Spoils shared in Shrewsbury stalemate

Bristol Rovers 0-0 Shrewsbury Town
Sky Bet League One, The Memorial Stadium, Monday 1 April 2024


Bristol Rovers were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Shrewsbury Town in Monday’s Sky Bet League One encounter. 

An entertaining and, at times, frantic stalemate saw both teams hit the woodwork in the second half. Aiden O’Brien almost gave the Shrews a shocking lead with a half-volleyed strike from distance, while Jevani Brown went close to a late winner when his effort hit the base of the post.

But the best efforts of Chris Martin, Brandon Aguilera and Luke Thomas could not find the back of the Shrewsbury net, leading to a share of the spoils for both sides.

A sign of Rovers’ intent was shown in the early exchanges when Antony Evans’ free-kick caused havoc in the Shrewsbury box. Luca Hoole came close to meeting the ball, but could not turn his header on target. 

As the away side looked to slow down play, the Gas pressed well. The returning Aguilera stole possession in the Shrews’ third and played in striker Martin on the right. The forward’s attempt to find the far corner was narrowly wide, while the incoming Harvey Vale was just a second away from a simple tap-in.

Paul Hurst’s visitors only really troubled Rovers when the home side played themselves into trouble, such as a moment of miscommunication between Hoole and goalkeeper Jed Ward, which gave Shrewsbury their first corner of the match. The Gas were able to clear at the second attempt. 

Aguilera continued to cause problems for Shrewsbury, driving forward and earning Rovers a corner with a well-taken shot. Sam Finley also volleyed a strike straight into goalkeeper Marko Maroši’s grateful gloves, before another Martin effort was smothered by the Shrewsbury shot-stopper.

It was Shrewsbury who registered the first chance of the second half, as midfielder O’Brien hit a fierce half-volley that rattled the cross-bar; a warning sign for the home side that the match would not be all their own way. 

The introduction of returning duo Grant Ward and Luke Thomas added more impetus to the Rovers’ attack, with the pair involved in a superb move started by Evans on 70 minutes. Thomas’ fizzed pull-back was attacked by Ward but bobbled wide. 

Ward again threatened with a volleyed effort from Martin’s chest down, before substitute Brown had Rovers’ best chance with an effort from six yards out just moments after entering the fray. His shot struck the base of the woodwork. 

Indeed, the final few moments at The Mem were frantic. Jed Ward was forced into a clever save in the closing exchanges while Thomas also sent a shot wide at the near post.

But neither side could force the breakthrough in a close-fought encounter, and both teams left the field after the final whistle as they entered it.


Bristol Rovers: Ward, Hoole, Wilson, Taylor, Gordon, Vale (Thomas 68), Finley ©, Evans, Aguilera (Ward 60), Sinclair (Brown 85), Martin (Marquis 85)

Subs not used: Cox, Connolly, McCormick

Booked: Finley


Shrewsbury Town: Maroši, Benning, Feeney, Winchester, Udoh, Perry (Bowman 77), Sobowale (Bloxham 63), Bayliss (Hinchy 77), O’Brien (Idowu 77), Dunkley ©, Flanagan

Subs not used: Burgoyne, Sraha, Bennett

Booked: Bayliss, Dunkley, Flanagan


Referee: Elliott Bell

Attendance: 8,130

Read Time: 3 mins