In our not-so-long existence as a football club, we’ve done alright for ourselves. Trawl through all our head-to-head records, and you’ll find – more often than not – we have more victories than defeats to report. Well, that is what we think. We haven’t *actually* checked and to do so is well above our pay grade. What we do know as a matter of factoid, however, is that we don’t have it all our own way. There are some clubs out there who see us as a lucky charm. And, this week, it’s our duty to tell you that Shrewsbury Town are one of those very clubs.
Shrewsbury Town: Who Are They?
Formed in 1886, the Shrews had to wait until 1950 before the Football League let them in. In their early years, the club were members of the Shropshire and District League (1890) and the Birmingham and District League (1895). With one title and three runners-up medals to their name, Shrewsbury Town remained in the B&DL ’til 1937; joining the Midland League after the third of their second place finishes. It took just one attempt to win the title; the third season on the trot in which they amassed 100 league goals.
It was one half of a double, too. For the second time in their history, the Shrews won the Welsh Cup in 1937 – beating Swansea at the second time of asking in the final. Of course, the Second World War Two came along and got in the way. The Shrews, however, picked up where they left off after the War. In 1946 and 1948, they were Midland League title-winners and nearly made it seven straight seasons in which they reached that 100-goal milestone. On the way to that second title win, however, they fell just short on 98 goals.
The Shrews fell away in the following two seasons, finishing 8th and 10th respectively. That didn’t stop them from joining the Football League in 1950, though. Initially, they found themselves on the northern side of the Division Three split. But, after their debut season, they were labelled as “southerners”. Nowt wrong with tha’! After taking time to acclimatise to the higher standard of competition, Shrewsbury Town built up a head of steam during the 1970s and 1980s. In ’84 and ’85, they reached their best-ever finish of 8th in Division Two.
Shrewsbury Town: Us And Them…
By the time the 1990s were a thing, such heights were behind the Shrews; finding their level once more in the third and fourth tiers. In 2003, however, it all went wrong. For the first time in more than half a century, they were out of the Football League. And that’s where we come in. Our first meeting was 1 November 2003; Dino and Simon Wormull bagging us a 2-0 win indoors. By the time the return came round, Shrewsbury Town were hunting down an instant return to the League; a 3-1 win at their place strengthening their playoff push.
The Shrews saw off Aldershot in the playoff final and were promoted back to the Football League after a one-season absence. So, our next meeting was six years in the waiting and relied on us gaining promotion too. Not that it brought success against them; Shrewsbury Town taking four points from us in 2010-1. It didn’t prevent us from getting promoted though, did it? And, so came another interlude in our relations; a solitary season as the Shrews followed us up to League One the season after.
We met four times in League One across two seasons. With the exception of a 1-1 draw in the first of those, we lost them all. It was starting to become a little apparent that we had a ‘thing’ about playing the Shrews. And, then, what’s this?! A win! Yes, that’s right. After sharing a relegation ride from League One, our first encounter back in League Two went our way thanks to Darius’ decisive goal. Not for the first time, however, we lost at their place and suffered a sense of déjà vu as Shrewsbury Town went onto win promotion and we, well, didn’t.
Shrewsbury Town: And Then What?
That’s where we left it, to be honest. Up went the Shrews in 2015 and League One is still where you’ll find ’em. You can’t fail to notice that we have neither gone up nor down in the two seasons since, so we’re not sure what else you could be expecting to hear? It’s not as if Shrewsbury Town have found it easy going up there. Over the last two seasons, they’ve avoided relegation by four points (2016) and two points (2017). This season, however, could be the one. Not for relegation, but for promotion – to the second tier for the first time in 30 years.
Shrewsbury Town: Boro’s Record
P10 W2 D2 L6 F10 A15 – League Points: 8, Cup Meetings: 0, Win Rate: 20%
• BoroGuide’s Shrewsbury Town club profile – for old time’s sake…