It was only in April 2016 that Latics eased to the top of the League One table with an emphatic 5-1 victory at Shrewsbury Town and they will be hoping for a repeat of that performance tomorrow.
The big win at Greenhous Meadow included a brace from Will Grigg and the Northern Ireland striker’s form has been a major talking point amongst the fans at the beginning of this season.
Grigg has been recovering from five months out after a knee injury required surgery and has made a slow start to this campaign. He hasn’t yet found the net in the handful of games in which he’s either started or come on as a substitute.
He was involved with the second team on Monday night against Blackburn Rovers in the Lancashire Senior Cup but he failed to score during the 90 minutes and missed his spot kick in the penalty shoot-out, which Latics lost.
It’s been a quiet period for the striker who was a global centre of attention with the ‘Will Grigg’s On Fire’ song in 2016, but surely it is only a matter of time before he regains his sharpness in front of goal.
Grigg achieved a superb 25 league goals when Latics won the League One title and there is still a strong belief that he can replicate that form this time around. If Grigg can find his scoring boots he could make it a remarkable four promotions to the Championship.
He was promoted with Brentford in 2014, then with MK Dons in 2015, with Latics in 2016 and hopefully he will do it again with the club in 2018.
Much has changed at Latics and Shrewsbury since that game in 2016 and The Shrews look like an improved outfit and currently sit above Latics in second in place in the League One table.
Like Latics they are unbeaten in their opening games and they have won four and drawn one of their fixtures so far. In fact they are now in their highest position in the Football League since September 1989.
Shrewsbury are also doing some great work off the pitch by promoting safe standing. They have applied to be the first English club to have safe standing at their stadium. The plan is to have rail seats fitted and in use, in a section of one stand, before the end of this season.
They have initiated a crowdfunding campaign to create a showcase for safe standing, which should help to bring forward its introduction at other clubs.
All the proceeds from the campaign will support the first installation at Shrewsbury, and after that, future Football Supporters Federation-backed safe standing projects. Details of how to support the campaign can be found at: http://www.tifosy.com/safestanding
This article was first published in the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 8th September 2017.