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REPORT | Rovers 1 Shrewsbury 0

11 December 2021

Joseph Olowu’s second half goal gives Rovers an important win over Shrewsbury Town.

A Nathanael Ogbeta long-range, off-target effort and Luke Leahy’s header over the bar summed up the first half chances for the visitors in a 45 minutes of play Rovers boasted the best of.

Ethan Galbraith fired wide after Hasani teed him up at the edge of the box before Rovers crafted their best chance of the half on the 15-minute mark.

Rovers worked the ball really well through the middle of the park before Tommy Rowe slid the ball into the Hiwula who had held his run well to get beyond the defensive line. He tried to pass the ball into the net but, while he got the better of former Rovers man Marko Marosi, Leahy got back to clear off the line.

Aggressive pressing by Hasani in an unfamiliar right-win role saw Rovers win the ball back high up the pitch and get on the front foot. They raced into the box but Rowe, Dodoo and Hiwula all had shots blocked while Hasani miscued one at the back post.

Marosi made his first save on the 24th minute – a fingertip stop to deny Rowe from close range after an exquisite lifted ball from Matt Smith picked him out.

Dodoo saw several efforts blocked and headed one over, while last ditch defending prevented Rowe from delivering the ball on the plate for the striker.

At the other end, Tom Bloxham went closest for the Shrews. The ball fell to him at the back post, but it didn’t sit kindly for him and Rovers crowded him out until all he could do was chip the ball into the safety of Louis Jones gloves.

Rovers created the first chance of the second half too. A very smart first-time pass by Horton released Hiwula into the box but the heavens had opened during the break and the winger was unable to sort his feet out to get a shot away. Hiwula had another shot soon after but this time his effort was blocked.

Hasani was unfortunate to concede a corner when Horton’s clearance clattered him in the face, but the youngster recovered well to head away the delivery and Jones made his first real stop soon after denying Ogbeta at his near post

McSheffrey opted for a change on the hour mark replacing Hasani with Aidan Barlow and the substitute was in the action immediately. Rowe did really well in the build up before being flattened by a challenge, but the ball fell kindly to Barlow. He drove 50 yards straight at the retreating Shrews defence but seemed to get caught in two minds and the visitors were able to crowd him out.

Next came a period of pressure for Shrewsbury Town but Rovers – and Jones – stood up to the pressure. Jones made several really good stops as the game became wide open.

The best of these came with fifteen minutes remaining – a mix-up between the Rovers centre-backs left Daniel Udoh with only the keeper to beat but beat the keeper he could not as Jones made himself big and stuck out a leg to make an exceptional stop. That desire to keep a clean-sheet showed again seconds later this time it was Horton who bravely in front of a fierce strike on goal.

Rovers scored their well deserved goal on the 80th minute when a Rowe corner was headed in by Olowu who showed huge desire to get there first.

The visitors created a few late half-chances and one of the loudest roars of the afternoon came when Jones raced out to claim a cross in injury time which all but sealed the win.


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