Shrewsbury Town v Portsmouth in 500 words

The reason we so wanted Town to go up was to visit grounds like these. Historic, big old football grounds, of fallen giants, and hopefully still with a good following.

Portsmouth’s story has been told many times. A club that lived beyond its means, and somehow won an F.A.Cup Final just a few years ago.

So little old Shrewsbury ‘racking up’ here was a joy and a privilege.

True. Town had played here on occasions before, when Pompey similarly sunk to lower depths. For the majority however this was virgin territory, and made up for all those wet Tuesday nights in Accrington or Macclesfield.

The atmosphere at Fratton Park was ‘wonderful’. The Pompey Supporters Trust was last week announced as ‘preferred bidders’ to take over the club. It is the first step on a long journey to stop the rot of owners with little or no interest treating the community asset that is Pompey F.C. from being mistreated.

Town were backed by a large following that made some noise against that being generated by the Fratton End. However it was hard not to feel in awe of the stage Town were playing on.
Whilst the supporters were taking in the Fratton Park’s delights, Town were returning to their early season heights, and really taking the game to a nervy Pompey side. After a flowing move, Paul Parry someone put over the bar when it would have been easier to score.

Town’s work rate, movement and passing were matching anything Portsmouth could muster. With Asa Hall giving Town some much needed attacking options in the middle, Salop looked more balanced and settled.
As has been then case this season, a mistake gets punished, and young Michael Hector misjudged the bounce of the ball and allowed Thomas to escape, cooling rounding last week’s hero Weale for the opener.
Pompey were ‘playing up’ and soon doubled their lead, but this time Portsmouth movement and quality created the opportunity for McLeod to slot home.

Town had played so well, yet looked like being undone. Then Taylor pushed forward with purpose. The ball broke to Morgan who cool slotted home from what appeared at the Milton End, to be a tight angle. As Town fans celebrated the game restarted, and Morgan committed a foul. Moments later the red was being shown, and disappointed ‘Marvellous’ trooped off to the puzzlement of the majority of Town fans.

The game was end to end, but Town turned up the pressure. Boss Turner brought on two strikers (Gornell and Windall) and pushed back Pompey. It cumulated in a pinball in the Pompey box, as Grandison had a shot cleared off the line.

With 6 minutes of stoppage time announced Town continued to look for the equaliser.  That allowed the threat of a counter with Town’s ten men leaving gaps at the back. Pompey subsequently exploited such space, and McLeod’s 2nd gave the score line an unflattering appearance.

Town’s fans applauded the effort and spirit to a man. After recent performances Town returned to the early season heights. But they must stop shooting themselves in the foot with silly errors and stupid red cards.

The next two home games could very well shape Town’s season. Performances like this one against Yeovil and Colchester will surely see a positive return.
Ade Plimmer
shrewsTRUST

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Shrewstrust is Shrewsbury Towns only democratic supporters group, so has a unique position between supporters and the football club. Initially set up as part of a government initiative called Supporters Direct, supporters trusts are designed as a structure to help if a football club becomes bankrupt. Put simply, supporters trusts are like an insurance policy for football clubs that swings into operation if the worst should happen. Luckily, at Shrewsbury Town we have an excellent club which is well run and will be for the foreseeable future, but things can change quickly in football, so every club needs a supporters trust. For further details please go to www.shrewstrust.co.uk.

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