On-the-whistle report: Shrewsbury Town 1 Rotherham United 2

On-the-whistle report: Shrewsbury Town 1 Rotherham United 2

By Paul Davis | 26/12/2019

On-the-whistle report: Shrewsbury Town 1 Rotherham United 2
Carlton Morris in action at Shrewsbury. Picture by Trevor Price

ROTHERHAM United marched back into the League One play-off places with a stunning last-minute Boxing Day win at in-form Shrewsbury Town.

The game looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw deep into time added on but substitute Michael Smith struck with only seconds remaining right in front of the travelling fans to settle the contest.

It was no less than the Millers deserved after they had dominated the contest and taken a 60th-minute lead through Joe Mattock only for the Shrews to equalise with their first attempt on target six minutes later.

Smith's perfect, long-distance, looping header, which moves Paul Warne' men up to fifth, was a thing of Christmas beauty.

Rotherham started much the brighter of the two sides and were unlucky not to take a tenth-minute lead.

Carlton Morris turned and shot from close range and was denied by a combination of the post and Shrews goalkeeper Max O'Leary.

Before then, Freddie Ladapo has seen his shot blocked by Aaron Pierre and a Morris effort had been deflected for a corner.

In a half where the visitors did most of the attacking, Morris's 35th-minute header gave O'Leary an easy save.

Morris was causing plenty of problems for the team where he once spent a season on loan and should have done better than head Dan Barlaser's teasing free-kick wide as half-time approached.

The Millers, now going towards their own fans, dominated the early stages of the second period and had several chances to take the lead.

Matt Crooks's shot was too tame when more power would have done the trick in the 48th minute, Ladapo just missed out on connecting with Crooks' superb pull-back a minute later, Shrewsbury survived a penalty shout when Ladapo appeared to be kicked in the chest and Morris's header from Barlaser's 52nd-minute free-kick forced a save from O'Leary.

The breakthrough wasn't long in coming and Mattock headed home on the hour mark after Michael Ihwiekwe had headed Barlaser's deep corner back across goal.

However, Rotherham were in front for only six minutes before Pierre levelled as he headed home Scott Golbourne's ball from the left.

Dan Iversen came to the Millers' rescue in the 81st minute, beating away substitute Ryan Giles shot on the break and there was another let-off two minutes later when Omar Beckles volleyed over following a corner.

That set up a grandstand finish with Ladapo and Smith both going close before Smith made Christmas more than merry for Rotherham and their 987 followers.

Shrewsbury (3-4-2-1): Max O'Leary; Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Aaron Pierre, Omar Beckles; Donald Love (Ro-Shaun Williams 86), Brad Walker, Josh Laurent, Scott Golbourne; Shaun Whalley, Dave Edwards (Ryan Giles 79); Fejiri Okenabirhie (Daniel Udoh 68). Subs not used: Joe Murphy, Ousmane Fane, Sean Goss, Jason Cummings.

Rotherham (4-4-2): Daniel Iversen; Adam Thompson, Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock (Richard Wood 90+3); Matt Olosunde, Matt Crooks, Dan Barlaser, Chiedozie Ogbene (Kyle Vassell 82); Freddie Ladapo, Carlton Morris (Michael Smith 85). Subs not used: Lewis Price, Trevor Clarke, Jamie Lindsay, Jake Hastie.

Goals: Mattock 60, Smith 90+7 (Rotherham); Pierre 66 (Shrewsbury).

Referee: Marc Edwards (Tyne and Wear).

Attendance: 7,555 (987).