Match preview: Stevenage vs Shrewsbury Town

Stevenage in action at Shrewsbury Town last season. Photo: Alan Millard

Stevenage in action at Shrewsbury Town last season. Photo: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

Boro host their bogey side on Saturday hoping to beat the Shropshire-based outfit for the first time in the Football League.

Since Boro were promoted out of the Football Conference in 2010, they have played six matches against Town and have been beaten four times having drawn the other two.

Boro will be missing Andy Bond through suspension following his red card for a late challenge against York City on Saturday.

The midfielder is also set to miss Tuesday’s game at Bury and next Saturday’s trip to Oxford United as part of a three-game ban, and his suspension leaves Boro light in the middle of the pitch with only two fully fit central midfielders in Simon Walton and Charlie Lee as Dean Parrett is still out injured.

Centre-half Dean Wells should return after missing the York defeat with a knock.

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Like Graham Westley, Shrews boss Micky Mellon had a busy summer rebuilding his playing squad following relegation the previous season and the former Fleetwood Town boss brought in 17 players as he looked to guide the team back to League 1 at the first attempt.

Among his new signings are ex-Stoke City midfielder Liam Lawrence, the club’s new captain, and former Peterborough United defender Nathanial Knight-Percival.

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James Collins also re-signed for the club in the summer for a second time following spells at Swindon Town and Hibernian, and is currently their joint top scorer with three goals alongside former Luton Town forward Andy Mangan.

Mellon’s men have begun the season strongly with their 11 points in the league placing them fourth after six matches, though they go into Saturday’s game on the back of two successive defeats against Preston North End in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and Harlepool United in the league.

After that second defeat, Mellon told the Shropshire Star: “Now we’ll move forward and improve as a team so hopefully, when we come against that type of thing again, we will be there to deal with that. That is what building a club is all about.”

Boro follow Saturday’s match with two games on the road starting with Bury on Tuesday.

One of the pre-season favourites for the title, the Shakers are currently in sixth place in League 2 following a good start to the campaign under manager David Flitcroft and are on a run of five matches without defeat.

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