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Club News

EYE ON THE OPPOSITION | Shrewsbury Town (H)

16 September 2022

Club News

EYE ON THE OPPOSITION | Shrewsbury Town (H)

16 September 2022

Vale are back home on Saturday, as they host Shrewsbury Town in Sky Bet League One action.

The visitors have had a good start to their season, with their recent form propelling them up to eighth in the table, whilst Vale sit comfortably in 17th.

Salop come into this one off the back of a great win comeback win at home to Exeter City, having to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

The Valiants also had to come from behind in their last fixture, with a late Ellis Harrison header securing a point on the road at Barnsley.

This fixture will be the first of two that the teams play against each other in the next week, with the sides also facing off in the Papa John’s Trophy at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Tuesday.

Saturday’s clash is sure to be a tense one, and here is what you need to know about the visitors before all eyes turn to Vale Park this weekend.

ONE TO WATCH: Luke Leahy

The Shrews captain will be one to keep an eye out for on Saturday, after an impressive first season with Town, he has the potential to run the show from the middle of the park or from left-back.

Last season saw Luke Leahy pick up Salop’s Supporters' Player of the Season award for his efforts, with the current skipper scoring nine goals and assisting seven times in over 50 appearances. 

Leahy made his name up in Scotland during a five-year spell at Falkirk, where he predominantly played at left-back in his 158 appearances for the club.

The 29-year-old then returned to England to have stints at Walsall and Bristol Rovers before making the move to Shropshire in the summer of 2021.

In the season previous to joining Salop, Leahy had an excellent campaign for the Gas, notching 10 goals from left-back - as well as registering five assists.

After a very successful 2021/22 season, Leahy was made club captain for the 2022/23 season.

Salop’s number 3 can play in both midfield and as an attacking left-back, so it’s anyone’s guess as to where he may start on Saturday.

THE MAN AT THE HELM: Steve Cotterill

Shrewbury’s man in the dugout is extremely experienced Steve Cotterill who joined the Shrews in 2020 after many jobs in the football league.

The 58-year-old did play professional football for the likes of Wimbledon, Brighton and Hove Albion, and AFC Bournemouth, but bad knee injuries meant he had to cut his playing days short after only a decade.

Cotterill then moved into coaching, and in 1997 he took over his hometown club of Cheltenham Town whilst they were still in non-league.

But, after two promotions during his 5-year tenure, he secured football league status for the Robins.

Stints at Stoke City, Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth, and Nottingham Forest then followed before he took over at Bristol City in 2013.

In only his second season in charge at Ashton Gate, Cotterill guided City to the Championship with a club record of 99 points as they romped to the League One title.

Cotterill then left Bristol in 2016, and a short period at Birmingham City followed before he joined Salop in November 2020.

During his time in Shropshire Cotterill had a health scare, when during early 2021 Covid complications meant the Shrews’ boss was in intensive care.

After two months in hospital, thankfully, Cotterill returned in good health and has continued his job in Shropshire, after the club supported him immensely during his time away.

Now still at the helm for Salop, Cotterill will be hoping he can achieve what he has at many other clubs this season at Shrewsbury, but let’s hope Darrell Clarke’s Valiants can halt them on their journey.

STADIUM: Montgomery Waters Meadow

After Saturday’s fixture at Vale Park, we visit Shrewsbury on Tuesday to play in the Papa John’s Trophy at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

The stadium was completed in 2007 and it replaced their former ground, Gay Meadow, which had stood as Salop’s ground since 1910.

Montgomery Waters Meadow, also known as New Meadow, has a capacity of over 9,000, with its away stand called DM Recruitment Stand - North stand – being able to hold around 1,700 fans.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST FIVE:

Vale wins: 3

Draws: 1

Shrewsbury wins: 1

Vale has enjoyed the sight of Town in recent years, winning three of the last five meetings, whilst Saturday’s visitors have managed one win.

The matches have never been plain sailing though with every win being by just one goal, so expect a tight encounter at the weekend.


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