in to the match strategy of Rotherham, who made the most of the referee's generosity.  Every free kick they took would be a long ball into the box and then they would play for the second ball, playing off scraps. I would add that Shrewsbury looked panicked when clearing the ball and invariably the ball would be cleared to touch. This played into the second part of Rotherham's plan, which was to launch throw-ins into the box, just like the free kicks.

The Shrewsbury fans were in fine voice, getting behind the team, but there was a nervousness in the team which may have permeated from Henderson's rashness. On numerous occasions he came for crosses and got no where near them.  The team also seemed to be too engaged in playing head tennis rather than get the ball down and play on the deck, which all helped Rotherham's cause. Rotherham's game plan worked, but I can't help but feel with a bit more composure Shrewsbury could have countered Rotherham's play.

Man of the Match - Carlton Morris
At the end of the match I was struggling to pick my man of the match as no one stood out, in a bad way.  Earlier in the season I had plenty of players that were in the recognition, but today was forgettable for most of the team. It was probably between James Bolton, Abu Ogogo and Carlton Morris, but Morris possibly deserved it most as he worked hard and battled the Rotherham defenders for the scraps he was made to play off. He was also involved in creating the best chances when they came Shrewsbury's way.

I could critique each player, but it was a difficult match, against difficult opposition, made worse by a difficult referee.

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 2 Plymouth Argyle | League One | 10/02/2018

Shrewsbury came into the game on the back of two impressive away victories against Portsmouth and Bristol Rovers, but Plymouth were also on a good run losing just once in twelve games.

With Dean Henderson missing from the team through suspension, MacGillivray continued to deputise in a familiar looking team selection. Nathan Thomas made his home debut starting on the right wing.

Plymouth's team contained Anthony Sarcevic, would had played for Shrewsbury two seasons ago before being allowed to leave part way through his contract. Also in the Plymouth squad was ex-fan favourite at Town, Lionel Ainsworth who had a place on the substitutes bench.

MacGillivrayBolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Lowe; Godfrey (Payne 68); Thomas, Ogogo, Nolan, Rodman (Whalley 67); C Morris (John-Lewis 68)
Subs: Beckles, Whalley, John-Lewis, B Morris, Eisa, Rowley, Payne

Plymouth Argyle: Matthews, Threlkeld, Vyner, Bradley, Sawyer, Sarcevic, Fox (Songo'o 69), Ness, Lameiras (Ainsworth 77), Taylor, Carey
Sub: Songo'o, Ainsworth, Church, Makasi, Grant, Taylor-Sinclair, Letheren

First Half
Shrewsbury took the lead after 6 minutes through Carlton Morris. Jon Nolan burst through the centre circle before playing the ball to Alex Rodman, who in turn slipped in Max Lowe on the left hand side of the penalty area. His first time cross got deflected into the path of Morris, who turned the ball home from about 4 yards.

This goal spurred Plymouth into life, a central free-kick was struck just wide of Craig MacGillivray's post, before the first contentious decision by the referee. Ex-Shrewsbury man Anthony Sarcevic got played into the box and appeared to tumble over the ball, however the referee saw a foul and awarded Plymouth a penalty. MacGillivray guessed which way the Plymouth man would put the ball correctly and saved the shot.

A few minutes later, a long ball by the Plymouth goalkeeper was flicked on and next thing you see is a Plymouth player running clear of the defence to slip the ball under MacGillivray to make it 1-1.

Second Half
Plymouth had grown into the game and were starting to dominate the match.  They took the lead but
 this wasn't without controversy. Plymouth took a quick corner, but the ball went straight out for what looked like a Shrewsbury throw in, but the referee told them to retake the corner, suggesting the ball was moving when taken. It should have been a thrown in to Shrewsbury, but instead Plymouth were able to swing in a corner which was flicked on at the near post before being bundled over the line at the near post.

Nathan Thomas almost restored parity from the kick off, with Rodman crossing from the left and Thomas meeting it with his head, but the Plymouth goalkeeper was equal to it before saving the rebound too.

Shrewsbury continued to look for an equaliser, but shots from Ogogo and Payne lacked conviction and the goalkeeper saved both comfortably.

Final Thoughts
Plymouth deserved their win, after conceding the early goal, they dominated the game, Shrewsbury struggled to get out of their own half and even a triple substitution and a change in formation didn't really affect how the game played out.

If I were bitter man, I'd say that the referee and his assistants had conspired to let Plymouth win, but in truth Plymouth out Shrewsbury'ed Shrewsbury and deserved their win. They looked to be a very physical side and won most 50:50 balls, their striker won most balls in the air which allowed them to build their attacks much further up the pitch than Shrewsbury and they pressed high up the pitch, not giving Shrewsbury players time on the ball.

Man of the Match - Carlton Morris
It was a game were there were few bright moments, but Morris was in the right place at the right time for his goal and looked to be full of running as per usual before making way as part of the triple substitution.

What I've Been Up To January 2018

Last year I paused my weekly updates post, but this year I'm looking to do a monthly round up of all the things that happen to me and what I get up to.

Each month I'll look back at where I've been, what I've been up to and what I've watched. On those days that not much has happened, I've removed the days.

January 2018

1st - On New Years Day we went for a walk around Attingham Park with Nikki's
3rd - I spent the day with my dad driving around south Shropshire, looking for inspiration for somewhere to take photographs.  Unfortunately, the weather was overcast and grim, so I hardly took any photos but I did play about with lighting my lunch, a BLT at The Happy Bap.
4th - After nearly a fortnight off, it was back to work but there was no easing back into it as I was asked to get things ready for a team event the following week.
5th - I watched 'Logan' [2017] for the first time.
6th - Like a child at Christmas, I was excited for what was to come and I couldn't sleep, so I watched 'Baby Driver' [2017] until the early hours.
7th - I went to the Montgomery Waters Meadow to watch Shrewsbury Town play West Ham United (0-0) in the third round of the FA Cup - My thoughts on the match can be read here.
9th - I drove up to Newcastle in preparation for a team meeting. The journey was good and we had a productive afternoon in a pre-meeting. I checked into my hotel (Caledonian Hotel in Jesmond) before talking some colleagues into joining me for a burger at Fat Hippo. I had deep fried gherkins (Lightly battered on a bed of shredded lettuce. With garlic mayo) followed by a Candy Man Burger (Double 4oz patties, topped with cheese, candied bacon and onion jam), all washed down by a Fat Hippo IPA. Whenever I go there I like to try a different burger, but I'll definitely go back for a Candy Man in the future. After dining, we retired back to the hotel bar, catching some of the Manchester City vs Bristol City match, and then going our separate ways to our rooms.
10th - An early start to get to the office for our team meeting before leaving at 15:30 and getting back on the road to return home.
12th - Back to Newcastle, this time for an interview. I'd been stressed about it, so I was glad when it was all over, but I forgot lots of things that I'd hoped to bring up. In all honesty, spending the day travelling for four and a half hours for an hours interview was hard and not something I plan to do again, but being away for one night was difficult enough and I didn't want to leave my son again for a second time in a week.
13th - Breakfast with my son at Palmer's of Shrewsbury whilst Nikki got her nails done, followed by a walk around the town park and some time in the playground. We visited Telford so Nikki could buy herself a Tamagotchi from Smyth's and then grabbed a McDonalds for lunch before heading home to watch films.
14th - Sunday lunch with Nikki's parents and then spent the afternoon watching Bournemouth vs Arsenal (2-1) & Liverpool vs Manchester City (4-3).
15th - Back to five-a-side for the first time in almost a month. I got two special goals which left me feeling good about myself. The first was my trademark shot off the wall, the second I dragged the ball back and back healed it past the goalkeeper.
17th - I finished early and made the most of it by starting to watch ‘Pulp Fiction’ [1994].
19th - Despite flagging somewhat before dinner, my son came to life afterwards as we spent time with my parents, auntie and uncle.
20th - Started the day by watching 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' [2017], then 'Wreck It Ralph' [2012] before heading to the Montgomery Waters Meadow to watch Shrewsbury Town play Doncaster Rovers (2-2).
21st - We spent the day at home, watching films and just relaxing.
22nd - I started 'My #H2Only Challenge', the first day of 10 where I'll only be drinking water. With my son being very poorly, I skipped football as he just wanted to lie on my lap and fall asleep.
23rd - Having looked after him for the day, my son lovingly passed on a bug to me, which meant I missed the Shrewsbury Town match against Oldham Athletic in the EFL Throphy.
24th - The illness took it's toll on me and I spent the day in bed, sleeping for the vast majority of it.  This set the pattern for the next couple of days.
29th - Although still not well, I returned to work.

18 for 2018 | My Goals

2018 is in full flow now, and it's time to consider some goals that I want to achieve before 2019 arrives. There will be some similarities to my New Years Resolutions post as some of the goals are duplicates of resolutions.


I want to get to:
  • Reinvent ‘the week that was’ to be ‘What I've been Up To’ - One of the reason for starting to blog was to record what I'd been up to, but having put my 'week that was' posts on hold, I've missed them. So I'm going to do a monthly 'What I've Been Up To' post.
  • Be more active in the blogging community - Reading and commenting on Dad Blogs each week.
  • Create a media kit for my blog - since starting to blog, I've been meaning to create a media kit to be shared with anyone that may want to work with me.
  • Improve my consistency in sharing posts across all my social media - last year I got better at sharing on Facebook and Twitter, but I need to start using Instagram more.
  • Visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - I saw it on the television over Christmas and now I've got a need to visit. Luckily I've got some family that live nearby so it won't be a long journey just to get a photo by a sign, we'll pop by and see them too.
  • Get away for a city retreat as a four - We'll probably head to Bristol for the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail, but to get away for a night or two would be nice.
  • Have a family day out each month - particularly since our son was born, I've become developed itchy feet and I've wanted to get out more, so each month I want to have a family day out.
  • Support Nikki as she progresses through her pregnancy and as we both try to adjust to having two children in our lives - Although we've been through it all once before, we only had to concentrate on our son... this time round there will be two of them competing for our attention with very different needs.
  • Watch the top 10 movies listed on IMDBs top 250 movies list - I still haven't seen most of the top rated films, so I want to start by watching the top 10 films. The two biggest hurdles to over come will be sourcing the films and finding time to watch them.
  • Watch 'Avengers: Infinity War' [2018] in IMAX - Despite having an IMAX cinema just up the road, I've still not seen a film in IMAX, so I want to make 'Avengers: Infinity War' my first (you never forget your first...).
  • Get promoted at work - fairly self explanatory, but I'm at the stage of my career where I'm ready to progress.
  • Be more adventurous when visiting restaurants - I tend to stick to a handful of meals, but in 2018 I want to branch out.
Thank you to Kirsty from Life With Boys for tagging me in the '18 for 2018', you can read her goals here. As I'm a bit late getting round to publishing this I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you fancy giving it a go leave a link to your post in the comments below as I'd love to have a read!

My #H2Only Challenge - Day 5 Update

Wow, half way through my #H2Only Challenge and so far I’ve stuck to water only to drink, but that’s only half the story of my first five days.

Day one was strange as I’ve been pretty much addicted to either colas (pre-Christmas) and other fizzy drinks for a long time, so to drink only water just felt weird. That said, as it was the first day it was easy enough, on day two the ‘fun’ started.

My little boy had picked up a flu bug and so I spent the day at home looking after him. As the day wore on I could feel the bug taking hold of me and since then I’ve been as good as bed bound.

You may be asking what’s this got do with the H2Only challenge. Well I can’t swallow tablets and normally I take soluble paracetamol, etc, but it left me in a bit of a conundrum. Would taking soluble paracetamol be allowed as part of the challenge? Should I take them and just not mention them..? All thoughts that ran through my head. But to be true to myself and the challenge I resisted. What I really needed was to rest up and, you guessed it, drink plenty of water. 

What I hadn’t occurred to me was how only drink water would affect my overall consumption of liquid. I’ve realised that I’ve not been able to stomach drinking large quantities of just water. On a normal working day I can easily drink 5, 6, 7 pints of squash, but since starting this challenge, I struggled to finish a second pint of water. Doubled with the flu bug, I’ve felt really dehydrated which hasn’t helped how I’ve felt.

Even though I’ve spent most of the time curled up at home, temptation has been all around me but I’ve resisted (just about) so far. Halfway through and I’m positive I’ll make it to the end of this challenge only drinking water.

If you can sponsor me for this, please follow the link below and donate on my JustGiving page.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


My #H2Only Challenge

"No tea. No coffee. No fizzy drinks. No wine. No beer. No orange juice. Just water for 10 tough days." - the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

The powers that be at work have challenged their employees to take part in a H2Only challenge from RNLI, in which they only drink water for 10 days. So that's no alcohol, coffee, tea, juices or soft drinks, just good 'ol H2O between 22 and 31 January.

The RNLI are fundraising for a new state-of-the-art Shannon-class lifeboat to be stationed at Wells-Next-The-Sea. The idea is that by cutting out all these different drinks, we then donate some (or all) of the money.

Straight off the bat, alcohol, tea and coffee will not be an issue for me as I rarely drink booze or tea. And coffee? Even the thought of drinking a sip of coffee makes my stomach churn. It's the soft drinks that will be difficult to give up. Having said that, I haven't had a drink of Coca Cola, Pepsi or other caffeinated soft drink since Christmas Eve (except for one glass at an event with work that someone had bought for me, not realising that I had given it up) so maybe it won't be all that hard?

So, for the next 10 days I will be drinking purely water. And that means no squash to give it flavour! And no flavoured water either. I have a JustGiving page which, if you should have a spare pound or two, I'd love if you could sponsor me to take part in the challenge - just click on the link below. Or, if it's easier, simply text 'BTIM83 £1' to 70070 to donate £1

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

You can follow my daily progress over on Twitter and I will post an update here at the end of the week as well as at the end of the challenge.

Do you think you could drink only water for 10 days? Do you think I can drink only water for 10 days? Leave me a comment and let me know!

My Sunday Photo - Setting Sun

I'm trying to make sure I participate each week in #MySundayPhoto. My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

My choice of photograph today is a shot of a sunset over the river Severn. The sunset looked majestic over the countryside, so again I grabbed the only camera to hand (my phone) and took the shot.

With this photo, I love the contrast between the burst of light from the sun and the dark countryside in the foreground. Then there’s the clouds, moody and grey, full of rain, but the sun is catching the underside, highlighting every edge.


Shrewsbury Town 2 - 2 Doncaster Rovers | League One | 20/01/2018


After three difficult games in the space of 10 days (West Ham United home and away in the FA Cup third round and Blackburn at Ewood Park), Shrewsbury returned to home to play Doncaster Rovers. Recent signings Max Lowe and Luke Hendrie both started the game and it was the first time I'd really seen them play.

Starting the game in mid-table, Doncaster visited the Montgomery Waters Meadow on a run of three games without a win. I was surprised by the Donny teamsheet as I only recognised the name of James Coppinger, a mainstay of Doncaster over the last 14 years.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Hendrie (Payne 87), Nsiala, Sadler, Lowe; Godfrey, Whalley, Nolan, Ogogo, Rodman (for Beckles 72); C Morris
Subs: Riley, Godfrey, C Morris, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, Adams, Rodman

Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, Butler (Baudry 11), Wright, Mason, Houghton (Ben Khemisat 70), Kongolo (Beestin 45), Coppinger, Whiteman, Rowe, Marquis
Subs: Baudry, Marosi, Mandeville, May, Garratt, Beestin, Ben Khemis

First Half
Morris free header from Whalley free-kick just over the bar after 8 minutes

Shrewsbury deservedly took the lead as Mat Sadler stabbed home from close range as the ball dropped to him from a corner. Nsiala had the first effort but this was cleared off the line, before Sadler calmly struck home.

A few minutes later Sadler had a great opportunity to double the lead, again from a corner, Nsiala header the ball back across goal and sat up to be volleyed right-footed by Sadler but the ball flew just over the crossbar. Perhaps if the ball fell on to his left foot, the ball would have nestled in the back of the net.

Second Half
Shrewsbury started the second half well and Toto Nsiala had his header clawed away by the Rovers goalkeeper.

Doncaster improved as the game went on and almost drew level when the ball broke nicely to a midfielder bursting forwards, he struck the ball sweetly, but the ball went just wide of the goal.

Max Lowe burst into the box from the left leaving two defenders in his wake, his cross was intercepted and the ball came back to him but his shot hit the side netting.

Shrewsbury doubled their lead in a similar fashion to the first goal. Shaun Whalley put in a corner to Nsiala, whose header found Carlton Morris, who poked home to make it 2-0.

Doncaster were growing into the game, perhaps it was the hectic schedule that Shrewsbury had endured over the past two weeks, but Rovers were pressing to get back into the match. They got their reward as Dean Henderson slipped on the goal-line as a corner came in and a Donny player rose highest in the six yard box to nod home and make it 2-1.

Doncaster almost drew level, but Henderson stood firm and tipped a powerful shot over the crossbar.

With the wind in their sales, Doncaster pushed to draw the game level and they managed it from the games most controversial moment. Doncaster put over a cross and Henderson caught the ball whilst moving backwards, and as he staggered in to the goal net the linesman ruled that the ball had crossed the line and a goal should be awarded.

A final chance fell to Doncaster late in the game similar to Morris' headed effort in the first half, by Shrewsbury fans were glad to see the ball land on the top on the netting.

Final Thoughts
If Shrewsbury had gone in at half time 3-0 up I don't think anyone could have complained, but with a slender 1-0 lead things were a little bit nervy. As eluded to above, Shrewsbury had faced a difficult fortnight in the run-up to this game and playing extra time in the FA Cup replay, and perhaps this is why they dropped deeper as the game went on.

It's a cliche, but this was a game where two points were dropped. For most of the season Dean Henderson has been a beacon of consistency, but he was culpable for both goals today, first with the slip and then carrying the ball over the line when he may have dealt with the cross in another way. But I think Town fans will forgive him as he has regularly produced world class saves to preserve victories and draws so far this season.

I'll also comment to say that I'd question the decision of Paul Hurst to tinker with the formation just before the second Doncaster goal, changing to three centre halves. Hopefully this was a blip and with the success we've had this season, I can accept one in the same way I'll still be backing Henderson in future matches.

Just for clarification, I was sat in line with goal when Henderson stepped back over his line, and my initial thoughts were that the ball went with him. At the time of writing this, I'm still waiting to see confirmation (either way) as to whether the goal was correct in being awarded.

Man of the Match - Carlton Morris
There were a number of players who caught the eye today, but it felt like a solid team performance and not a spectacular one. Nsiala caused problems from corners and got two assists, Lowe and Hendrie also looked good coming in on either fullback position. but Morris was my man of the match.

As Shrewsbury Town fans have come to expect, Morris worked the entire Doncaster backline by himself, dragging centre halves away to create space for the creative players like Rodman, Whalley and Nolan. I was pleased that he got a goal as I think his recent play has warranted one.

Jobs For The Boy

No, no, no... rest assured, this isn't a post about jobs that only men can do, it's all about the things that my 2YO son does and what career(s) he might forge based on my recent observations. Whilst he does play with typical toys that might suggest wanting to become a fireman, astronaut or footballer, I want to pick out the more obscure careers that he might be interested in.

We’ll start off with an easy one. For Christmas we bought him a little play kitchen and he loves making us all sorts of foods and won’t take no for an answer. Perhaps he’ll become a maître d' at a top restaurant, or perhaps a chef in a greasy spoon cafe.

He's recently got some jungle animal snap cards and last night, whilst playing a game with my mum (his nanny), he started shuffling the cards unprompted, so obviously he's practising to be a Croupier in Las Vegas.

One of his favourite things to play with (and has been since he was young) are plastic food bag clips, we call them 'nippers'.  In recent weeks he's started using them to shave anyone that's nearby with his nipper. Perhaps he's developing his skills to be a barber / hairdresser?

On Saturday morning, he opened his money box and was putting the coins into piles, resembling a certain Christmas character. Maybe, just maybe, he could be the next accountantbusiness man or entrepreneur like Ebenezer Scrooge, at least he could have a book written about him!

Earlier he started squeezing my arm, no reason why just being a toddler, but maybe it’s the beginnings of a career as a masseuse?

With all these ideas floating around my head, I've not even consider what the job market will look like in 20 years when he'll start looking, and who knows what it will be like in 60+ years when he retires!

I'm sure with Baby Girl on the way in a few months, I'll do a 'Jobs for the Girl' post when she's a similar age and look at if things have changed for my son.

My Sunday Photo - Train’s Late

I'm trying to make sure I participate each week in #MySundayPhoto. My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

This photograph was taken on Monday morning as I strolled around Shrewsbury railway station, waiting for my train to arrive. Seeing the slight frost on the tracks and the sunrise in the distance, I raised my phone (the only camera to hand) to take a couple of snaps.

I like the way the track, platform and roof all lead into a vanishing point just off centre, also the colours generated from the sunrise and it's reflection on the stationary carriages to the right of the picture.

Shrewsbury Town 0 - 0 West Ham United | FA Cup Round Three | 07/01/2017


After beating Morecambe in round two of the FA Cup, Shrewsbury Town were drawn out to play West Ham United at home. At the time it felt like a good draw as West Ham were struggling in the Premier League and Shrewsbury were flying high in League One, but following a change in manager West Ham’s fortunes had improved and the defensive mistakes were being minimised.

Shrewsbury struggled with a mini slump in mid-December but regained their momentum over the festive period by taking 10 points from a possible 12. The match day squad included Max Lowe who had joined from Derby County on loan until the end of the season. There was a bit of a surprise when the teams were announced as Dean Henderson's name was included, having not been given permission to play in the last round.

West Ham came to Shrewsbury with mixed form having held some of the top premier league sides but losing to some of their fellow strugglers. The game saw West Ham manager David Moyes return to the club he played for back in the 1980’s and also the return of Joe Hart who was born in the town and started his career coming through the Shrewsbury youth teams.

Shrewsbury Town: Henderson; Bolton, Sadler, Nsiala, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (Gnahoua 88), Ogogo, Nolan, Rodman (Lowe 76); C. Morris (Payne 82)
Subs: Lowe, Dodds, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, B Morris, Payne

West Ham United: Hart, Burke, Rice, Reid (Quina 86), Ogbonna, Masuaku, Kouyate, Obiang, Cullen, Chicharito (Martinez 71), Ayew.
Subs: Adrián, Haksabanovic, Martínez, Quina, Samuelsen, Neufville, Makasi

First Half
Shrewsbury fashioned the first opportunity of the game as Ben Godfrey connected with a Shaun Whalley freekick, although Joe Hart gathered from the toe of James Bolton averting the potential danger.

West Ham were making the most of the challenges put in by Shrewsbury, but there was a break in play as Mat Sadler clashed heads with Andre Ayew. The knock on the head must have left him concussed as a few minutes later he burst forward from centre back, riding a few challenges, before unleashing a left footed shot across goal that Hart pushed away, fortunately to a teammate.

The next chance fell the way of Alex Rodman, who cut in from the left and drew a good save from Hart, all after some concerted pressure by Salop. Omar Beckles also had an effort at goal as he brought down a clearance and riffled a shot just over the bar.

Second Half
Early in the second half Mat Sadler had to disappear down the tunnel to get some further attention to the cut sustained from the clash in the first half. There was some additional medical attention required for Cullen as Abu Ogogo caught him in the mouth - he lost a tooth in the incident.

Obiang had West Ham's first shot, dancing through the Shrewsbury defence but he then dragged his shot well wide.

Jon Nolan was presented with an opportunity to take the lead, as Stefan Payne won a tackle on the byline and pulled the ball back to debutante Max Lowe. Lowe darted into the box and slipped a pass to Nolan, he unleashed a shot, but it was wild and over the bar.

Final Thoughts
In truth, the game is mostly to be remembered by the two incidents that left players bleeding. I had been concerned in recent weeks that West Ham were going to turn up looking to prove they had improved, but Shrewsbury kept them at arms length for the vast majority of the game.  Joe Hart was the more occupied goalkeeper, as Shrewsbury created the better opportunities and had the better of the match.

I was thoroughly disappointed by West Ham as they didn't look interested in the game and rarely threaten the Shrewsbury goal, but both sides will get another chance to progress at the London Stadium in the replay.

Man of the Match - Mat Sadler
In a game where the opposition had a number of international attackers, Mat Sadler dominated them to the point whereby they hardly had a shot. Alongside Toto Nsiala, Sadler marshalled the West Ham attack, winning tackles and headers throughout the game. Having sustained a head injury in the first half, I'm sure his bandaged head will become an iconic image in years to come.

My Sunday Photo - Shining Bright

Hopefully in 2018 I’ll find more opportunities to take some photographs to participate in #MySundayPhoto.  My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

This photograph was taken late last night (on 6/1/18). Part way through watching Baby Driver [2017], I glanced through to the kitchen and saw the moon low in the sky shining brightly, however when found my camera and raced outside the clouds had come across, covering the moon.  I took a couple of (poor) shots, before heading back inside.  Just as I settled back to watch the rest of the film, I saw the clouds had broken and I ran back outside. I wasn't dressed for the occasion, so I only took a few snaps, and this was the best of them.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to use My Sunday Photo to get back into photography and also track if I'm upping my game. Use the link below to find posts by others linked to the My Sunday Photo tag.

Film Night | Monsters University [2013]

“We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK!”


Having started to watch Monsters Inc [2001] over Christmas, I managed to persuade my 2yo to watch the prequel, Monsters University [2013].

Monsters University delves into the backstory of Mike Wazowski, a monster inspired to go to Monster University and become a scarer on a trip to Monsters Inc, and James P. 'Sully' Sullivan, who's family are famous scarers.  After starting university, the two meet after Sully breaks into Mike's room after stealing the team mascot from a rival university. The two are polar opposites when it comes to studying, Mike knows every text book inside out and can quote scarring theory off the top of his head, whereas Sully believes in natural ability. This leads to competition in the lecture room, the pair end up breaking the Dean's scream cylinder leading to them being kicked off their scare course. Mike then makes a deal with the Dean that if he and the rest of his Oozma Kappa can win the Scare Game (a kind of university Olympic games), they will be allowed back on the course. The film focuses on the trials and tribulations of trying to win the Scare Games.

As with all of the Pixar films, the animation is great with all the monsters having really nice detailing in either their scales or fur. Then there's the voice actors, most of which you'll recognise from the earlier film or from other Pixar films.  John Goodman's (Sully) voice lends itself well to a hulking scary monster, Billy Crystal is now synonymous as Mike and the Dean voiced by Helen Mirren is dominating and intimidating.

I liked the first film, but I love the second (this was about the fourth time I've seen it). I had a chat with my son after the film and he rated the film as ‘different good’ , which I guess is a positive, but probably won’t sell many copies of the film!

'Monsters University' [2013] - 4/5

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Oldham Athletic | League One | 01/01/2018

Since the last home match, Shrewsbury Town had picked up 4 points from two difficult away games at Wigan Athletic and Southend United.  This run saw Shrewsbury return to the Montgomery Waters Meadow looking to complete the festive period by gaining 10 points from a possible 12.

Oldham started the game in 19th position, having had a small revival under former Shrewsbury player Ritchie Wellens. Upon looking at the team sheet, the return of Anthony Gerrard (who left under a cloud for Oldham) and Tope Obadeyi both of whom played for Shrewsbury since the move to the New Meadow stood out for me along with striker Craig Davies who started his youth career with Town before becoming a bit of a journeyman of Leagues One and Two.

Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; B Morris (Godfrey 67), Whalley , Nolan, Ogogo, Gnahoua (John-Lewis 77); Payne (C Morris 84)
Subs: Riley, Godfrey, C Morris, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, Adams, Rodman

Oldham Athletic: Placide, Dummigan, Gerrard, Bryan, Hunt, Gardner, Fane (Green 85), Flynn (Holloway 61), Byrne, Obadeyi (Menig 77), Davies

Subs: Wilson, Holloway, Wilson, Menig, Nepomuceno, Green, Maouche

First Half
The first opportunity of the game came from Stefan Payne who forced Oldham goalkeeper Placide in to a good save from 20 yards after Mat Sadler slid the ball through to him from the half-way line.

A neat passage of play saw the impressive Byrne have a shot from 25 yards, but Dean Henderson stopped the initial shot and clutched the ball to his chest at the second attempt.

As Omar Beckles and Abu Ogogo lost possession just on the edge of the Oldham box the ball broke to Arthur Gnahoua, who dipped a shoulder to go past Gerrard and fizz a right footed shot at goal.  Although the goalkeeper blocked the shot the ball broke to Shaun Whalley who score passed the helpless goalkeeper.

Shrewsbury almost sneaked in a second as first Payne had a header pushed away by the keeper, but Ogogo couldn't quite beat Gerrard to the rebound.

Second Half
The second half saw Oldham improve dramatically, and they had the first chance to score as Gerrard flicked a header towards goal from a free kick, only for Henderson to stop the attempt on the goal line.

Shrewsbury's first attempt of the second half came from a Shaun Whalley corner which found it's way to Toto Nsiala whose side-footed shot flew inches over the crossbar.

Oldham were growing in confidence as Shrewsbury sat back on their lead and Byrne again came close to scoring as his bobbling shot almost tricked Henderson, who just scrambled the ball around his post for a corner.

Shortly afterwards the Oldham fans and players had a strong case for a penalty as Byrne played a quarterback style pass forwards to Davies who brought the ball down (possibly using his arm in my opinion) got bumped by Nsiala and he then fell to the floor. I've seen them given in other games.

Final Thoughts
After the first (and as it turned out only) goal of the game, I was thinking that if a second was scored quickly the game would turn into a rout and it could easily see another two or three goals after that. Shrewsbury were dominant and Oldham decidedly average.  However, despite a few forays forward in the second half, Oldham were the ones dictating play and even a shift in formation didn't see Shrewsbury recover their composure

The result did mean they finished the festive period unbeaten, close the gap to Wigan to two points and extend their lead over Blackburn Rovers in third to five points.  Next up sees West Ham United make their first trip to the Montgomery Waters Meadow in the FA Cup next Sunday, Blackpool in the EFL Trophy and a potentially season defining game against Blackburn the following Saturday, that could see the gap to third build to a massive eight points.

Man of the Match - Arthur Gnahoua & Dean Henderson
In a proper game of two halves, I've decided to split my MotM between Arthur Gnahoua and Dean Henderson.

Until the half time whistle, Gnahoua was really impressed me particularly as it was only his second start at this level.  It was his shot that resulted in the only goal of the game but he looked a threat whenever he ran at pace towards the defenders.  But in the second half he didn't look the same player, but Dean Henderson really stood out with several good saves to preserve his clean sheet.