League One Shrewsbury were left feeling robbed after the controversial decision to allow six minutes of injury-time because of alleged ballboy delays enabled Wolves to equalise and prevent a major FA Cup upset.
Shrewsbury, who had led their Premier League rivals 2-0 with just 15 minutes left, were stunned when the board signalled the amount of time left.
Wolves, who had reduced the arrears to 2-1, were given a visible lift and saved themselves in the 93rd minute when Adama Traore’s cross was headed in by Matt Doherty.
Matt Doherty saved Wolves from FA Cup humiliation as they pulled themselves back from 2-0 down against Shrewsbury
The Wolves wing back powered home a header from a cross to break Shewsbury hearts deep into added time
The Premier League side were on the verge of being knocked out of the tournament but scored late on to earn a replay
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE
Shrewsbury (3-5-2): Arnold 7: Beckles 6, Waterfall 8, Sadler 6; Bolton 6, Docherty 8.5 (Holloway 90), Norburn 7 (Vincelot 87), Grant 6, Haynes 6; Okenabirhie 7 (Whalley 81 6.5), Laurent 6.
Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Angol, Eisa, Sears.
Goals: Docherty 47, Waterfall 71
Booked: Sadler, Grant, Docherty
Wolves (3-5-2): Ruddy 5.5; Bennett 5.5, Coady 6, Saiss 6; Doherty 7.5, Dendoncker 6.5 (Jimenez 59 6.5), Neves 6, Gibbs-White 5.5 (Moutinho 79 6), Giles 6 (Cavaleiro 72 6); Costa 5.5, Traore 6.5.
Subs not used: Norris, Otto, Vinagre. Kilman.
Goal: Jimenez 75, Doherty 90+2
Referee: Roger East 6.5
Their manager Nuno Espirito Santo emphatically punched the air in a mixture of relief and delight but at least avoided encroaching on to the pitch, which earned him an £8,000 fine at Leicester last weekend.
Shrewsbury’s manager Sam Ricketts asked for an explanation from the match officials and received the message back it was because ballboys had been removed in the second half which had delayed the ball going back into play.
It certainly didn’t seem to the naked eye there had been any significant stoppages and the only ballboys who had left their spot were in the corner next to 1,600 boisterous Wolves fans who were accompanied by a sizeable police presence.
Ricketts said afterwards: ‘ I was curious how they got six minutes. We didn’t see a physio on the pitch in the second half.
‘I’ve been told it was because the ballboys were taken away but I could see them all around the ground. Admittedly, they weren’t in the corner where all the police were but I wouldn’t leave an eight-year-old there either, where the fans are fighting among themselves.
‘If they are blaming us for that, it’s harsh. Six minutes is an awful long time and it gave the good players that Wolves have longer to score against us.’
Shrewsbury defender Luke Waterfall connected with Oliver Norburn’s corner and headed in from close range to make it 2-0
This doubled the home side’s advantage and looked to be sending the League One side on their way to an FA Cup giant-killing
Some home supporters invaded the pitch as the League One side moved 2-0 ahead at Montgomery Waters Meadow
It was noticeable when the board indicated the added-on segment, the visible lift it gave Wolves.
It was a dramatic finale to a fabulous cup tie. Fifty-four places divided the two teams but it rarely looked like that.
Wolves, eighth in the Premier League and conquerors of Liverpool in the last round, took 34 minutes to register an effort on target. And having survived the first half intact, Shrewsbury went for the throat.
After 47 minutes, they took the lead in fine style. Centre-forward Fejiri Okenabirhie fed Greg Docherty and the livewire midfielder burst into the box and lashed a finish past John Ruddy into the top corner.
The Scot, on loan from Rangers, is dubbed the Duracell Battery by Ricketts and his energy was a feature of the game all afternoon.
Wolves rallied and went close to levelling through Ruben Neves and Helder Costa but after 71 minutes, they looked sunk.
Oli Norburn was handed a note from the Shrewsbury dug-out before he took a corner and whatever it said worked.
Fejiri Okenabirhie surged forward from the halfway line and played it right to Greg Docherty who hit a shot from a tight angle
The Rangers loanee’s shot caught a deflection and flew into the roof of the net to give the League One side the lead
That was the 22-year-old’s eighth goal of the season for Shrewsbury Town and it gave them the lead in the fourth-round clash
There was plenty of jubilation on the touchline as Sam Ricketts celebrated his side’s goal with members of his backroom staff
The Shrewsbury players celebrate with Docherty after he gave his side the lead against a Premier League team
Nuno Espirito Santo looked a frustrated figure on the touchline as he watched his side concede the opening goal
His inswinger was powerfully headed in by Luke Waterfall, part of non-league Lincoln’s famous run to the quarter-finals two years ago.
Shrewsbury were dreaming of a repeat of their famous 2003 giantkilling over Everton but Wolves rallied when substitute Raul Jimenez converted an Adama Traore centre after 75 minutes.
Even then, Shrewsbury remained dogged in the increasingly swirling wind – until the injury-time knocked the wind out of their sails. Traore sped down the right and delivered the perfect cross for Doherty, Ironically, he’d been in the last Wolves team to play Shrewsbury in a competitive fixture, back in 2014.
Nuno, who has celebrated his 45th birthday on Friday, said: ‘You have to praise the attitude of our boys to come from 2-0 down. Spirit is very important in any dressing-room.
Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy pushes his way through a number of bodies in the box in an attempt to claim the ball
Raul Jimenez looked frustrated at himself after missing a chance for the Premier League side in the second half
Helder Costa tried to curl the ball into the far corner with his left foot but he was not able to score for the away side
Costa looked one of the more likely players to pull Wolves back in the game in the second half as he went close with a header
Pacey winger Adama Traore (right) tries to chase down the ball in the first half but the ball was collected by Steve Arnold
The Premier League side continued to dominate before the break as Doherty slipped in the opposition penalty area
Fejiri Okenabirhie applies pressure on Ryan Bennett as the Wolves defender tries to play the ball out from the back
The two managers in the dugout watch on as their sides play out a brilliant fourth-round cup tie on Saturday afternoon
‘We also scored late against Leicester last week. To be honest, I’d prefer not to do things that way!’
At least Ricketts can now look forward to a replay at Molineux, where he served as a player and coach at the Wolves academy.
Shrewsbury will be even greater underdogs but have already beaten Salford City and Stoke in the cup this season having first drawn at home.
‘People were cashing out on the Stoke result,’ joked Ricketts. ‘I would rather have won today, the dressing-room is a mixture of pride and disappointment, but I will look forward to going back to Molineux.’