Bernard McNally: Stoke comeback was one of Shrewsbury Town’s finest ever
I still cannot believe it!
The comeback at Stoke has got to be one of the best in Shrewsbury Town’s history.
We have had some great FA Cup memories over the years.
I was lucky enough to be in the sides that beat Ipswich in 1982 and 1984, but Tuesday night’s 3-2 third-round replay triumph was unbelievable.
It was just such a shock and I’m absolutely delighted for those who made the trip to the Bet365 Stadium.
Sam Ricketts and all the Town players really pulled something out of the hat with that second-half performance.
When the Potters went 2-0 up, I have to admit that I thought it was game, set and match.
I did not see a way back into it for Salop. But they reverted from a 4-4-2 diamond to a 4-3-3 and it all changed.
Fair play to Sam for seeing it was not working and making the change which allowed Town to push further up the pitch.
I am absolutely thrilled to bits for everyone at the club and the Shrewsbury goals were all fantastic too.
James Bolton, against the club he supported growing up, caught the ball sweetly for his goal which started the comeback.
A proper defender, he has made a concerted effort to offer more on the front foot, so I was really pleased to see him get that goal – one he will never forget. Fejiri Okenabirhie then scored from the spot and that was proof of his calmness in front of goal.
The pressure was on with that spot-kick, but he held his nerve and got the equaliser.
Then Josh Laurent was the hero, and he is definitely a player I think could be a sleeping giant for Town.
He is someone with a lot of qualities – energy, strength and he can play too – so that winner might just give him that belief in himself to take his game to the next level.
I have been impressed with him and I think there is a lot more to come from him.
That might just be what Town needed – the shot in the arm to get their League One season back on track. Some see the FA Cup as a distraction, but stuff like this can reignite teams.
The FA Cup is still a massive competition and seeing Salop in the fourth round, at home against Wolves, gives you a lot of pride.
I don’t think Wolves will take it lightly as Nuno Espirito Santo seems to realise the importance of the FA Cup, so it will be a tough one but one we are all massively looking forward to.
That will be a big game for Dave Edwards and Sam, but their allegiance is to Shrewsbury, not Wolves.
And Dave would love to score the winning goal to seal another memorable victory, I am absolutely sure of it.