PRO­MO­TION AT FIRST TILT IS SO SWEET FOR MEL­LON

Robins drop out Foot­ball League

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Palmer

MICKY Mel­lon was a proud man af­ter guiding Shrews­bury Town to an im­me­di­ate re­turn to League One with a 1-0 victory at Chel­tenham Town.

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s first-half goal was enough to sep­a­rate the sides as the Shrews joined Bur­ton Al­bion in the third tier next sea­son.

And that was not the only fall­out at Whad­don Road as the Robins saw their rel­e­ga­tion out of the Foot­ball League con­firmed by the de­feat.

“It’s nice to fi­nally say we are pro­moted,” said Mel­lon. “It’s a ter­rific ef­fort since day one of pre-sea­son.

“We’ve al­ways had the mind­set of try­ing to bounce back at this club and I am de­lighted we’ve done it.

“It’ll take some time to set­tle in. It was a tough game and we knew Chel­tenham would put us un­der pres­sure, but we stood firm and bat­tled through and to get an away win is al­ways hard so it’s a ter­rific ef­fort from the boys.

“I am so pleased for Jean-Louis be­cause we are all fond of him and I am de­lighted for ev­ery­one, from the chair­man to many oth­ers who have in­spired us to do this.

“The fans were mag­nif­i­cent and we’ve said for the lads to en­joy it be­cause they de­serve it.

“They’ve roared us on and it’s a mem­o­rable day, one which will stay in our heads for a long time.”

Chel­tenham did not let Shrews­bury

have it all their own way, but Akpa Akpro’s de­flected strike in the 20th minute put Mel­lon’s men on their way in front of more than 1,700 trav­el­ling fans.

Shaun Har­rad went down in the box un­der a chal­lenge from Jer­maine Gran­di­son in the 38th minute, but a free­kick was given against him and Shrews goal­keeper Jayson Leutwiler de­nied Burns in added.

Chel­tenham’s first real at­tempt of the sec­ond half came from goal­keeper Trevor Car­son, whose huge clear­ance had to be turned over the bar by Leutwiler.

Car­son saved a low ef­fort from James Collins in the 65th minute and Har­rad went close with a free-kick, while Zack Kotwica saw a drive well blocked by Mark El­lis.

Only an ex­cel­lent div­ing stop from Car­son de­nied sub­sti­tute Ty­rone Bar­nett a sec­ond for the Shrews as the pro­mo­tion party started at Whad­don Road.

And Chel­tenham Town boss Gary John­son con­ceded some of his play­ers lacked the pro­fes­sion­al­ism to fight their way out of trou­ble. “The dress­ing room is in bits,” he said. “It’s al­ways very sad when a team are rel­e­gated, es­pe­cially out of the Foot­ball League.

“Un­for­tu­nately when you are rel­e­gated you gen­er­ally de­serve to be down there, for what­ever rea­son. There hasn’t been enough in the team to keep the club in the Foot­ball League.

“We’ve tried very hard, work­ing all hours and we’ve tried to get the play­ers do­ing the same, but the losers among them are less than pro­fes­sional.

“I’ve had to tell a few home truths to peo­ple, some we’ve trusted and some we haven’t, but we’ve had to use them and they end up let­ting you down.

“Some­thing is not right, in­clud­ing re­cruit­ment, and there is a fit­ness level and some of them found it very hard to reach that.

“That’s what I found was more dis­ap­point­ing than any­thing else. The in­juries come in when you need peo­ple and they’ve not been avail­able for cer­tain rea­sons.

“I’ve given them the ben­e­fit of my ex­pe­ri­ence and told them some of them will end up look­ing for new clubs each year.

“The club is strong enough to give it a right go back.

“I have all the academy boys in there and staff and there are a lot of good peo­ple here, try­ing hard for the club and they are dev­as­tated.”

WIN­NER: Shrews­bury Town’s Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro cel­e­brates netting the game’s only goal

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

EC­STASY: Shrews­bury Town play­ers salute their army of trav­el­ling sup­port­ers af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle. Inset: One sup­porter dressed as the In­cred­i­ble Hulk cel­e­brates pro­mo­tion with Bobby Grant

STAR MAN JAYSO

N LEUTW

ILER Shrews

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