Rovers - 0
Shrewsbury - 1 (Whalley 63’)
Saturday 5th March, 2016
Keep moat Stadium, Doncaster
SkyBet League One
Doncaster Rovers were looking to complete their first double of the campaign with Shrewsbury coming to town in today’s potential “six pointer” at Keepmoat Stadium.
Darren Ferguson’s men defeated the Shrews 2-1 at Greenhous Meadow back in October; however both teams now find themselves with a fight on their hands to avoid being dragged in to the relegation zone.
Ferguson has had no qualms in labelling the clash with the Shrews as “must win” and it’s easy to see why with no victory coming since January 3rd.
After the defeat to Swindon in midweek, he made a number of changes to his side bringing in Andy Butler, Lynden Gooch, Liam Mandeville and new signing Riccardo Calder to make his debut.
Rovers looked up for the game and it was a very lively side from the home side who dominated possession early on. Lynden Gooch looked to have earned his place in the starting eleven and caused real problems, being fouled a number of times.
After a string of corners, Rovers first chance fell to captain Nathan Tyson who ran onto a loose ball before shooting with his left foot. However the angle was against him and his shot drifted wide.
Liam Mandeville settled into the game well and his high work rate was well received by the home fans. Debutant Riccardo Calder also looked a threat in midfield liking up well with his new team mates.
Jayson Leutwiler made a terrific save on the half hour mark as Luke McCullough struck a fierce shot from 30 yards. Heading for the top corner, the fingertips of the Shrewsbury keeper kept it out.
The visitors were on the back foot and Gooch was next to threaten as he cut inside from the right looking to curl one into the corner, but again the defender managed to get a touch to send it behind for another corner.
Shrewsbury did have one chance before half time as Andy Mangan headed at goal from close range but the safe hands of Thorsten Stuckmann denied him.
HALF TIME: Rovers 0-0 Shrewsbury
Despite Rovers ending the half on a high, it was the visitors who started the second half better. They almost took the lead straight away as Dominic Smith headed at goal but his effort bounced over the bar.
Rovers livened up however and Andy Butler went agonisingly close as his header was cleared off the line from a corner.
As luck seemed to be going against Rovers, on the hour mark the visitors took the lead in bizarre fashion. An in-swinging corner taken by Shaun Whalley somehow missed Conor Grant and Thorsten Stuckmann at the near post and found it’s way into the back of the net.
Andy Williams, Cedric Evina and Cameron Stewart were introduced to the game as a goal was needed if the home side were to get back in it. Rovers top goalscorer almost got an equaliser instantly as a Conor Grant corner found him at the back post, but his header into the ground bounced over.
Substitute Stewart almost rescued a point for Rovers as his free kick from 25 yards was parried round the corner by the fingertips of Leutwiler. Darren Ferguson’s men pushed and pushed but Shrewsbury held on and went away with the points.
FULL TIME: Rovers 0-1 Shrewsbury
Rovers: Stuckmann, Lund, McCullough, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair (Evina 76’), Alcock, Grant, Calder (Stewart 85’), Gooch, Mandeville (Williams 61’), Tyson (c)
Unused Subs: Jones, Keegan, MacKenzie, Middleton
Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Whitbread (Smith 27’), Mangan (KaiKai 63’), Ogogo, Knight-Percival, Black (Wellens 75’), Vassal, Whalley, J Clark, Grimmer, Brown
Unused Subs: Halstead, Cole, Kai Kai, Akpa Akpro, Vernon
Cautions: Knight-Percival 19’ , Brown, Leutwiler 90’
Attendance: 5,878 (339)