By Jon Harries
Well I did predict us scoring four goals on Tuesday night against Shrewsbury Town, granted it was split, but I’ll take that as a win.
I hadn’t even got myself comfortable on Tues night before Regan Poole assisted Shaun Whalley to score on his 200th appearance for Shrewsbury. In fairness 3-0 at halftime would have been fair with the linesman wrongly adjudging offside and with chances narrowly missed either side of the break. The Shrews though did make it two through Pugh after another lapse of concentration got punished and It wasn’t really until the last twenty minutes that the Dons looked like scoring. First Morris capitalised on a spill from the goalkeeper to half the deficit, then Cameron Jerome was ruled onside with the Shrewsbury defence and goalkeeper static expecting a flag and Jerome calmly slotted home. In truth it’s a point we didn’t deserve but one defeat in six is respectable. The next step is sorting out our fragile starts to games and converting draws into wins.
Charlton meanwhile took the spotlight off Stadium MK by falling to a shock defeat away at bottom of the table Burton Albion. The Brewers took a two-goal lead through Lucas Akins and Joe Powell within 40 minutes. Paul Smyth scored just before the break to give Charlton hope but Sam Hughes made it comfortable again 8 minutes into the second half before Chuks Aneke again gave Charlton a sniff of some points but Charles Vernam then made the game safe and Burton hung on for a vital win.
Currently 6th in League 1 Lee Bowyer’s side wasn’t really settled at the start of the season due to uncertain ownership issues and lack of clarity in the boardroom. That has now been sorted thanks to Thomas Sandgaard and Charlton finally managed to boost their squad significantly before the transfer window ended. Ben Amos won the most recent Player of the Month due to six clean sheets in a row, they also boast a strong experienced defence with Jason Pearce, Chris Gunter, Ben Purrington, and Adedeji Oshilaja all contributing to seven clean sheets this season. In Ben Watson they have a tough tackling midfielder who lets teammates like Marcus Maddison and Alex Gilbey express themselves. Arguably Jake Forster- Casket and Jonny Williams could also fall into that bracket. Up front Charlton have multiple options all equally dangerous, Omar Bogle and Chuks Aneke provide height, physical strength and trickery in equal measures, Paul Smyth is a nuisance striker that defenders hate, and Connor Washington knows where the goal is. Again, arguably another Championship quality side that will provide a tough test for Martin’s men.
Andrew Shinnie, or “Shinniesta” as Charlton fans call him is the link between midfield and attack that makes Charlton tick. The former Hatter joined in the summer and has quickly settled in with his passing range and dangerous set pieces and it is those attributes that make him stand out as one of the best midfielders in League 1. Keeping him quiet will be key, potentially putting a man on him all game, give him a second, he’ll take a mile.
Poole – O’Hora – Keogh – Lewington – Harvie
Kasumu – Sorensen – Fraser
Morris – Jerome I’ve gone for the strongest possible line-up with hopefully the spine of the team rested from Sunday. This is massive after Shrewsbury and a reaction is definitely needed. I’m going with a draw at best, a narrow defeat at worst. I’m not willing to give a definite prediction, I’m just hoping for a performance to be proud of please.
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