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Town test

SHREWSBURY Town hold no fear - that is the message from the Stanley players.

DANCE of delight: Lutel James celebrates scoring against Leigh RMI
DANCE of delight: Lutel James celebrates scoring against Leigh RMI

SHREWSBURY Town hold no fear - that is the message from the Stanley players.

The former Third Division club are hot favourites to bounce straight back out of the Conference and into the League. But skipper Peter Cavanagh thinks the 4-1 win over Leigh on Wednesday night will be a huge boost for the Reds.

And he is confident Stanley can continue their stunning home form - unbeaten in the league in 25 games - against Jimmy Quinn's side on Saturday (ko 3pm).

"The managers John Coleman and Jimmy Bell went to watch Shrewsbury beat Burton on Tuesday and they said we had nothing to fear," said Cavanagh. "We believe we are as good as any side in this league. We played well in patches against Leigh but we have got to make sure we play well more consistently."

Stanley expect to break their crowd record of 3,035 with Shrewsbury expecting to bring in the region of 800 fans and there will be segregation for the first time at the Interlink Express Stadium.

The Shrews drew their first match against Margate and defeated Burton on Tuesday. And they have, in their midst, Luke Rodgers, a powerful striker who scored seven goals from 13 games at the end of the last campaign and is being tracked by Crewe.

"Shrewsbury will be a big test," admitted winger Rory Prendergast. "Rodgers is valued at £1m and being up against a former League side will show us how good we are."

Coleman knows the Interlink Express Stadium needs to continue to be a fortress if Stanley are to do well in the Conference. After their opening day loss at Aldershot, it was vital to get a home win against Leigh.

"Our home form last season was tremendous and we have had a talk about it and are determined to make a conscious effort that this will be the same this season. This is where we should get the majority of our points.

"I have had a look at Shrewsbury and they are a well-organised, strong side but I think Burton approached the game too negatively and let them play. We won't be doing that. We will be going all out to get the points - as usual."

One problem may be Lutel James who scored twice in the victory over Leigh but tweaked his hamstring.

"That is why we took him off but he should be okay."

Paul Mullin, scorer of the third goal before Rory Prendergast added number four, is keen to add to his tally - especially against the Shrews.

"We know they are a good side but me and Lutel are off the mark now. It was great for us with Dean Calcutt and Rory Prendergast firing in the crosses - if they carry on like that we should get our 20 target!"

Along with Rodgers, Shrewsbury also have former Bury frontman Colin Cramb and tall forward Steve Watts - who scored in their opener.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
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Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
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Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist