Late heartache for Town after getting themselves back into the game
Shrewsbury Town: 1 Joe MURPHY, 2 Aaron PIERRE, 3 Scott GOLBOURNE, 4 Dave EDWARDS, 5 Ro-Shaun WILLIAMS, 6 Omar BECKLES (OFF 56), 8 Ollie NORBURN (c), 17 Donald LOVE, 21 Louis THOMPSON (OFF 56), 28 Josh LAURENT, 35 Jason CUMMINGS (OFF 77)
Subs: 10 Fejiri OKENABIRHIE (ON 56), 11 Ryan GILES (ON 56), 14 Lenell JOHN-LEWIS (ON 77)
Subs not used: 25 Max O’LEARY, 15 Brad WALKER, 18 Luke McCORMICK, 24 Ethan EBANKS-LANDELL
Bristol Rovers: 32 Anssi JAAKKOLA, 2 Mark LITTLE (OFF 78), 4 Abu OGOGO, 5 Tony CRAIG, 6 Ed UPSON, 7 Liam SERCOMBE, 8 Ollie CLARKE (c) (OFF 90+4), 11 Luke LEAHY, 15 Alfie KILGOUR, 24 Rollin MENAYESE, 29 Victor ADEBOYEJO (OFF 73)
Subs: 17 Tyler SMITH (ON 73), 33 Alex RODMAN (ON 78) , 3 Tareiq HOLMES-DENNIS (ON 90+4)
Subs not used: 1 Jordi VAN STAPPERSHOEF10 Tom NICHOLS, 18 Michael KELLY, 23 Kyle BENNENT
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referees: Craig Taylor and David Hunt
Fourth Official: Gary Hilton
Attendance: 6325 (831 away)
A seven-goal thriller at Montgomery Waters Meadow as Josh Laurent bags a brace however Town suffer a defeat as Abu Ogogo scored the winner with minutes remaining.
Shot-stopper Joe Murphy started as number Town’s number one after his recent performances whilst Max O’Leary is on the bench. Sam Ricketts started Louis Thompson for his first league start since signing for Town in August. Sean Goss and Shaun Whalley miss the game after picking up slight knocks.
Bristol Rovers’ star man Jonson Clarke-Harris was missing from their side today as he picked up a knock making him unavailable for the game. Former Town player, Abu Ogogo, started for Rovers this afternoon whilst another former Town player, Alex Rodman started on Graham Coughclan’s bench.
Town went into half-time after an interesting first 45 minutes. With three goals and six yellow cards, Town went into the break a goal behind.
Shrewsbury looked to create the first chance on goal with only one minute on the scoreboard. Josh Laurent won possession back on Luke Leahy. Laurent found lone-striker Jason Cummings and managed to pop the ball off to Louis Thompson. Thompson was making a great run forward and was through on goal before the linesman raised his flag and Thompson was caught offside.
Minutes later it was time for Rovers to have their first chance after a cross down the left-wing from Leahy found Victor Adeboyejo’s head, however the header was sliced off his head and went well over Joe Murphy’s goal.
Omar Beckles caught himself in trouble after Rovers captain Ollie Clarke pinched the ball off him in a dangerous area, just outside the 18-yard-box. Clarke fired in a cross and was headed away by Scott Golbourne and put behind for a corner. Stepped up Liam Sercombe who curled a cross into the back post where Tony Craig was waiting. Craig connected with the ball and buried it past Murphy. The opposition found themselves one-nil up inside the ten minute mark.
Town hit back with a great response after a great phase of play and a solid challenge from Donald Love. A long ball from Love was heading for the feet of Cummings but Anssi Jaakkola was quick off his line to collect the ball.
Thompson was running the midfield. A great challenge to win the ball back and found himself going on a great run through Rovers midfield and defence. Thompson was bought down as he was through on goal by Alfie Kilgour. Play was stopped for five minutes after the referee began dishing out yellow cards to both teams. Laurent, Thompson, Cummings, Norburn, Adeboyejo and Jaakkola were booked for dissent and stimulation after the challenge on Thompson.
After the five minutes of stoppage, Rovers bounced back as they looked to find their second goal. Leahy found former Town man, Abu Ogogo early waiting on the edge of the 18-yard-box, Ogogo shot, however the ball went flying high and wide.
It was minutes later, Rovers found their second goal. A goal that came out of not a lot. Mark Little mis-hit a shot in the box and Captain Ollie Clarke managed to get a toe on the end of it, sending it way past Murphy with no chance of stopping it.
Thomspon found himself all over the pitch today. Thompson won the ball back in the left-back position. Clarke came in for a challenge however Thompson still had the ball, but the referee somehow gave a free-kick to Rovers. Sercombe crossed it in but only to find Norburn at the front post. Norburn sent the ball away for a corner. Again, Sercombe takes and found Adeboyejo’s head. The ball managed to scramble in the goal however the linesman already had his flag raised for offside. A let off for Town.
With only ten minutes of the first-half remaining, Love was caught by Clarke after a high foot. Norburn crossed in the ball to find Aaron Pierre waiting at the back post. Pierre bought down the ball from his head to chest and to the ground. Pierre ran the ball towards the by-line and cut back a low cross that found the penalty sport where Laurent was waiting. Laurent fired the ball home and left Jaakkola with no chance.
With six minutes added on, Murphy made a fantastic save to stop the visitors getting their third. A shot fired by Ed Upson was denied at point blank range and slapped away. However the ball still wasn’t clear as shots were coming in from everywhere but Town did well to deflect each shot before Love cleared the ball away from danger.
Half-Time: Shrewsbury 1 – 2 Bristol Rovers
Town started their second half the way that they would never have wanted. A long ball came flying over the top and Murphy came well off his line and out of his box in an attempt to head the ball away. However, the header was poor and landed at the feet of Sercombe. Sercombe took the chance to chip Murphy and succeed. Town went two goals behind as the score became three-one.
Beckles went on a great run and floated a great ball into the box. The ball was cleared away for a Town corner, Norburn crossed it in onto Laurent’s head but the header was well over Jaakkola’s goal.
Sam Ricketts made his first substitutions just ten minutes after half-time. A double change saw Louis Thompson and Omar Beckles leave the pitch as Ryan Giles and Fejiri Okenabirhie came on to replace them.
Town were on top. A great turn by Dave Edwards in a dangerous area found the ball falling at the feet of Cummings. Cummings cuts in onto his left and shoots. His shot is deflected and out for a corner. After three corners later, Town struggled to find the target and draw the score line closer.
Fey won his team a free-kick after a great run edging towards the 18-yard-box. Fey was bought down and won the free-kick in a dangerous area. Norburn stepped up to take the free-kick, a curling effort through many bodies saw the ball fly past Jaakkola and bring the score-line closer with only one goal between the teams.
Minutes later, Town get another and level the score line. After a brilliant run by Giles down the left, he found Golbourne who floated a ball into the box. After the ball fumbled around, Laurent managed to get a touch and put the ball into the back of the net. Town were level with 20 minutes to go.
Great pressure from Town saw them come close on a few occasions. With Little struggling to cope with Giles down the wing, Town looked to apply the pressure and make the visitors force errors.
With 13 minutes remaining of time, Sam Ricketts made his third and final change of the game. Cummings was replaced by Lenell John-Lewis.
Town continue to pile on the pressure to find the winning goal. Fey was fouled again, just outside the 18-yard-box and Norburn stepped up to re-create his goal. However, it wasn’t meant to be.
With less than five minutes of normal play remaining, former Town man, Abu Ogogo fired home the fourth goal for the visitors. Rovers do well to counter-attack and pressure the Town box well, Ogogo receives the ball inside the area and poked home for Rovers.
A lengthy amount of time added on to the final 45 and Town pile on the pressure hungry for the equaliser. Fey was in the middle of the park, found Love making a run down the right-hand-side. Love fired in a cross where Edwards was sprinting in, Edwards connected with it but sent it over Jaakkola’s goal and that was Town’s last chance of the game.
Full-Time: Shrewsbury 3 – 4 Bristol Rovers