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Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 3 – 3 Doncaster Rovers

Shrewsbury Town capitulate at the Montgomery Waters Meadow as they let a three-goal lead slip against relegation candidates Doncaster.

Shrewsbury Town appeared out of sight when they led by three goals. Doncaster were appalling in a first-half performance which the hosts dominated.

But Gary McSheffrey must have produced an inspired half-time team talk as his Rovers side completely turned the game on its head. Dan Udoh, Ryan Bowman, and Shaun Whalley were on target in a one-sided first period.

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However, Doncaster came roaring back to reduce the arrears through Mipo Odubeko and former Lyon striker Reo Griffiths. And with literally seconds of the contest remaining full-back Knoyle produced a dramatic equaliser to keep the Yorkshire side’s faintest of survival hopes alive.

Steve Cotterill made one change from the side that lost 3-2 against Sunderland. Elliott Bennett was absent through injury and was replaced by Northern Irishman Josh Daniels.

Shrewsbury went straight on the offensive in the early stages. Josh Vela’s strike was comfortably gathered by ex-Town loanee Jonathan Mitchell. The next clear-cut chance led to the opening goal with 19 minutes on the clock. Dan Udoh outmuscled Olowu and fired his effort into the back of the net.

The hosts continued to put pressure on their opponents. Udoh was eyeing a brace when he found space on the edge of the box, but Mitchell stood up to the task. Yet there was nothing Mitchell could do to stop Town doubling their lead in the 34th minute. Luke Leahy sprayed possession out wide to Josh Vela who produced a sublime cross. The delivery was met by the advancing Ryan Bowman who powered a header home.

Doncaster were totally anonymous in an attacking sense in the first period. The best it got for them was Odubeko’s effort which Marosi was more than equal too. Shrewsbury made it 3-0 just before half-time. George Nurse’s low cross was met by the outstretched boot of Shaun Whalley who diverted beyond Mitchell.

Whatever was said at the break had the desired effect as Doncaster were a completely different prospect in the second half. Former Millwall utility man Joe Martin saw his driven shot palmed to safety by Marko Marosi.

Rovers’ impressive comeback began in the 54th minute. Former Leeds midfielder Adam Clayton’s free-kick fell kindly for Odubeko who was clinical to beat Marosi. At the other end, Ryan Bowman ghosted beyond the Rovers backline but skewed his final attempt.

Arsenal loanee Matt Smith couldn’t quite direct on target following an excellent Knoyle cross. The battle continued between Odubeko and Marosi and the latter managed to thwarted the former once more.

Moments later Joe Martin’s audacious strike flew over the crossbar as Doncaster continued to fight for their League One survival. Marko Marosi was on hand to deny Knoyle and the rebound was served on a plate for Matt Smith who could not convert. But with 13 minutes remaining Doncaster reduced the deficit further. Joe Martin turned possession over to Reo Griffiths who calmly slotted home.

And with the game drawing to a close, Doncaster pulled off a miracle. Right-back Knoyle popped up to slam home with seconds on the clock.

A bizarre afternoon ended with both sides sharing the spoils. Shrewsbury visit Charlton on Saturday, whilst Doncaster welcome Burton.

Attendance: 6,556

Team Line Ups

Shrewsbury Town

1. Marosi, 5. Pennington, 33. Flanagan, 3. Leahy, 22. Daniels, 10. Vela, 8. Fornah, 7. Whalley, 23. Nurse, 12. Bowman, 11. Udoh

Subs: 6. Pierre, 13. Burgoyne, 18. Bloxham, 19. Caton, 25. Wilson, 27. Craig, 28. Janneh

All Shrewsbury subs were unused.

Doncaster Rovers

12. Mitchell, 2. Knoyle, 6. Williams (75), 5. Olowu, 10. Rowe, 15. Bostwick, 7. Clayton, 14. Smith, 22. Galbraith (45), 21. Martin, 45. Odubeko

Subs: 1. Jones, 3. Younger (75), 13. Jackson, 16. Barlow, 20. Dodoo, 23. Gardner, 46. Griffiths (45)

Subs Not Used: 1. Jones, 13. Jackson, 16. Barlow, 20. Dodoo, 23. Gardner

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