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Rovers 1 Shrewsbury Town 2

26 September 2017

Manager Darren Ferguson made just one change from the side that started in Saturday’s victory away at Plymouth, with Ben Whiteman replaced by Rodney Kongolo, who impressed after coming on during the away win.

Rovers immediately went on the attack from the kick-off and, after good work down the right-hand side, it was Niall Mason who found space 25 yards out from goal, but his shot was tame and straight at Dean Henderson in the Shrews’ goal.

Rovers were causing all the problems for Town, and this time, they missed a great chance to take the lead.

James Coppinger’s first time cross was touched on by Tommy Rowe to John Marquis, with the striker in plenty of space in the opposition penalty area.

Marquis then played the ball back to Rowe who was right in front of goal eight yards out, but his shot was sliced wide and ensured that the Shrews’ defence were let off after leaving a big gap in their own box.

Rowe went close just again just a couple minutes later, picking up the ball and charging forward where he attempted a shot from distance, however his shot was again straight at Henderson who saved comfortably.

It was the visitors who next went closest to getting the game’s opening goal, with Joe Wright losing the ball to Stefan Payne, however the forward’s strike from inside the box was saved by Ian Lawlor to ensure the score remained level.

After all the early pressure from the home side though, it would be no surprise to see them take the lead just after the half hour mark.

Good work from Alfie May down the right enabled him to create enough space to put in a low cross in to the area.

His ball in was touched back by Marquis, who teed up Rowe on the edge of the box, and he duly obliged by striking home low past Henderson.

In a similar fashion to recent games, a lack of concentration from Rovers cost them and the Shrews were in immediately.

Town came forward straight away, charging into the Rovers’ area in numbers, but Joe Riley only had one thing on his mind as he bared down on goal, and that was to smash home across Lawlor in the Rovers’ goal and get the league leaders back on terms.

The visitors were now in the ascendancy, and had the game’s next chance as they broke from a Rovers’ free kick down the other end.

Alex Rodman sprinted away from the chasing Matty Blair and managed to cross in for Jon Nolan, however his header was straight at Lawlor in the Rovers’ goal and claimed comfortably.

As the half wore on, it was the visitors who clawed their way back into the game with increased pressure and they had one last chance before the break.

The ball was swung into the area the area by Carlton Morris and met by the head of the on-rushing Payne, however the former Barnsley man could only head wide.

After the break, it was the visitors who were again enjoying a lot of possession, leading to a ball back from Rodman which was met once more by Nolan, however, he fired well over inside the box.

Rovers went close next, and arguably should’ve gone back in front. A neat back heel from Rowe found May on the edge of the area, and his nice turn opened up a shooting opportunity, but his shot was straight at Henderson who saved well to ensure the score stayed level.


In what was an end-to-end encounter, the Shrews had the game’s next big chance.

A corner was floated in by substitute Shaun Whalley, and after a scramble, the ball was cleared by Andy Butler, but the ball was immediately pumped forwards once more.

The ball fell kindly for Morris, but  he could only shoot just wide of Lawlor’s far post and again the game remained level.

Rovers came forward again, this time down the left-hand side, with Mason and Marquis combining to release Rowe, and his cross in was met by the head of May, but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

Marquis next went close for the home side, Coppinger’s cross from the right being met by the striker who could only head the ball wide.

Rovers were ramping up the pressure and after another scramble from a corner, the ball was eventually played to May, who’s strike from just inside the box was palmed away from danger by Henderson.

A cruel late twist was in store for Rovers, and all three points went to the visitors in added time.

The ball was worked forward towards another substitute, Gnahoua, who skipped through the Rovers’ defence, and from the edge of the box fired past Marko Marosi, who was on to replace the injured Lawlor, to give the Shrews all three points.

Rovers will feel hard done by having had good opportunities to win the game throughout, but to no avail, and will now travel to Bradford on Saturday looking to bounce back with a win.

 


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