Market Drayton Town FC vs Shrewsbury Town FC, 11/7/15, Greenfields, Match 2
There were two original plans for today, the first plan (the original, original), was to travel to Lancaster City vs Blackpool, but that idea was scrapped as I did not feel like travelling to Lancaster for a pre-season friendly, and I feel like my decision was justified after hearing that the game was abandoned. The second plan was to head to watch Cefn Druids play AFC Liverpool, but after doing some research, I found that the game was being played at Park Hall, home of TNS, and I decided against that as I want my first visit to Park Hall to be for a TNS game.
So with my two original plans being scrapped, I began to search for another friendly to attend, whilst on Twitter I was pleased to see that Shrewsbury Town would be playing in the Shropshire Senior Cup, and that they would be playing away to Market Drayton. This ended my search for a match for today, and gave me a chance to see my beloved Shrewsbury Town for the first time this season.
After a 45 minute drive from Wrexham, I was pleased to find the ground despite my phone’s navigation apps attempts to send me elsewhere. Upon arriving on Greenfields Lane, I spotted a steward who guided me into the parking next to Market Drayton Rugby Club’s pitch. From my car it was a short walk to the Football ground, and as I walked over it was easy to see that this was going to be a well-attended game.
The queue at the turnstiles was efficiently dealt with, and I soon parted with the £7 entrance fee. People ahead of me were asking about programmes, and were told that they hadn’t arrived yet, but would be there shortly. Upon walking through the turnstile it was clear to see that I was right that this would be a well-attended fixture, with many Shrewsbury fans stood outside of the social club.
Instead of grabbing a drink, I decided to complete a lap of the ground, and headed past the social club, towards the Main seated stand, but found that the front row of the seating blocked the path, and I stood there for a second confused as how to get round the ground, without disturbing the people already sat. Spotting a walkway behind the stand, I decided this would be a good path round, and ducked under a white fence, upon walking down this path it became clear that I had actually ended up by the changing rooms, and I quickly hurried on.
There wasn’t much to see behind the far goal, and I continued to make my way around the ground. I had heard that the dugouts had been included in the book “Dugouts” and I could see why, as they resembled little wooden sheds, and I did wonder whether someone at Market Drayton had sawn a shed in half to use as a dugout.
Nearing where I had entered the ground, I was surprised to find another area of seating near to the corner flag, which I am guessing was put there to meet ground grading criteria (?), these uncovered seats sat next to a small covered terrace area. Now this is what I love about Non-League grounds, the character, the odd little quirks that make it what it is. My love for non-league grounds started at Honeycroft, home of Uxbridge, which as a child was the nearest football ground to my house, and given that my best friend’s dad was a steward there, it was where I often spent my Saturdays, and hopefully I’ll get to cover an Uxbridge FC game on this blog.
Once back by the turnstiles I was pleased to see that the programmes had turned up for the match, and I joined the queue to purchase one. After paying £2 for the programme, I headed round to the refreshment hut, and joined the queue (I love queues), most people were waiting for chips, which were proving to be very popular, but I was quickly served. By the time I had finished at the refreshment hut, I noticed that a team sheet had been placed by the refreshment hut, and I snapped a quick picture of it, before heading back to near the dugouts.
As I made my way to where I would spend the first half, Mickey Mellon made his way over the pitch to applause from the Shrewsbury fans. The pride on his face was clear to see, and he took the time to applaud the Shrewsbury fans.
The first half of the match didn’t impress me with neither side having any luck in front of goal. The Market Drayton keeper did have to be equal to some good shots, but neither James Collins nor Liam McAlinden were able to beat the keeper. One thing that was evident though, was that the linesman wasn’t quite fit, as he found himself being left behind on a number of times, and a number of his calls were late, however this is only pre-season, so he could be forgiven.
The Ballboys were called into action on a number of occasions, and were certainly being kept busy by the Shrewsbury player’s inability to keep the ball down, with a number of shots flying clear over the bar.
Half Time: Market Drayton Town 0-0 Shrewsbury Town
I was slightly relieved by the half-time whistle, as I knew that it meant a new Shrewsbury squad would be sent out for the second half. It also meant that Kevin Street would be coming into the game, the Kevin Street that played for Shrewsbury Town. He’s 37 now, but he can still play a game (a half) of football, which in fairness puts 25 year old me to shame.
As expected the second half did bring a new Shrewsbury line up, and they didn’t take long to start scoring. In the 49th minute (the Shrewsbury Town Twitter @ShrewsWeb has it down as being scored in the 47th, I think they might be right), Tyrone Barnett rose at the back post and powered a header home from a Shrewsbury corner.
From the first goal, Market Drayton seemed to lose the shape they had held in the first half, and I’m not sure whether it was a case of a lack of fitness, or if it was due to the quality of the Shrewsbury players, but the second goal followed in the 55th minute (Again @ShrewsWeb has it down as the 53rd minute, and I think my phone might be out by 2 minutes), as Martin Woods fired home a low shot from the edge of the area.
Kevin Street was desperately attempting to organise Market Drayton, and to their credit they did cause the Shrewsbury back line some trouble, but the Market Drayton number 9, Si Everell, wasn’t having the best of games, as he found himself out-muscled by the defence. He was having a better game than the linesman however, as he found himself time and time again behind the play, with one spectator summarising it as such “Lino! My postie arrives earlier than you!” Which bought a smile from the linesman.
The third goal arrived in the 68th minute as Scott Vernon slotted the ball home from a Shaun Whalley cross. The fourth goal followed quickly, as Scott Vernon once again put the ball into the net, in the 69th minute. Scott Vernon was to finish his hat-trick in the 82nd minute, as he nodded the ball home following a good cross from Shaun Whalley.
With the score at 5-0, and with only 8 minutes left, the game was as good as over, and both sides seemed happy to play the remaining minutes out. Mickey Demetriou got himself the sixth goal in the 86th minute as Scott Vernon turned provider, and Demetriou netted the header.
The final whistle soon blew, and I made my way out of the ground and back to my car, where I regretted not reversing into my parking space. Soon enough though, I found myself back on my way to Wrexham.
Final score: Market Drayton Town FC 0-6 Shrewsbury Town (Barnett 49, M Woods 55, Vernon 68, 69 and 82, Demetriou 86)
Hat-tricks seen so far: 2
Next Weeks Plan: Bamber Bridge vs Chorley, 18/7/15