Promotion hopefuls Shrewsbury and Port Vale lost more ground on the top three after a feisty 2-2 draw at the Greenhous Meadow.

Marc Richards kept his cool to rescue a point for Vale when he converted a penalty seven minutes from time after Mat Sadler had brought down Tom Pope.

The game burst into life with two goals inside a minute either side of the half-hour mark.

Vale struck first when Kris Taylor's free-kick from the right was headed home from six yards by captain Richards.

But Shrewsbury hit back immediately with Lionel Ainsworth firing a low shot into the bottom corner from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Town had earlier narrowly missed out on a flying start when a thunderous 25-yard drive from midfielder David Davis rattled the woodwork.

Yet Graham Turner's men took the lead in the 72nd minute when James Collins raced onto Mark Wright's measured pass to fire a 15-yard shot between keeper Chris Martin and his near post.

But Vale hit back though Richards` late spot-kick and hung on for a point thanks to a fine fingertip save from Martin to deny Davis deep into stoppage time.

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