After seven seasons in League Two, mostly spent around mid-table, Carlisle were hoping to push on towards a long-awaited return to the third tier in 2022.
Things have not gone to plan, however, and a shocking run featuring just one win in 16 games saw them sat in the relegation zone.
The Blues clawed their way out of the bottom two on Saturday, though, with a 1-0 win at home to Walsall, thanks to Tristan Abrahams’s late winner in the 88th minute.
They then followed that up with a win on penalties over League One Lincoln City in the EFL Trophy during the week and new manager Keith Millen will be hoping this is the start of a turnaround.
His side were given a fairly easy task in the first round of the FA Cup, beating non-league Horsham 2-0 in one of their first matches under Millen’s tutelage.
Shrewsbury will likely prove a far tougher nut to crack, despite their recent inconsistent form in League One.
This is the club’s seventh consecutive season in the third tier and, bar an outlier with their third-placed finish during the 2017-18 campaign, they have spent the entire time narrowly avoiding relegation.
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Last season saw them finish 17th and things look to be going in a similar direction so far this term, with the Shrews sitting in 19th, two points above the relegation zone.
Steve Cotterill’s men did manage a 1-0 win at home to Charlton Athletic at the weekend, courtesy of a last-gasp Daniel Udoh winner, and dismantled Stratford Town 5-1 in the FA Cup first round.
There is enough from which to draw a positive team talk, especially considering Shrewsbury won their last two encounters with Carlisle, back in 2014 and 2015, on their way to promotion