Doncaster Rovers 0 Shrewsbury Town 0: Rovers held by spirited Shrews

Doncaster Rovers were grateful for a point in the end against spirited Shrewsbury Town.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 8:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 9:45 pm
Rovers v Shrewsbury

Rovers were the better side before the break but struggled to really hurt the Shrews and were fortunate not to concede what looked liked a stone-wall penalty for a foul by Andy Butler on Shaun Whalley.

But it was the visitors who enjoyed much the better of the second period and Rovers were indebted to goalkeeper Marko Marosi for a handful of important saves.

The stalemate clearly highlighted that Rovers are a work in progress under new boss Grant McCann.

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Rovers showed flashes of promising play but lacked the attacking verve seen against Southend, Wycombe and Scunthorpe. They lost control of the game in the second period but dug in for a first draw of the season.

McCann was unhappy with how his side started the game last time out at Burton Albion. Here his side controlled the early tempo and began the game in positive, if not blistering, fashion.

Joe Wright glanced a header wide and John Marquis saw a goal-bound header hacked clear by Luke Waterfall.

Shrewsbury appeared content to sit deep and play on the counter - a tactic which ultimately worked for the Brewers at the weekend.

But the visitors were almost given a leg-up when Rovers got into trouble trying to play out from the back and Whalley appeared to be brought down in the box by Butler - only for referee Darren Drysdale to wave play on.

The home side were bright enough but failed to click into top gear as the half played out without further incident, apart from a trademark Mallik Wilks shot saved by Joel Coleman.

Shrewsbury, on the other hand, appeared to grow in confidence as the half went on.

They perhaps had arrived with designs on a point but now sensed something more - and they went close just before the interval when James Bolton's header was cleared off the line by Wright.

Rovers again began the second period in charge of possession and territory.

A good little period of pressure followed a lovely bit of skill by Wilks in a tight area, which appeared to spark Rovers players and fans into life.

However, Town signalled their threat on the counter attack when Butler had to make a vital block up against Greg Docherty.

The pendulum had now swung towards the visitors.

Marosi twice had to deny Lenell John-Lewis. Firstly he was at full stretch to keep out the striker's snapshot and then he bravely rushed to his feet to block his powerful close range effort.

Paul Taylor replaced James Coppinger and Matty Blair came on for Tommy Rowe as McCann attempted to re-assert some control.

But it was the Shrews who continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock as Marosi again had to be alert to keep out Docherty's shot and Bolton headed just wide from the resultant corner.

Rovers struggled to regain any sort of initiative and the visitors might have made more of a late goalmouth scramble.

Against the run of play Marquis flicked Niall Mason's cross inches wide but defeat would have been harsh on Town.

Rovers: Marosi, Mason, Wright (Anderson 85), Butler, Andrew, Whiteman, Kane, Rowe (Blair 71), Coppinger (Taylor 64), Wilks, Marquis. Subs: Lawlor, Lund, Beestin, May.

Shrewsbury: Coleman, Bolton, Waterfall, Sadler, Haynes, Grant, Docherty, Laurent, Whalley, John-Lewis (Angol 76), Gillead. Subs: Arnold, Beckles, Okenabirhie, Loft, Amdi-Holloway, Barnett.

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 6,943 (331)