Fleetwood Town came from behind twice on home soil to earn a well deserved point against Shrewsbury Town in the 2-2 draw at Highbury.
Fleetwood had the better of the first half, but a 39th minute tap in by Shaun Whalley gave the visitors the lead at the break.
The hosts responded quickly after the 15 minute interval as Lewie Coyle opened his Fleetwood account to level the game, but the Salops took the lead through Jason Cummings with nine minutes to go.
Joey Barton’s side left it late to equalise as substitute Josh Morris fired home a screamer from 20 yards out to give both twams a share of the points.
The Cod Army started the game well and came close after three minutes when Ched Evans volleyed goalward from a Paul Coutts corner, but his effort going just wide.
Evans came close again after 12 minutes when he met Danny Andrew’s cross on the volley, but his shot was saved by Max O’Leary, the Shrewsbury keeper.
After 22 minutes Evans was brought down 25 yards out. Andrew took the free-kick, but his effort curled just wide of the left hand post.
Just before half an hour, Coutts fired wide from range. Town’s captain did well to open the space for a shot, but the former Sheffield United man will be disappointed with the outcome.
After 36 minutes, Sam Rickets’ side had their best chance of the game when Scott Golbourne teed up Shaun Whalley on the edge of the box, but his effort rattled the crossbar.
Just three minutes later, Shrewsbury capitalised on a mistake at Town’s back line. After a defensive mix up, Callum Lang - who appeared to be offside – was played in on goal, and Alex Cairns did well to stop the initial effort, but Whalley was there to follow up on the stray ball and tap it in from a yard out.
Just before half-time, Evans came close to levelling the game. Paddy Madden drove into the box and his cutback found Evans, but he effort was cleared off the line.
Barton’s side started the second half on the front foot and made their initial pressure pay when Coyle equalised for the hosts after 48 minutes.
Evans’ clever flick found the fullback, who opened his Cod Army account, driving the ball home from inside the box.
Evans hold up play was central to Fleetwood’s attack, and soon after the leveller, he flicked on a pass to Madden who forced a smart save from O’Leary.
Madden came close again when he curled an effort with the outside of his boot goalward, and it was tipped over by O’Leary, but a goal-kick was given by the referee.
Callum Lang did well for the visitors by beating Callum Connolly to the ball, and when his cross looked to be heading to a teammate inside the box, Harry Souttar was there to clear the danger away.
After 73 minutes the Salops were lucky to still have 11 men on the field. Norburn pulled down Madden in the middle of the park when he was on a yellow card, however the man in the middle decided to keep his cards in his pocket.
After 76 minutes, Barton made his first change of the game, bringing on JMorris for Jack Sowerby, and it was an inspired substitution come the final moments.
But first it was the away side who regained the lead. Cummings had only been on the pitch ten minutes but the forward did well to drive at the back line and drive his shot into the bottom corner past Cairns.
The Cod Army applied even more pressure at the end of the game and found a breakthrough in the 86th minute. Super sub Morris fired the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards out to level up the game and give each team a share of the points.
Barton’s side are still looking for their first win of the calendar year, but he will be pleased with the character shown by the team to come back from behind a twice.
Town will make the long trip to Bristol Rovers next weekend, with Coventry City the next opponents to Highbury on Tuesday 28 January (7:45pm kick-off).
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Souttar, Connolly, Andrew, Sowerby (Morris 76), Dempsey, Coutts (C), Burns, Madden, Evans.
Subs not used: Gilks (GK), Eastham, McAleny, Biggins, Hill, Saunders.
Shrewsbury XI: O’Leary, Pierre, Golbourne (Beckles 46’) Edwards (Udoh 60’) Williams, Whalley, Norburn (C), Lang (Cummings 68’), Love, Ebanks-Landell, Laurent.
Subs not used: Murphy, Walker, Goss, Hart