PROMOTION AT FIRST TILT IS SO SWEET FOR MELLON
Robins drop out Football League
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
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
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