Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury 2-1 Forest Green Rovers - Report

Shrewsbury Town completed an incredible stoppage time comeback to beat Forest Green Rovers at the Meadow and make it four wins on the bounce.


The points looked to be heading back to Gloucester, but when second-half substitutes Rekeil Pyke and Ryan Bowman scored in the 94th and 98th minute of added-on time, Town had completed the late late show for the second time in a week to snatch the points.

Forest Green Rovers took the lead in the 19th minute when Jordon Garrick's brilliant strike left Marko Marosi flat-footed before cannoning into the back of Town's net.

The visitors could have added to their lead in the first period - they looked really dangerous on the counter-attack.

For Town, their best opportunity came from Rob Street, but his effort was well-saved by Ross Doohan to prevent the Crystal Palace loanee from getting his 2nd Salop goal.

In the second half, Garrick twice went close to doubling his side's lead, both times from distance, and Marosi would have been relieved to see them go wide of his post.

Christian Saydee saw an effort go wide for Town, as Cotterill made five substitutes to try and inspire his side into finding an equaliser.

Rob Street of Shrewsbury Town and Jamie Robson of Forest Green Rovers (AMA)

In the closing stages, he forced a good save from Doohan to stop his left-footed chance going in at the near post.

And in added time, for the second time in a week, Town were involved in late drama as substitute Pyke rescued a point for Shrewsbury right at the death with a powerful shot beyond Doohan.

But it got even better for Town in the 98th minute when Bowman got on the end of a ball from Killian Phillips to complete a miraculous stoppage time turnaround.


Before the visit of Forest Green Rovers, Shrews had scored 10 goals in their last three fixtures, only conceding one, with six different goal scorers.

So it had been a perfect few weeks for Salop, who prior to kick-off occupied ninth place in the League One table.

It was the complete opposite for the visitors, who were without a win in their last eight matches in all competitions, and they have the worst goal difference in League One.

It was that form that led to them sacking Ian Burchnall and swiftly replacing him with Duncan Ferguson this week. The clash in Shropshire was his first time in the dugout as a manager, not on an interim basis.

The question before kick-off was whether Steve Cotterill would make any changes to the side who picked up a battling three points on their travels against MK Dons in midweek.

He did, match-winner Tom Bayliss, who scored in the 89th minute, came in for his first start since the FA Cup clash with Sunderland, in place of Killian Phillips, who had to make do with a place on the bench.

It was a sign of how Shrews have progressed over the last few months and how they seem to have seen off the worst of their injury crisis.

It was a quiet opening 15 minutes, but the game sprung to life when Street got onto the end of a ball from Luke Leahy, he held off a defender well and got a shot off, which looked to be going into the corner, but Doohan got down well to stop Shrews taking the lead.

Carl Winchester of Shrewsbury Town and Ben Stevenson of Forest Green Rovers (AMA)

And at the other end, out of nowhere, the visitors capitalised when Garrick picked the ball up on the left and shot from outside the box, his shot left Marko Marosi rooted to the spot, going into the net without him moving.

The visitors sat deep in their shape, and they looked to hit Shrews on the counter-attack, and it was them who looked most like scoring a second.

Marosi was forced into a block from a corner to stop the Greens from adding another, and they went close again when Amadou Bakayoko smashed one into the side netting.

The game followed a similar pattern after the break with Shrews having the majority of possession but Rovers still carried more of a threat.

Rekeil Pyke of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1.

They had a chance to double their lead when they broke on Town, Garrick had space at the edge of the box for the second time in the game, but Dunkley managed to divert it behind for a corner.

Town had shouts for a penalty waved away by referee Andrew Kitchen when Jordan Shipley's powerful strike was blocked in the box.

Just past the hour mark, Steve Cotterill turned to his bench introducing Ryan Bowman for Street to add some impetus.

Garrick went close for the third time in the match, again from distance this time it went wide of Marosi's right post, but despite Town's dominance of the ball, there was little to show for it in terms of clear-cut chances.

Christian Saydee fired wide for Shrews when the ball broke to him in the box.

Ryan Bowman of Shrewsbury Town scores a goal to make it 2-1.

Cotterill made four substitutions with 10 minutes remaining bringing on Tom Bloxham, Elliott Bennett, Killian Phillips and Rekeil Pyke.

Saydee forced a good save from Doohan in the closing stages to stop his left-footed effort from going in at the near post.

Right at the very end though, Shrewsbury grabbed an equaliser when Pyke fired past Doohan, and moments later the comeback was complete when Bowman converted Phillip's pass.


Shrews: Marosi, Dunkley, Flanagan (Bennett 78), Pennington, Shipley (Pyke 78), Moore, Leahy, Winchester (Bloxham 78), Bayliss (Phillips 78), Saydee, Street (Bowman 63).

Subs: Burgoyne, Phillips, Barlow, Bloxham, Pyke, Bowman, Bennett.

FGR: Doohan, O'Keefe (McAllister 83), McGeouch (Peart-Harris 69), Casey, Stevenson, Garrick (Cargill 77), Robson, Bakayoko, Godwin-Malife, Cooper, Onyango.

Subs: Thomas, Cargill, Stevens, McAllister, Peart-Harris, March, Savage.