Thursday 22nd September 2011
Admittedly it didn't look good for the middle part of the first half but with 11 changes from the team that started at Ewood Park, overall we did what was needed to progress on Tuesday night. Before a ball is kicked that is the No 1 aim of course.
Shrewsbury came with a good pedigree, currently flying high in their division and having already knocked out two teams from leagues above them. Trying hard not to sound condescending, I think their thousands of travelling fans can be very proud of their team's performance.
I enjoy the Carling Cup games immensely, not just because it gives a number of players a chance to shine on the big stage but also, in home ties, I generally sit in an alternative part of the stadium to where my season ticket is located.
This always tends to give a different perspective on a game as angles can be completely different to those I am used to week-in week-out.
We started the game well enough, our visitors' goalkeeper making two great saves in the opening five minutes, both from Marouane. Until Gibbo's equaliser however, the Shrews caused us a number of problems including, of course, taking the lead.
Being level at half time left me feeling confident we could go on and win the game, especially as having given so much for their team to prevent us from having time and space to play our game, I fully expected many of the Shrewsbury players to tire a little in the latter stages.
Our second goal was scored by Alex OC, topping off what was a highly impressive debut in the Gooner red and white. Possessing a great touch, pace and a powerful shot, he certainly looked like the type of player that will hopefully have a long and successful career at our club.
Other 'new' players such as Ju YP, Ryo and Ozzy all impressed too and Yossi completed the scoring on what, overall, was a pleasing night.
It means we go into Saturday's Fourth-Round draw of course before we take on Bolton at home. My first choice is probably the same as most, Aldershot. I would like them away, however, as it is another one of the grounds where personally I have not seen us play.
Three points are crucial on Saturday, we all know that. Let's get behind the boys and do our best to help achieve that aim.
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