Meet the opposition, Shrewsbury Town: Good news, bad news - and Town's excellent record in Shropshire

General view of the concourse during the Sky Bet League One match at the Montgomery Waters Meadow, S

Town travel to Shrewsbury for their final League One away fixture of the season - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town travel to Shrewsbury today for what is their last away match of the League One season. MIKE BACON casts his eye over the Shrews.

DEAD RUBBER

Town's season, which has been so ordinary, is finishing with two of the deadest rubbers you could wish to find.

Next Sunday, it's mid-table Fleetwood who bring the curtain down at Portman Road on this year's campaign, but before that it's a trip to mid-table Shrewsbury tonight.

Shrewsbury Town's Ollie Norburn (left) and Lincoln City's Jorge Grant battle for the ball during the

Mid-table now and the Shrews are on a run of disappointing form as the season comes to an end - Credit: PA

The Shrews are as keen to see the end of the season as the Blues. Their recent current form is poor - only Plymouth (one point) have picked up less points in the last six-game form guide - the Shrews have picked up just three.

On Saturday they contrived to lose a 2-1 lead to Oxford, who ran out 2-3 winners. The Shrews only had 37% possession for what for them was a home tie.

File photo dated 22-12-2020 of Shrewsbury Town manager Steve Cotterill. Issue date: Thursday April 2

Back in the stands, Steve Cotterill, who has been unwell since the New Year. - Credit: PA

GOOD NEWS ON SHREWS GAFFER

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Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill returned to the club on Saturday for the game against Oxford, after spending four months away due to Covid-19 and subsequent complications from the disease.

The 56-year-old spent time in intensive care after initially testing positive for coronavirus on January 1.

Cotterill, who last took charge of Shrewsbury against Blackpool on December 29, spent 33 days at Bristol Royal Infirmary before being discharged in mid-February.

Shrewsbury Town assistant manager Aaron Wilbraham gestures to the fourth official during the Sky Bet

Shrewsbury Town assistant manager Aaron Wilbraham gestures to the fourth official. Wilbraham has been in charge at Shrewsbury during Cotterill's absence. - Credit: PA

But Cotterill was readmitted on March 1 and spent another 16 days in hospital with Covid-19 pneumonia.

His assistant Aaron Wilbraham has been running team matters in his absence, but everyone in football was delighted to see Cotterill back in the stands on Saturday.

Towns players celebrate with Jack Lankaster, after he had scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over

The Ipswich players celebrate with Jack Lankaster, after he had scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town in November. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

THE LAST TIME

Jack Lankester popped up with a header in the seventh minute of stoppage time at Portman Road to snatch victory for Ipswich against Shrewsbury, the last time these two sides met back in November.

A bizarre own goal by Ethan Ebanks-Landell in the 75th minute had hauled Town level after Ollie Norburn's early penalty put the visitors in front.

Shrews defender Ebanks-Landell sliced the ball into his own net following a cross by substitute Keanan Bennetts.

The home side had fallen behind in the fourth minute when Ipswich defender Mark McGuinness fouled Shaun Whalley in the box and Shrewsbury skipper Norburn crashed home the spot-kick.

HEAD TO HEAD

Town have a very good head-to-head record against the Shrews.

You have to go back to 1987 to find the last time Shrewsbury beat Ipswich and in the 26 occasions the two teams have met, Town have only been beaten three times.

Shrewsbury Town's Matthew Pennington (right) and Lincoln City's Callum Morton battle for the ball du

Shrewsbury Town's Matthew Pennington (right). Has been in the goals lately. - Credit: PA

This will be Ipswich’s first visit to Shrewsbury Town in League One. The last time they visited the Shrews in a League clash was in September 1988, when they won 5-1 - that was in the old Division Two.

SHY SHOOTERS

Both Town and the Shrews are two of the lowest-scoring teams in League One.

Indeed, only relegated Northampton and Bristol Rovers (40) have scored less than Town (43). In saying that, Shrewsbury don't fare much better - they've netted just 48 goals this season.

DID YOU KNOW?

The town of Shrewsbury is almost entirely encircled by the River Severn. It has nine bridges that cross the River.

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