International break may be over, but it definitely didn’t stop the action in League One. The Shrews visit Bristol Rovers for Saturday’s game at the Memorial Stadium.
A struggling Shrewsbury Town walked away with a second consecutive defeat against Bolton Wonderers. Tyler Roberts’ low cross to Louis Dodds almost gave the Shrews an early lead. Joe Riley’s cross from Roberts’ stunning flick failed to meet Junior Brown.
The goalless deadlock was broken 51 minutes into play with a header from Mark Beevers, meeting Felipe Morais’ long throw in which fired home. The Whites strengthened their lead 15 minutes later after Morais’ cross met the foot of Adam Le Fondre.
Bristol Rovers’ visit to the Ricoh Arena resulted in a devastating 1-0 defeat to Coventry City. Over 4,000 fans travelled alongside the Pirates. Billy Bodin’s early chance almost put Rovers ahead but was blocked by Ryan Haynes. The Sky Blues were close to an opening goal after Callum Reilly’s low shot failed to meet the goal.
Both sides were given many chances in the second half but the deadlock was broken with 10 minutes of play left. A through ball from Stuart Beavon met George Thomas to fire home.
The last time these two teams met…
Bristol Rovers suffered a hard 2-0 defeat at New Meadow back in December. Peter Hartley almost gave the Pirates an early goal after he met Charlie Colkett’s corner, but was denied by the crossbar. Within 16 minutes of the first half, Louis Dodds sent Shrewsbury into the lead. Steve Mildenhall failed to save Mat Sadler’s cross which met the foot of Dodds, scoring from close range.
The home side had the chance to double their lead after Peter Hartley was fouled for a handball in the penalty area. Ian Black’s penalty kick fired through the hands of Mildenhall, strengthening Salop’s lead.
Bristol Rovers(4-4-2): J. Lumley (GK); D. Leadbitter, T. Lockyer (captain), R. Sweeney, L. Brown; B. Bodin, C. Lines, O. Clarke, C. Montano; L. James, E. Harrison.
Shrewsbury Town(4-4-2): J. Leutwiler (GK); J. Riley, A. Nsiala, A. El-Abd (captain), M. Sadler; S. Whalley, B. Morris, G. Deegan, A. Rodman; L. Dodds, T. Roberts.
Who got the International call up?
Bristol Rovers: Jake Clarke-Salter – England U20
The Chelsea loanee was called up for the England U20 Four Nations campaign. He appeared in two of three games, a 2-2 draw against Portugal and a 2-0 win against Senegal.
Shrewsbury Town: Jayson Leutwiler – Canada
The Canadian made his second appearance for Canada’s first team against Scotland. He was substituted onto the pitch after half-time and maintained a clean sheet in the second half.
Bristol Rovers: Ryan Sweeney – Ireland U21
Sweeney headed to Dublin where he made an appearance for the U21 national team. He played a full 90 minutes and shared Ireland’s 1-0 win against Kosovo, pushing them closer to qualifying for the UEFA U21 Championships.
Shrewsbury Town: Tyler Roberts – Wales
The Gloucester-born teenager chose his national career with Wales, despite being eligible to play for England. He has played for Wales’ U17 and U19 side and was on the standby list for Wales’ fixture against the Republic of Ireland.
Bristol Rovers haven’t been doing well away from their home ground, especially against teams lower in the table. They’re still on better form than the Shrews. The Pirates haven’t lost a home game since November’s fixture against Charlton Athletic. However, Shrewsbury haven’t won an away game since February against Scunthorpe United. I predict Bristol Rovers 3-1 Shrewsbury Town.