Good Friday saw us take a trip up the M6 to visit Shrewsbury Town as we looked at chalking off another ground of the 92 league clubs.   Shrewsbury Town have occupied their current stadium since 2007 having moved from their original home.  Another club which needed to move away from it’s classic venue to cope with modern day demands and create improved off-field revenue streams.


The Croud Meadow

Unlike it’s predecessor, The Gay Meadow which was the name for 97 years, the new stadium has had multiple sponsors since it opened including Prostar, Montgomery Waters and most recently local marketing agency Cloud have taken the naming rights.

The new home is located on the outskirts of the town, boasting a 9,875  capacity stadium.  The ground is a good 40 minute hike from the town centre so we grabbed a taxi, avoiding a large downpour in the process!

The previous home, The Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn was believed to be named this due to the carnivals and circus’s which used the meadow.  Unfortunately for ground-hoppers seeking old relics to explore will be disappointed as it is now merely a development of town houses and apartments.  We love looking back at old grounds and found a book called Goodbye Gay Meadow which won Best Illustrated Sports Book in 2008 – worth a look.


The Croud Meadow

The Croud Meadow


The Croud Stadium

The Croud Stadium

Shrewsbury in League One

Shrewsbury Town started the day in 17th position in League One, that’s eight points clear of the relegation zone and 19pts off the play-offs.  Therefore with only seven matches to play, there was not too much riding on this.

The opponents were Oxford United who recently jumped up into 6th place and an unlikely play-off position, battling several other teams for that right.


Facilities at the Croud Stadium

On arrival at the ground we found a fan-zone and next to this a bar too.  Inside, there were several choices of lager and also a Golden Ale called “Spirit of 79” by Hobsons Brewery to celebrate the club’s third division triumph in 78/79 and FA Cup run.  At 4.5% it was an enjoyable drop.

Above the bar, season-ticket holder Adam Craig pointed out a coracle above the bar.  A coracle is a small boat made out of woven wood used for thousands of years in Wales.  Adam explained how the boat was used at the previous stadium, The Gay Meadow, to retrieve footballs out of the river which was fascinating to listen to.


The coracle Fred Davies used to retrieve footballs from the River Severn


We found this great footage of Fred Davies, the ball collector, which is worth a watch…



After going through the turn-styles we were treated to a bright and friendly concourse decorated in club graffiti on the wall whilst a small club shop was operating with a good trade of scarves and flags, positioned next to a programme seller.


Shrewsbury Town graffiti


Shrewsbury Town

The clubshop inside the ground


The Croud Meadow

Shrewsbury Town v Oxford United

A good attendance of 7,340 fans turned up for this match and the atmosphere generated by the home fans behind the goal was impressive.  Other than a couple of sharp showers, it was a mild and sunny afternoon with the pitch looking great in the sunshine.


The Croud Meadow

The sun-drenched Croud Meadow


Spirit of 79

Spirit of 79 banner inside the Croud Meadow


The first half saw many chances at both ends with several good efforts dragged just wide and both goal-keepers coming into action.  One of these efforts came in the 20th minute as Wichester sent in a great effort, clawed away.  However the first half would finish 0-0.

It was Oxford United who took the lead early in the second half.  Initially the home keeper did well to thwart a chance by shepharding the Oxford player and the ball away from goal, however this left him out of position and when the ball was fired across the six yard box it was simply a matter of hitting the target – which Bodin did, emphatically crashing the ball against the underside of the bar and into the net.


Shrewsbury Town

Jack Hinchy swings in another corner


Shortly after the opening goal, there were big shouts for a Shrewsbury Town penalty when Udoh seemed to be fouled in the box, however the theme of waving play-on by the referee continued.

Shrewsbury equalised in the 82nd minute when Jack Price latched on to a headed clearance just outside the penalty area, striking the ball instantly, hard and low, and it landed in the bottom corner.  Price ran towards the home fans, punching the corner flag in delight.  After the match on the clubs social media he said “I wanted to slide on my knees but my body can’t do that anymore”

The home fans were recorded celebrating and you can see what it means to them – please give this a watch and click subscribe.

Final score:  Shrewsbury Town 1  Oxford United 1



Shrewsbury Town are described in the BBC Video above as a happy little club, and that’s what we experienced.   Kids for £1 entry is clearly working here and can be a great day for the whole family to enjoy.

Who are Covert Football Trips?

Who are we?  Covert Football Trips create Mystery Football Weekends.  Choose from 2 or 3 Night experiences which include your flights, accommodation and match tickets.  We are a travel agent so your trip is ATOL protected whilst we use our own experience to create amazing weekends.

Choose grounds to avoid,  select the dates you want to travel and note the airports you would prefer to fly from and then sit back and let us do all the hard work.

Check out our packages here.