By Lucas SwainBristol Rovers defeat Shrewsbury Town 2-1 in front of 7,551 fans at the Memorial Stadium to deliver the home supporters a late Christmas present. Goals from Craig Disley and Junior Agogo sent the Pirates on their way.
Bristol Rovers: Scott Shearer; Chris Carruthers, Steve Elliott, Craig Hinton, Aaron Lescott; James Hunt, Stuart Campbell, Ali Gibb, Craig Disley; Junior Agogo and Richard Walker
Shrewsbury Town: Joe Hart; Ben Herd, Kelvin Langmead, Stuart Whitehead, Richard Hope; Neil Ashton, Kevin Sharp, Neil Sorvel, David Edwards; Duane Darby and Colin McMenamin
Just one season before Rovers would eventually beat Shrewsbury in the League 2 Play-off Final, the Shrews had a Christmas visit to Bristol which saw them prepare for the heartache of losing to the famous blue and white quarters.
Bristol Rovers took the lead in the 37th minute of the match through Craig Disley, who would later go on and sign for the club in 2009. This lead was doubled before half-time as Ghanaian international Junior Agogo converted from the penalty spot.
Shrewsbury were able to claw one goal back, striker Duane Derby, who didn’t have the most fortuitous time for the Shrews, struck in the 50th minute to make for a nervy 2nd half, but Rovers managed to ride the 2-1 lead until the final whistle.
Looking at the team sheets now, the one name that jumps out to most onlookers is Shrewsbury Town’s goalkeeper, Joe Hart. The then-18-year-old started out life as a professional footballer at Shrewsbury, and the 2005-06 campaign proved to be his first full season commanding a spot in the first team.
Hart soon picked up his first U19 England cap, which was swiftly followed by a transfer to Manchester City at the close of the 2005-06 season. Since then, Hart has continued to develop as a footballer and hasn’t looked back.