Shrewsbury Town narrowly lose out against Bristol Rovers.
Shrewsbury Town were unable to record back-to-back victories this evening despite dominating against Bristol Rovers.
Rovers, who took the lead through Brandon Hanlan in the first-half, managed to hold on to their narrow lead as the points headed back to Bristol.
Town started brightly as they registered the first shot of the game. A long-range effort from Jason Cummings, unfortunately, rose just over the bar. Cummings had peeled wide left in the front three, making way for his new counterpart, Leon Clarke, who showed early signs of combining on the toes of the Rovers defenders to enable space for chances to be created in behind.
Tireless work from Dan Udoh, who burst in from the right, and was able to weave a ball through to Clarke whose composed finish ended up in the Rovers net. However, celebrations were cut short as the linesman’s flag was up on the near side.
The away side’s managed to break the deadlock against the run of play, just 15 minutes in. Zain Westbrooke curled in a free-kick from 25 yards out and Brandon Hanlan found himself unmarked and was able to steer his header into the Town net.
Town lost Scott Golbourne just after the 20-minute mark, who left the field after a clash with Josh Hare and was replaced by Jan Zamburek. Josh Vela had a job on his hands as he had to fill in at left-back and Zamburek was slotted into the central position of the Town midfield.
More link-up between Clarke and his wingers presented another chance for the striker just 10 minutes before the half-time interval. He managed to create space in the Rovers area and the cutback from Udoh came frustratingly sharp as he poked his effort just wide.
Clarke came close again just minutes before half-time. Josh Vela’s whipped cross to the back post was met calmly from the head of Clarke, but more frustrations, as the ball clacked off the front post as Town were still hunting for the equaliser going into the break.
Rovers almost doubled their lead through the unlikely source of David Tutonda. Westbrooke’s quick thinking free-kick had the defender in over the top but Deyan IIilev denied by making himself big and keeping the deficit to just one.
The second half kicked off in the same electric start that the first period ended. The away side created another chance to double their lead as a corner, straight off the training ground, allowed Josh Hare to fire in his curling effort, stinging the gloves of IIilev in the Town goal.
Town were able to create two head in hands chances around the 55th minute as Clarke flashed the ball across the face of the Rovers net and in the moments after, Cumming’s swinging effort was inches away from being poked home from the sliding Udoh.
Town’s relentless press almost produced the equaliser. The ball was cut back from Clarke and Cummings let it roll through to Zamburek who was denied by the goal-line heroics of Rover’s captain Max Ehmer.
It was one of Udoh’s electric runs over the top of the Rover’s defence that almost brought the equaliser. Scott High’s through ball came nicely for Udoh whose effort was stopped by the on-rushing keeper, Anssi Jaakkola.
Town: Deyan IIilev, Aaron Pierre, Scott Golbourne (Zamburek 22), Oliver Norburn ©, Josh Vela, Leon Clarke, Brad Walker (Daniels 87), Dan Udoh (Tracey 81’), Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Scott High, Jason Cummings.
Subs: Harry Burgoyne, Ro-Shaun Williams, Jan Zamburek, Ryan Barnett, Shilow Tracey, Josh Daniels, Charlie Caton
Rovers: Anssi Jaakkola, Max Ehmer ©, Jack Baldwin, Cian Harries, Josh Hare, David Tutonda, Josh Grant, Zain Westbrooke (Upson 89’), Luke McCormick (Oztumer 71’), James Daly (Nicholson 71’), Brandon Hanlan.
Subs: Jordi Van Stappershoef, Alfie Kilgour, Ed Upson, Luke Leahy, Cameron Hargreaves, Sam Nicholson, Erhun Oztumer
Referee: Alan Young
Assistant Referees: Thomas Harty and Alan Clayton
Fourth Official: Bradley Hall
36’- Brad Walker entered the book for pulling back James Daly.
57’- Josh Grant pulled back Jan Zamburek.
66’- Harries booked for handling the ball on the fall to try and stop play.