Shropshire Star

Ollie Westbury analysis: Safety secured by Paul Hurst’s return to instil some fight

Everybody connected with Shrewsbury Town breathed a collective sigh of relief at the full-time whistle on Saturday.

Shrewsbury Town fans with Dan Udoh of Shrewsbury Town at full time (AMA)

Players, fans and staff would have been following Cheltenham’s game against Lincoln, which the Robins initially led before Lincoln eventually triumphed 2-1.

That game had finished moments before Salop’s game at Charlton. With 90 seconds left on the clock Town knew all they had to do was keep the score at 1-1 to secure League One football again next season – and they did.

There can be no getting away from the fact Shrewsbury have had their challenges throughout the campaign, whether that be in the goalscoring department with the 35 goals they have managed or the finances whereby they recorded £3 million worth of losses.

It has been a battle – you can make no bones about it.

But credit must be given to the players. After the disaster of Wycombe at home it looked a tough week in prospect with trips to Bolton and in-form Charlton.

But they really have stood up and been counted when it matters most. The hosts were unbeaten in 13 games heading into the game on Saturday in South East London and Bolton were going for automatic promotion.

Earlier in the season, those fixtures would have been guaranteed losses with how poor Shrewsbury’s form on the road was. But Paul Hurst has turned that around since he arrived at the club – and you feel Town can compete against anyone.

Results on their travels against Derby, Bolton and Charlton and a win at Reading have been essential for securing their League One safety.