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Opposition Lowdown: Matthew Taylor's Shrewsbury Town

Reading head to Shrewsbury this Saturday hoping to end their long winless away run before it becomes over a year since their last such victory. Join us as we take a closer look at the opposition.

Shrewsbury Town v Derby County - Sky Bet League One - The Croud Meadow Photo by Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images


Shrewsbury Town finished last season in 12th place in League One following 17 wins, eight draws and 21 losses. Their home form was stronger than their away last season, seeing 11 of those wins coming at New Meadow. This is their ninth straight season in the third tier, having won promotion from League Two in 2015 after finishing runners-up to Burton Albion.

Shrewsbury currently sit in 19th place in the league on 17 points, five places and 10 points ahead of Reading. Their recent form has been challenging, having lost their last three games. They are also the second-lowest scorers in the league, with only seven goals to their name so far this season.

The two sides last faced each other over 30 years ago, during the 1991/92 season, with Reading claiming the double over the Shrews, winning 2-1 in both the home and away tie.

The boss

Matthew Taylor: Taylor was appointed head coach at Shrewsbury this summer, after Steve Cotterill resigned following two and a half years at the club. The 41-year-old had a 20-year career as a player, representing the likes of Luton Town, Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United, predominantly playing as a left-back.

He hung up his boots in 2019, when he was working in a player/coach role at Swindon Town. His first full-time coaching role was at Tottenham Hotspur, where he managed their under-18 team.

Taylor left Spurs to take on his first full-time manager role at Walsall in May 2021. He was sacked by the Saddlers after just under nine months in charge, with the club sat in 21st place in League Two. Taylor was given his second manager's job after almost a year and a half out of the game, following his appointment in June this year.

He has guided the Shrews to seven wins from 20 games in his time at the club so far. Taylor likes his teams to work hard but with the freedom to express themselves.


A total of 14 players joined the Shrews this summer, with six players arriving on free transfers. Four of those free transfers were defenders, with left-back Mal Benning and centre-backs Morgan Feeney, Jason Sraha and Michael Parker all joining the club.

Midfielder Carl Winchester rejoined the club on a permanent deal following a successful loan last season, while Taylor Perry also joined following his release from Wolverhampton Wanderers. Two players joined from the Irish League with forward Max Mata arriving from Sligo Rovers and right-back Tunmise Sobowale signing from Waterford.

Six players have also joined on loan, including centre-back Joe Anderson (Sunderland), left-back Brandon Fleming (Hull City), midfielder Nohan Kenneh (Hibernian), Elliot Thorpe (Luton) and Ryan Finnigan (Southampton) and forward Kieran Phillips (Huddersfield Town).

Those leaving the New Meadow included centre-back Matthew Pennington, midfielder Luke Leahy and forward Rekeil Pyke.

Goalkeeper Marko Marosi is an injury doubt heading into Saturday’s game as he recovers from a back injury. Defenders Morgan Feeney, George Nurse and Brandon Fleming, midfielder Ryan Finnigan and forward Kieran Phillips are all expected to miss out due to injury.

Expected lineup

Burgoyne, Flanagan, Dunkley, Anderson, Winchester, Sraha, Kenneh, Perry, Bayliss, Shipley, Udoh

Key player

Chey Dunkley: Defender Dunkley joined Shrewsbury in June 2022 on a free transfer following his release from Sheffield Wednesday. He came through the renowned youth setup at Crewe Alexandra but never made a first-team appearance for the club.

He joined non-league Hednesford Town in 2010 where he spent two years before signing for Kidderminster Harriers. He moved to Oxford United on loan in 2014 with the move being made permanent a few months later.

Dunkley spent two and a bit years at Oxford before he joined Wigan Athletic, where he played 117 times for the club, scoring 13 goals. A move to Sheffield Wednesday followed in 2020, but he found first-team appearances hard to come by, playing 36 times for Wednesday in his two seasons at the club.

Dunkley has gone on to make 68 appearances for Shrewsbury since joining the club last summer and was named club captain for this season. The 31-year-old is a centre-back who is strong in the air and a threat in both boxes.

One to watch

Nohan Kenneh: Midfielder Kenneh joined Shrewsbury this summer, signing a season-long loan deal from Scottish Premier League side Hibernian.

He came through the youth system at Leeds United but never made an appearance for the club despite being named on the bench on a number of occasions.

Kenneh joined Hibernian in May last year, making his debut two months later before going on to make 19 appearances for the club in the first half of the season. He spent the second half of that season on loan at fellow Premiership side Ross County before then joining Shrewsbury on loan for the full 2023/24 season.

Kenneh represented England at under-16, under-17 and under-18 level but now represents Liberia, winning his first cap earlier on this year. The 20-year-old defensive midfielder is a tough tackler with good technical skills.