Town 0 Bolton Wanderers 2Town: Leutwiler; Nsiala, El-Abd, Sadler; Riley, Yates (69), Deegan (86), Brown; Dodds; Roberts, Ladapo (79).
Subs: Halstead, Whalley (69), Grimmer, Morris (86), Leitch-Smith, Rodman, Payne (79).
Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick (69); Dervite, Wheater, Beevers; Morais, Vela, Osede, Pratley, Taylor (65); Le Fondre, Madine (30).
Subs: Howard (69), Moxey (65), Spearing, Karacan, Long (30), Clayton, Henry.
Ref: Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistants: Steven Plane and Matthew Jones
Fourth Official: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 7532 (1511)
Second half goals from Mark Beevers and Adam Le Fondre condemned Shrewsbury Town to a first home league defeat since 2nd January as Bolton ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Greenhous Meadow.
The defeat marked the end of a six game unbeaten home league run in front of a season record crowd.
Town lined up in a back three for the first time since Paul Hurst took charge at the club, with Mat Sadler, Adam El-Abd and Toto Nsiala lining up in the central area.
It was far from a defensive switch though as Louis Dodds, Freddie Ladapo and Tyler Roberts formed a dynamic attacking trio.
Those three combined well early on as Town took the initiative from an attacking sense, with Ladapo and Roberts linking up to bend a dangerous cross in behind the Bolton back line which was just too long for Junior Brown at the back post.
After quarter of an hour Dodds came close to breaking the deadlock with a piece of brilliant skill.
He picked up the ball just outside the area and looked to lob Ben Alnwick in the Bolton goal, but the backpedalling keeper stuck out a firm right hand to keep it out.
The away side – featuring former Premier League regulars Le Fondre, Andrew Taylor and David Wheater – were cynically streetwise in their approach, drawing soft fouls and making them as Town looked to break.
Bolton’s best opportunity of the half came from their most dangerous weapon as the half came to a close as Filipe Morais floated in a corner.
Jayson Leutwiler – fresh from earning his second international cap in midweek – failed to gather but fortunately Darren Pratley’s volley from the knock down was well over.
Half Time: Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Bolton Wanderers
Town failed to learn their lesson of the scare just before half time as Bolton used a set piece to make a decisive impact six minutes after the break.
Andrew Taylor’s long throw drew Leutwiler out of his goal, but his failure to collect this time left Mark Beevers a simple flick into an empty net.
It was a sixth goal in all competitions this season for the centre back, which outlines just what a potent threat set pieces have been for the League One high- flyers this season.
The lead was doubled with 66 minutes gone after El-Abd’s failed clearance let Morais in behind, and his cross found Le Fondre at the back post who rifled his finish high past Leutwiler.
Town introduced Shaun Whalley and Stefan Payne to try and inject some more energy into the game but it was always going to be difficult to turn the tide against one of the best sides in the league.
Half chances came Town’s way as they tried to force their way back into it, the best of which fell to Roberts but he could only bend his effort high over the bar.
But the away side expertly saw out the remaining minutes to preserve their clean sheet, and Town now have seven games remaining to try and pull themselves clear of the League One relegation zone.
Full Time: Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Bolton Wanderers