Match Preview: Shrews vs U's

Cambridge United make the trip to the Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday afternoon looking to secure the league double over hosts Shrewsbury Town...

Mark Bonner’s men head into the match off the back of three successive defeats, so securing the double over Salop - who themselves are on a high following a 0-4 thrashing of Burton Albion last time out - would no doubt generate some much-needed momentum.

How to Watch

Hundreds of U’s fans have already secured their seat for Saturday afternoon’s crunch clash in Shropshire, which kicks off at 15:00pm. Supporters who wish to join them can buy their tickets for the match online at or over the phone by calling 01223 566500 – two away credits are allocated for this fixture.

Situated in the DMOS People North Stand, an Adult ticket costs £22, Concessions £16, Under 19s just £9 with Under 12s go free of charge. Please note, online booking for this event will end on 19th January at 9:30pm.

Overseas fans can stream the game live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here. Elsewhere, domestic supporters who can’t make it to the Abbey can listen to live match commentary on iFollow.

Opposition Focus

Under the guidance of Steve Cotterill, an experienced head who has an excellent track record in the third tier, the Shrews have proven a stubborn outfit who pride themselves on a stern defensive foundation. Although they saw the new year in in bleak form, the aim now is to find some consistency levels and ensure their eight consecutive season in League One conjures up just a second top-half finish.

Due to a congested table, that’s certainly possible. Biding their time in building up steam, the Shrews scored just the solitary goal in their opening five games, accumulating five points in that time. Gradually progressing, they took a point from Bristol Rovers and dispatched fellow newcomers Forest Green and Exeter City in dramatic fashion. In their following five, maximum points were grabbed against stuttering Burton Albion and MK Dons, a stern Fleetwood before succumbing to a six-match winless run.

In truth, they had all been hard-fought encounters, which included a 1-1 share of the spoils with Portsmouth and Oxford United, giving them confidence to register back-to-back wins at home to Lincoln City and Bolton Wanderers respectively, where they secured a last-gasp win to garner momentum. Three successive defeats followed, falling to the U’s, Cheltenham Town and Fleetwood Town, but demolished Burton Albion 0-4 last time out. In 14th, Salop are firmly lodged – they sit eight points from both the play-offs and the drop, with a push to become outsiders for the former their goal.

Protecting Marko Marosi between the sticks will most likely be the settled three of Tom Flanagan, Chey Dunkley and Matthew Pennington, who have all combined to score seven goals this season. The integral Luke Leahy continues to pull the strings from the middle of the park, whilst new signing Killian Phillips, a 20-year-old loanee from Crystal Palace, has made waves in the attacking department, combining particularly well with Christian Saydee of late – the powerful presences’ brace last weekend put him up to six goals in 22.

Form Guide

Shrewsbury Town: LLLLW

Cambridge United: DWLLL

United’s Approach

Two weeks since they last graced the pitch, the U’s have had plenty of downtime to reflect on a frustrating 1-2 defeat to play-off contenders Bristol Rovers at the Abbey Stadium. 

Free-flowing in the opening 20 minutes, United took the lead thanks to Sam Smith’s excellent header, but the Pirates’ attacking prowess overpowered the hosts as Josh Coburn and Scott Sinclair secured the comeback.

After the Head Coach acknowledged that his group need to be ruthless in the final third to ensure they take points from evenly-contested games, as all too often in 2022/23 they’ve came out on the wrong side of games aggrieved they haven’t stamped more authority.

Now in the bottom four for the first time since returning to the third tier, it’s down to United to pick themselves up against adversity. With a win, they could go three points afloat, but a fourth defeat on the bounce could sink them to joint-bottom.

In regards to team news for Saturday, Ryan Bennett is edging closer to making his debut for the club – there’s a chance it could be this weekend. The same goes for Fejiri Okenabirhie, who could receive minutes soon. Elsewhere, Lloyd Jones and Dimitar Mitov are roughly a couple of weeks from returning, whilst a calf setback for Brandon Haunstrup means he’s expected to come back into the equation some time into February.


Shrewsbury Town Wins: 11

Cambridge United Wins: 15

Draws: 10

Down Memory Lane

A familiar face, the U’s last met the Shrews on Boxing Day, taming them with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory.

After Saydee drilled home the opener just after the hour mark, the hosts persevered and battled back thanks to a fine strike from Shilow Tracey and a composed finish from Smith. Three weeks on, they’re yet to register a point.

Speaking after the triumph, Bonner revealed: “I am really pleased with the effort of the players and the character they’ve shown. We’ve done enough to win, in what was at times a scruffy horrible game. Between games the lads have put some brilliant work in, so it gives us a little boost of confidence that we need.”

In the 36 previous meetings between the clubs, United have picked up more points in that time – accumulating 15 wins compared to Town’s 11. Between 1984 and 2016, they lost just once in 16 encounters. Salop have recorded the heaviest victory however - in October 2021, they roared to a 4-1 win at this weekend’s venue.


Referee: Thomas Kirk

Assistant Referee: Oliver Bickle

Assistant Referee: Darren Wilding

Fourth Official: Alex Gray