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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

13 January 2018 Venue Ewood Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

Report: Rovers 3 Shrewsbury 1

Mulgrew's brace sandwiched in between a Graham strike ensures the win

13 January 2018

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Charlie Mulgrew’s brace ensured Rovers moved within two points of second placed Shrewsbury Town in League One with a dominant display and victory at Ewood Park.

Mulgrew struck either side of Danny Graham’s effort to ensure Rovers deservedly claimed all three points.

The Scot gave Rovers the advantage with an excellent free kick, but Jon Nolan’s penalty ensured both teams went in level at the break.

But Rovers came out firing in the second half and Danny Graham’s first time strike put them back in command before Mulgrew cooly slotted home a spot kick to give Tony Mowbray’s side a big win against the Shrews.

David Raya, Paul Downing, Richie Smallwood, Bradley Dack and Graham all started in the return to league action after being rested or not in the XI for the FA Cup clash with Hull a week earlier.

Following injuries to Peter Whittingham and Corry Evans, both which were confirmed by Mowbray at Thursday's press conference

Visitors Shrewsbury placed new signing Luke Hendrie - who signed from Burnley this week - on the bench.

There were milestones for Graham and skipper Mulgrew, with the striker making his 350th career start and the captain starting in a Rovers shirt for the 50th time.

It was Rovers who created the first chance of the game when Graham latched onto a low cross from Craig Conway, turned and shot but saw Dean Henderson equal to his attempt.

Henderson was called into action just a couple of minutes later when he superbly tipped a Dack strike away from danger and out for a corner.

The goal was coming and it was Mulgrew with it direct from a free kick.

The skipper stepped up 25 yards out and bent the ball over the wall and in via the post to Henderson's left to hand Rovers a deserved lead.

Rovers were dominant but Raya was controversially adjudged to have brought down Carlton Morris and up stepped Nolan to slot the penalty home, sending the Spanish stopper the wrong way and level things up ten minutes before the break.

Five minutes later and Graham had a chance to hand Rovers the lead but could only head Conway's cross wide of the target.

The Rovers players would have gone in at half time as frustrated as the supporters after a strong first half display.

Rovers had the ball in the net five minutes into the second half through Downing's sweet strike but referee John Brooks felt there was a foul by Graham in the build up.

Shaun Whalley dragged wide after a Shrews counter just before the hour mark as both sides looked for a second goal.

And a moment later and Rovers did find that second goal, with Graham crashing the ball home after Dack's swivel and shot rebounded off the post.

Four minutes later and substitute Armstrong got on the end of a low Samuel ball in but scuffed his shot, Henderson got a hand on it and grabbed it before the ball crept over the line.

Rovers were awarded a penalty of their own on 68 minutes after Henderson clattered into the rampaging Samuel and Mulgrew stepped up to slot calmly into the corner and send the Shrews stopper the wrong way.

The visitors weren't done though and Alex Rodman's cross-shot almost deceived Raya but flew wide of the target with 12 minutes to go.

Rovers saw out the game resolutely though and made sure the points remained at Ewood Park to really put the pressure on the Shrews and table-toppers Wigan.

Mowbray’s men head to Fleetwood next week aiming to make it two consecutive victories.

ROVERS: Raya, Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams, Smallwood, Bennett, Conway (Armstrong, 62), Dack, Samuel, Graham (Nuttall, 82).

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Leutwiler, Ward, Caddis, Tomlinson, Travis.

GOALS: Mulgrew, 15, 68, Graham, 61

BOOKED: Raya, 35

SHREWSBURY: Henderson, Godfrey (Payne, 75), Sadler, Beckles (Lowe, 73), Whalley, Ogogo (c), C. Morris (John-Lewis, 81), Bolton, Nolan, Nsiala, Rodman

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: MacGillivray, Dodds, B. Morris, Hendrie.

GOAL: Nolan pen, 35

BOOKED: Beckles, 13

REFEREE: John Brooks

ATTENDANCE: 13,579 (1,387)

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