Doncaster Rovers 2 Shrewsbury Town 0: Excellent win pushes Rovers within touching distance of top six

Doncaster Rovers powered to within two points of League One's top six with a comfortable win over Shrewsbury Town.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 9:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 11:59 am
Niall Ennis celebrates after giving Rovers the lead against Shrewsbury. Picture: Marie Caley

In ticking off one of their games in hand, Rovers offered some validation for claims of players and staff that they have been in a false position in League One.

And with rearranged games to come against Tranmere Rovers, Portsmouth and Bolton Wanderers, they will feel freshly boosted that they can climb further up the table.

Their cause was aided with an early goal which prevented robust and organised Shrewsbury from settling into a rhythm of their own.

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Niall Ennis took advantage of a defensive mistake to head into an empty net just four minutes in.

And from there Rovers outworked the opposition, who offered very little threat throughout.

They game was sealed 15 minutes from time when Tom Anderson headed home well from a corner.

Darren Moore kept faith with the same side that started the win over Oxford United.

Before either side could look to set their stall out in the game, Rovers took the lead.

A stunning through ball from James Coppinger sent Kieran Sadlier charging down the left. He crossed, where Ethan Ebanks-Landell rose but looped his header over his own keeper, presenting Ennis with an open goal in which to nod home.

Shrewsbury could have been level mere seconds later but a last gasp sliding challenge from a recovering Joe Wright denied Daniel Udoh a clear shot on goal.

Rovers settled well, putting together some crisp, quick passing play to deal well with the strong press from Shrewsbury.

They were also looking to strike on the counter with Jon Taylor pushing up alongside Niall Ennis and seeking to spring clear.

But increasingly there were moments when the robust physicality of the visitors rattled Rovers somewhat.

They were pushed off the ball too easily at times and it led to one big chance for Shrewsbury. Seny Dieng looked to punch a driven cross but sent it into the back of Josh Laurent, forcing Wright into a goalline clearance.

Rovers were almost gifted a second just after the half hour mark when Ro-shaun Williams came close to heading into his own net as he sought to prevent Ennis from reaching a lofted ball from James Coppinger.

The pattern of the game continued into the second half with Rovers consistently looking the more threatening.

Shrewsbury offered little to trouble Dieng, failing to turn their energy off the ball into much on it.

Rovers could have taken a significant step towards the win on 68 minutes. Sadlier squared across the box for Coppinger to run onto but it deflected wide.

But they did so on 75 minutes when Anderson powered a near post header into the far corner from a Taylor corner.

From there, Rovers saw out the game with real comfort to take a deserved triumph.

ROVERS: Dieng; Halliday, Wright, Anderson, James; Sheaf, Whiteman; Taylor, (Bingham 90) Coppinger (Gomes 81), Sadlier; Ennis (Watters 86). Subs not used: Lawlor, Amos, Blaney, Greaves.

SHREWS: O'Leary; Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre; Love (Cummings 72), Norburn, Goss (Whalley 46), Golbourne (Edwards 60); Laurent, Udoh, Giles. Subs not used: Murphy, Beckles, Lang, Walker.

REF: Ben Toner (Lancashire)

ATT: 7,054 (265 away)