Goals from Molyneux and McAllister not enough for Town
Dave Winfield made a welcome return from injury as Shrewsbury Town's reserve team were beaten 3-2 by Oldham Athletic at the Greenhous Meadow this afternoon.
Town were 3-0 down at half time but were much better in the second half with Sam Molyneux and Dave McAllister on target.
Winfield had been sidelined since a hamstring injury sustained a few days before last month's League One opener against MK Dons.
But the central defender has battled back to fitness earlier than anticipated and, as planned, he played the opening half-hour, as manager Graham Turner revealed he would ahead of the game.
Winfield was joined in the Town side by goalkeeper Joe Anyon and midfielder Dave McAllister, who both started last Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat against Oldham.
There were also run outs for a number of youth teamers and a couple of trialists in the Central League clash.
Oldham, under the management of former Town midfielder Paul Murray, drew first blood in the 20th minute when Latvian under-21 international defender Edijs Joksts headed in a corner from John Pritchard.
The Latics side was bolstered shortly afterwards when Boundary Park boss Lee Johnson, the former Yeovil and Bristol City midfielder, introduced himself from the subs' bench.
Oldham doubled their lead in the 36th minute with an unstoppable 25 yard free kick from Johnson Clarke-Harris which flew past Anyon.
Clarke-Harris struck again on the stroke of half time, cracking home a low shot on the turn to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
Town started the second half brightly and McAllister headed a corner narrowly over before Kaiman Anderson fired into the side netting.
Young substitute Molyneux pulled one back in the 57th minute when he finished coolly to the far corner of the net after being sent clear by fellow sub Dave Easthope.
Josh Ginelly then had a chance to further cut the arreas after a poor backpass from Haydn Foulds but his touch deserted him and the opportunity was gone.
McAllister was next to go close, hammering a well struck 25 yarder just over the bar as Town continued to chase the game.
Town were back in the hunt when McAllister cut the deficit to 3-2 with a composed finish back across keeper Joel Coleman four minutes from time following a lively run from Ginelly, but Oldham held on for the victory.
TOWN: Anyon, Smith, Winfield, Delfonso, McQuade, Djeziri, Fletcher, McAllister, Hickman, Ginnelly, Anderson. Subs: Carpenter, Easthope, Molyneux, Ryan, Rowley.
OLDHAM: Coleman, Foulds, Byrne, Joksts, Fulwood, Biram, Cesay, Mellor, Walters, Clarke-Harris, Pritchard. Subs: Boue, Clarke, Johnson.