If Rovers’ infamous goalless draw with Fleetwood is the dullness against which all other 0-0s are judged, this scintillating fixture was in contrast a technicolour affair on par with the weekend’s Pride celebrations.
The Shrews side, so close to promotion three months ago, proved the summer had done little to diminish their quality, despite a stuttering start to this campaign. After some initial Rovers pressure Anthony Grant and Alex Gilliead began bossing the midfield, culminating on 17 minutes when Joe Wright needlessly gave the ball away resulting in a scramble that saw Andy Butler send Shaun Whalley flying in the penalty area but get away with it.
At the other end, Mallik Wilks was as bright as ever, forcing multiple saves from Joel Coleman, and there was no shortage of other chances for Rovers; Danny Andrew and Niall Mason delivering many decent crosses into the area but which never seemed to fall Rovers’ way. Herbie Kane was outstanding in midfield again, and while Rovers had more chances they were never quite clear cut.
The rest of the match was much of the same, a frantic, energetic contest that saw Joe Wright redeem himself with two goal-line clearances, and Marko Marosi pulling off some world-class shot stopping to justify his first-choice credentials. At the death, a frustrating evening for John Marquis saw him trail a header just the wrong side of the post, although by this point either side stealing a win or breaking the clean sheet would’ve been a travesty.