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Shrewsbury Town star turn Harry Chapman wastes little time getting up to full speed

Shrewsbury wondergoal specialist Harry Chapman was pleased to strike back with another stunner from the bench after admitting his tiredness in Town’s poor defeat at Bristol Rovers.

Harry Chapman netted a fifth delightful goal of his highly impressive blue and amber loan spell on Tuesday night against AFC Wimbledon (AMA)
Harry Chapman netted a fifth delightful goal of his highly impressive blue and amber loan spell on Tuesday night against AFC Wimbledon (AMA)

Chapman was dropped to the bench along with Shaun Whalley and Sean Goss for AFC Wimbledon’s visit to Montgomery Waters Meadow on Tuesday night. But the on-loan Blackburn star was required after just 30 minutes for the injured Ollie Norburn.

And Chapman made his point just five minutes later, bending in a delightful 25-yard strike into the far top corner for the latest entry in his personal goal of the season competition. The stunning strike appeared to be worthy of three points before Wimbledon scrambled in an equaliser late on.

The attacking star revealed he held talks with stand-in boss Aaron Wilbraham and Steve Cotterill to take a breather after eight starts in a row, which is around double the number of league starts the 23-year-old had made before his loan from Ewood Park, where he is out of contract in the summer.

“It was just what I needed for myself and the team, to prove that it was just a one-off (on Saturday) and I’m obviously happy to be back on the scoresheet,” Chapman said following his latest moment of brilliance.

“I’ve played, what is it, eight on the bounce now? And I was definitely feeling it in my legs on Saturday.

“I was even feeling it last Thursday leading up to the game and I was maybe not right going into the game mentally – mentally and physically tired – and my performance proved that, I was very sloppy on the ball.

“I felt a yard off everyone, couldn’t get close to people, I had a chat to Albie (Wilbraham) and the manager and they decided it was best to take me out for this one to give me a bit of a rest.

“But Norbs goes down and I had to make sure I was ready to make an impact which I thankfully did.”

He added on his fifth goal in blue and amber: “It’s a finish I really enjoy, I work on it all the time.

“I found out I wasn’t playing and I stayed out on Monday and worked on that finish with H (Harry Burgoyne) and luckily one fell for me and I managed to replicate what I’d practised.”

It was the first time the influential Chapman was left out of Town’s starting XI since checking in from his Championship parent club.

Salop switched shape for the visit of Dons, reverting to 3-5-2. Josh Daniels came in at right wing-back, David Davis made his full debut in midfield and Daniel Udoh partnered Curtis Main up top.

“Maybe,” Wilbraham said when asked if Chapman came on with the bit between his teeth, “and the manager will make changes if he’s not happy with the last game. So it’s a little bit of both, a bit of a rest but a little bit of a short, sharp shock kind of thing.

“That’s what can happen, we don’t like getting beat as a squad, the players don’t like getting beat and sometimes rotation happens for both reasons.

“Maybe Chappy would’ve felt that he wanted to do that, and it was a good reaction if that was the case.

“We’ve got a good squad at the end of the day, players can come in, it wasn’t through a lack of effort on Saturday. Wth the run we’ve been on, no-one can criticise the players. But we have players to come in if players look like they are not at full throttle.”

Chapman is living in Telford for his stay at Salop – a long way from his family home of Hartlepool. He admits time away from his family have allowed him to focus solely on his game.

“I’m having a very enjoyable time,” he said. “It’s the furthest I’ve ever been away from home, I’m usually in the vicinity to just drive back on my days off.

“But this time I haven’t, so my sole focus has been on football and my performances hopefully reflect that. I’m a home boy but in the circumstances I can’t. Thankfully my girlfriend takes the time to come and see me, which is nice, it’s a lovely part of the world I’m experiencing right now.”

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