The Shrews are in town

Last updated : 20 January 2006 By Rob Davies
It was on the 17th September that a confident Notts County side strode into Shrewsbury only to leave Gay Meadow with their tails between their legs after a resounding 2-0 defeat.

The Magpies had been unbeaten until that point - sitting proudly at the top of the league - and the rapid decline in their season can be traced back exactly to that point.

Hurst: Not playing
At the time, Notts fans saw themselves as automatic promotion-candidates, while the Shrews had so far lived-up to their pre-season billing as relegation favourites.

How things change.

Four months on and the two teams meet again with just a single point and two league places between them.

Gary Peters' Shrewsbury side have shocked many and are without doubt one of the most-improved teams in the division.

Unbeaten in 2006, the Shrews are now hopeful of sustaining a little promotion push of their own, with Peters assembling one of the stronger squads in League Two that has only been boosted by the signing of Peterborough defender Sagi Burton today.

Burton has history with the Meadow Lane crowd, after his theatrics got Notts striker Paul Heffernan sent-off in a league game at the 'Lane a couple of years ago, just a few months after the uncompromising defender had thrown the same player into the home crowd during a match at London Road.

Despite his somewhat tainted reputation though, the defender does has pedigree at this level - and his signing is just one of a number that Peters has made in order to transform his side.

Colin McMenamin was brought-in from Falkirk in the summer and has already notched nine goals this campaign, while Neil Sorvel is a more-than equipped midfielder at this level.

Perhaps the most notable signing Peters has made though, is that of our very-own Glynn Hurst - a striker who would have no doubt loved to play tomorrow.

A clause in his contract dictates that he won't, but Notts fans will at least still have one old-boy to look out for, the ever-popular Mark Stallard - who's not had it easy at Gay Meadow - is likely to replace Hurst in the starting line-up.

Notts supporters are also set to be treated to the home debut of two new players. Lee Crooks should retain his place in midfield after a solid debut in midfield at Wycombe last weekend, while Eugene Dadi is set to go straight into the line-up after completing his loan switch on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Gudjon Thordarson has almost a clean-bill of health as he seeks to mastermind Notts' fourth successive home win, though Steve Scoffham is set for a fitness test in the morning after picking-up a foot infection.

Kelvin Wilson is likely to revert back to his more orthodox position in defence after a run-out upfront, with Dan Martin also returning from illness.

Notts (possible): Pilkington; O'Callaghan, Baudet, Wilson/Martin; Palmer, Pipe, Edwards, Crooks, Needham; Dadi, Sheridan.

Subs (from): Marshall, Wilson/Martin, Friars, Ullathorne, McMahon, Long, White, DeBolla, Scoffham.