Last season, most sides agreed that the Reds punched above their weight. John Coleman turned the pre-season relegation favourites into play-off contenders with team spirit and no little skill overcoming bigger wage budgets and bigger-name players.
As Coleman said, whichever stadium, manager, players or records teams had, it went out the window when it was 11 v 11 on the pitch and a superb run after Christmas helped the Reds re-write their own history with their first play-off appearance.
The ambitious Coleman would never want that to be a one-off season as he strives to once again beat the odds and get the Reds into the higher echelons of League Two.
But this season really will be a battle as he admits the 11 he chooses at the moment are struggling to get the goals and the results and play like a ‘John Coleman team’.
The Reds chalked up more than six hours without a goal at the Greenhous Stadium – an unwanted statistic.
And, as Stanley are struggling, Shrewsbury showed the challenge that Coleman and co are up against.
Graham Turner’s side may have had two strikers missing in ex-Red Terry Gornell (injured) and James Collins (car accident) but they still showed their strength in depth with two solid frontmen in young hope Tom Bradshaw and seven-goal hitman Marvin Morgan.
They also had a winger in Lionel Ainsworth who must have played one of the best games of his season, as he tore Stanley’s defence apart with his pace.
The Shrews defence also stood firm as Stanley exerted late pressure although goalkeeper Chris Neal didn’t have a save to make throughout – another worry for Coleman.
The Reds boss admits that confidence is low and, just as winning is a habit with Shrewsbury chalking up a seventh straight home victory, losing is one too with a record of one win in 10 games for the Reds which is keeping them towards the bottom end of the table.
Coleman admitted: "I’ve got no complaints about the result as we weren’t good enough.
"The alarming thing is that’s three league defeats on the bounce and we haven’t scored and, to be honest, didn’t look like scoring after the first 10 minutes at Shrewsbury.
"Individual errors have cost us again but collectively we’re not good enough and we have to improve and that means working hard, every time we train and every time we’re together as a group. We need to get ourselves right.
"Shrewsbury were better than us and I keep saying the same things over and over.
"You’d expect Shrewsbury to be better than us. You’ve only got to look at the ground and the resources and the money they can throw at it but, once we cross the white line, the players I’ve had have always been able to punch above their weight.
"This season, for whatever reason, we’re not and I don’t know why.
"Maybe we’re struggling with the system or the players that I’ve brought in so I’ve got to take the blame for that. I won’t be shirking my duties or my responsibility. It’ll be down to a lot of hard work."
The need for some surgery on his side was in evidence from the off.
The Reds did have a minor flurry with Charlie Barnett having two shots blocked while loan man James Spray also had an effort which hit a defender in the opening minutes.
But that was more or less it for the 61 travelling fans. There was a late rally in the final 10 minutes after a triple substition with Luke Dobie, Danny Coid and Craig Lindfield but, while balls bounced around the Shrews box, nothing came off.
In between this, Graham Turner’s men bossed the game and the Reds were lucky they only had the one-goal deficit.
The speedy Ainsworth piled the pressure down the right on ex-Shrew Kevin McIntyre while Marvin Morgan was a handful for the defence although luckily he hadn’t brought his shooting boots.
His best chance came when Kevin Long slipped on the increasingly wet surface and Morgan charged through with only Ian Dunbavin to beat but he ballooned the ball over.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff then had a free header but the Reds stopper pulled off a superb diving save.
Then came the goal on 29 minutes when, from a Reds attack, ex-Stanley left back Joe Jacobson got the ball and played a great crossfield pass for Ainsworth who skipped over a challenge from McIntyre and played in a cross which found 19-year-old Bradshaw who slid the ball home.
Shrews have high hopes that Welsh Under 21 player Bradshaw will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Joe Hart onto bigger and better things.
The Shrews should have had a second but Nicky Wroe fluffed his chance while winger Mark Wright fired straight at Dunbavin.
An Ainsworth free kick almost clipped the post on the stroke of half-time while Cansdell-Sheriff headed over straight after.
Stanley’s day was summed up when they won two free kicks around 25 yards out. Barnett’s hit the wall and McIntyre’s was well over.
Coleman made his triple substitution on 59 minutes but there was little change and a weak back pass by McIntyre let Morgan in one-on-one but again Dunbavin did well.
While it was still 1-0, there was always the threat that the Reds could grab what would be an undeserved draw.
But instead they left the Greenhous Stadium empty handed as their run without an away win extended to 15 games.
"Their keeper didn’t make a save though they got a bit anxious in the last 10 minutes and managed to get a few blocks in around the box," said Coleman. "But our keeper hasn’t made too many saves either and it was one of those nights."
He is suffering too many of those at the moment.