Shrewsbury Town were not at the races as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers.
Niall Ennis made just one EFL Cup appearance for Town during a 2017 loan spell. The Wolves loanee suffered a serious knee injury as he was unable to demonstrate his capabilities in a blue and amber shirt.
However, the 20-year-old has since revitalised his career, signing an extended contract at Molineux, whilst also enjoying a fruitful spell at Rovers.
He opened the scoring inside four minutes, whilst defender Tom Anderson doubled the home side’s advantage in the second half during a frustrating evening for Shrewsbury.
Sam Ricketts made one expected change from the side that drew 1-1 against Bristol City. Max O’Leary was reinstated in goal with Joe Murphy dropping to the bench.
Darren Moore’s outfit were ahead with their first meaningful attack of the match. Veteran midfielder James Coppinger sent Kieran Sadlier free down the flank. The former West Ham academy product crossed and Ethan Ebanks-Landell misjudged the flight of the ball. Niall Ennis was given the simplest of tasks to nod home from close range.
At the other end, Dan Udoh looked set to pull the trigger, but he was thwarted by a last-ditch Joe Wright challenge. Aaron Pierre headed Ryan Giles’ corner wide, as Town looked to get back into the game.
Doncaster kept possession well as they were marshalled by ex Town winger Jon Taylor who was linking up with Ennis in a potent Rovers attack.
But the visitors were causing problems of their own. QPR loanee Seny Dieng’s punch ricocheted off Josh Laurent and Joe Wright was forced to make a goal line clearance.
Shrewsbury were almost the architects of their downfall as Rovers continued to press. Ro-Shaun Williams almost guided the ball into his own net as he attempted to alleviate severe pressure from Niall Ennis.
Doncaster continued to force the issue in the second half. Ro-Shaun Williams and Ethan Ebanks-Landell were at sixes and sevens as Niall Ennis seized control. Max O’Leary prevented the home side doubling their lead with a smart stop.
Shrewsbury’s midfield was anonymous as Doncaster continued to swarm forward. Kieran Sadlier was allowed the freedom of the park to fire wide.
Sam Ricketts will be furious that his side were unable to pose an attacking threat. Instead, Doncaster grew in confidence and sealed the win with 15 minutes of normal time remaining.
Jon Taylor’s sweeping corner was powerfully met by Tom Anderson, and Max O’Leary could do nothing to prevent the ball flying beyond him.
A poor day at the office, as Shrewsbury fail to capitalise on the positivity surrounding their FA Cup result at the weekend. Sam Ricketts will be demanding a response when Lincoln visit on Saturday, Doncaster are away to Bristol Rovers. The defeat sees Town drop to 15th, whilst Darren Moore’s men rise to 11th.
Attendance: 7,054 (265 Town fans)
Team Line Ups
Doncaster Rovers: (4-2-3-1)
24. Dieng, 2. Halliday, 5. Wright, 4. Anderson, 3. James, 8. Whiteman, 6. Sheaf, 10. Taylor (94), 26. Coppinger (81), 7. Sadlier, 31. Ennis (86)
Subs: 1. Lawlor, 11. Bingham (94), 12. Gomes (81), 16. Amos, 20. Blaney, 22. Watters (86), 27. Greaves
Subs Not Used: 1. Lawlor, 16. Amos, 20, Blaney, 27. Greaves
Shrewsbury Town: (3-4-3)
25. O’Leary, 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 17. Love (72), 22. Goss (45), 8. Norburn, 3. Golbourne (60), 28. Laurent, 23. Udoh, 11. Giles
Subs: 1. Murphy, 4. Edwards (60), 6. Beckles, 7. Whalley (45), 9. Lang, 15. Walker, 35. Cummings (72)
Subs Not Used: 1. Murphy, 6. Beckles, 9. Lang, 15. Walker