Shrewsbury 2 Darlington 2

Last updated : 23 November 2002 By Footymad Previewer

Shrewsbury Town stretched their unbeaten run to eight matches - but had to settle for a point against lowly Darlington, after seemingly having the match won at half time.

In fact the Gay Meadow side were relieved to hear the final whistle, as the visitors wiped out a 2-0 half-time deficit and almost secured the points right at the death.

Hot-shot striker Luke Rodgers struck in the first minute and Ian Stevens added a second in the 24th as the home side took full command of the game - but after their lack-lustre showing, Mick Tait's men hit back with a Barry Conlon goal in the 63rd minute.

Just seven minutes from time highly-rated teenage midfielder Clark Keltie smashed home a superb 20-yard equaliser - and right on time he rattled the Shrewsbury crossbar with a superbly struck free-kick as Darlington, from being dead and buried at the break, almost snatched all three points.

Brimming with confidence after stretching their unbeaten run to seven games following last Saturday's FA Cup demolition of non-league Stafford Rangers, Shrewsbury could not have been any quicker out of the blocks, taking the lead 60 seconds after the kick-off.

Ryan Lowe and Darren Moss combined well down the right and when skipper Mark Atkins turned the ball across goal, Luke Rodgers was on hand to fire home his 11th goal of the season.

As the half unfolded Shrewsbury continued to dominate and it was no surprise when they extended their lead in the 24th minute - Ian Stevens cooling finishing from ten yards after being sent clear by Welsh Under-21 international Moss.

But after the break Darlington rallied and came right back into contention when Conlon headed home from close range and 60 seconds later he had the ball in the net again, only to see this header ruled out for offside.

In the 83rd minute the Quakers grabbed a deserved leveller, Keltie's fiercely struck drive giving Shrews keeper Ian Dunbavin no chance as it fizzed into the net