Chey Dunkley’s stoppage-time goal saw Shrewsbury run out 3-2 winners against Exeter at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Exeter started on the front foot as they managed to take a 2-0 lead within the opening 20 minutes as their captain Pierce Sweeney and Jonathan Grounds grabbed their goals.
Shrewsbury were quick to respond as Matthew Pennington headed home from a corner in the 21st minute.
Tom Bayliss equalised just after the half-hour as he shot from just inside the box to convert past Jamal Blackman.
Dunkley grabbed an exhilarating final goal of the game in additional time when he poked home from inside the box.
Before kick-off, there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
That was followed by the playing of the National Anthem with Montgomery Waters Meadow uniting to sing God Save The King.
Players and coaching staff from both sides also wore black armbands for the duration of the match.
Shrewsbury boss Cotterill opted for a 3-4-2-1 system when naming his starting line-up, with new loan signing Rob Street leading the line for his full debut.
Jordan Shipley and Bayliss were deployed as number 10s, with the versatile Rekeil Pyke playing at right wing-back.
Exeter lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation with Jevani Brown and Sam Nombe as the front two.
In what proved to be a frantic first half, it was Exeter who opened the scoring when – following a corner – the ball fell for Sweeney in the box, who lashed home from 12-yards.
Three minutes later, the Grecians doubled their lead in fortunate circumstances.
Jack Sparkes tried his luck from distance and his effort took a massive deflection off Grounds before clipping the inside of the post and creeping over the line.
In what was proving an entertaining opening, Shrewsbury showed bundles of character to pull a goal back just a minute later.
Following a corner, the ball fell for Pennington who fired home from close range.
Just before the goal, Cotterill had changed shape to a 4-2-3-1 system with Pyke moving to the right wing, Shipley to the left flank and Pennington to right-back.
Bayliss moved into the number 10 role and just past the half-hour mark, he went pulled Town level.
After a corner was cleared, the ball was hooked back in by Pyke towards Bayliss, situated just inside the area.
And he then produced a wonderfully controlled half-volley to fire the ball past Jamal Blackman.
In the opening stages of the second half, Bayliss went on a 25-yard run, weaving in and out of the Exeter back line.
The metaphorical number 10 was able to get his shot off on the edge of the box and drilled the ball towards the bottom corner, but Blackman was able to get down and thwart the ball away.
Just after the hour mark, Exeter had a chance to take the lead as Nombe was slipped in and got his shot off. Fortunately, the sublime Marko Marosi brilliantly got down to parry the ball away from danger.
With 20 minutes remaining, Shrewsbury evaded the Exeter pressure as Moore clipped a precise ball to Bayliss.
Former England under-19 player was inside the box and headed a diagonal ball towards substitute Christian Saydee, but the ball had too much on it and sailed wide.
Salop maintained the pressure and had two opportunities to take the lead in quick succession.
Bayliss, who was on the by-line, cut a ball back to Ryan Bowman who failed to make proper contact. But the ball fell to the feet of George Nurse, who struck it fiercely first time. Unfortunately, it clattered the crossbar.
In the third minute of additional time, Salop secured the three points. Tom Flanagan was able to get on the end of a Nurse long throw and head it to the feet of Dunkley. The centre-back swung his foot at it and lifted the roof off the stadium with his poacher's finish.
Marosi (GK), Leahy (C), Pennington, Moore, Pyke, Bayliss (Winchester, 95), Dunkley, Nurse, Shipley (Bowman, 68), Flanagan, Street (Saydee, 68)
Burgoyne (GK), Bloxham, Caton, Craig
Blackman, Caprice, Sparkes (Stansfield, 72), Harper (Hartridge, 72), Collins, Nombe, Key, Kite (Jay, 96), Brown, Sweeney (C), Grounds (Smith, 96)
Brown, Chauke, Cox
Away Fans: 322
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