Substitue Jason Cummings scores twice as Shrewsbury draw Liverpool 2-2

Substitute Jason Cummings scored two goals against runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool as League One Shrewsbury Town staged a magnificent fightback from 2-0 down to earn an FA Cup fourth-round replay at Anfield.

Liverpool looked to be heading into the fifth round for the first time since 2015 after a fine first-half finish by 18-year-old Curtis Jones was followed by Donald Love’s own goal just after the break.

Yet Shrewsbury were excellent throughout and were rewarded with two goals in the space of 10 minutes by former Hibernian player Cummings.

Some Shrews fans booed when Callum Lang was replaced by Cummings but his confident penalty – after Josh Laurent was fouled by Yasser Larouci – gave his side a lifeline before the same player tucked home the equaliser.

Liverpool sent on Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in search of a winner but Shrewsbury hung on to earn a deserved replay.

Some Shrews fans booed when Callum Lang was replaced by Cummings after 60 minutes with Liverpool leading 2-0.

But former Hibernian forward Cummings launched the comeback from the penalty spot after Josh Laurent was fouled by Yasser Larouci before the same player tucked home the equaliser.

Liverpool sent on Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in search of a winner but, on a memorable day for the Shropshire club, Shrewsbury hung on to earn a deserved replay.

Pitch invasion after terrific fightback

Delighted home fans in the sell-out crowd at Shrewsbury’s Montgomery Waters Meadow staged a good-natured pitch invasion at full-time after a glorious comeback.

Shrews players were mobbed as supporters celebrated the achievement of Ricketts’ side – who sit 16th in the League One table – in holding the European champions.

“It’s what football is about, it’s what the FA Cup is about, a club like ours holding them to a 2-2 draw,” added former Wolves player Ricketts.

“Everyone has to enjoy that.”

Even after falling behind to Jones’ lovely finish, Shrewsbury had looked more than capable of scoring.

They were presented with three one-on-one chances – Adrian producing great saves to deny Shaun Whalley, who also screwed another chance wide, and Callum Lang either side of Love’s own goal.

It looked all over when Love, a former Manchester United player, inadvertently steered the ball past Max O’Leary and inside the post while trying to deal with a cross from Neco Williams.

But Liverpool had ridden their luck and Shrewsbury were rewarded for their hard work when Cummings stroked home from the spot.

And it was Cummings who earned his side a replay at Anfield next month when he went past two Liverpool defenders before tucking beyond Adrian to spark wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

Shrewsbury fans celebrated on the pitch after the League One club earned a replay against Liverpool at Anfield
Shrewsbury fans celebrated on the pitch after the League One club earned a replay against Liverpool at Anfield

Replay threatens to eat into winter break

Liverpool were hoping for a two-week break between fixtures in February during theĀ inaugural Premier League winter break.

Instead, they will have to fit in this replay between hosting Southampton in the league on 1 February and travelling to Norwich a fortnight later – although manager Jurgen Klopp hinted afterwards that senior players would not be involved against the Shrews.

Having played 37 games this season, including two in Qatar for the Fifa Club World Cup and another in Isatanbul for the European Super Cup back in August, Liverpool could have done without an additional fixture.

Yet Liverpool only have themselves to blame for failing to finish the job in Shropshire.

Klopp made 11 changes to the side that started the 2-1 win at Wolves on Thursday that sent them 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Jones, whose sublime goal knocked out Everton in the third round, underlined his potential with a tidy finish from Pedro Chirivella’s cleverly disguised pass.

Love’s own goal ought to have sealed it but Shrewsbury were gutsy throughout with Adrian forced to produce some smart saves as the hosts came roaring back.

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