Shrewsbury fell to a 2-1 defeat at Cambridge on Boxing Day.
After dominating for long spells, Town opened the scoring at the Abbey Stadium through a brilliant team goal that ended with Christian Saydee finding the bottom corner in the 64th minute.
However, goals from Shilow Tracey and Sam Smith saw the hosts turn the game around and claim all three points.
When naming his starting line-up, Steve Cotterill initially opted to keep faith with the team that secured victory over Bolton.
But the boss was forced into a late change with Tom Flanagan struggling with a bug – with a decision taken after the warm-up that he was too unwell to play.
Nevertheless, Town continued in a 3-4-1-2 formation with Rekeil Pyke coming in a right wing-back in a move that saw Taylor Moore replace Flanagan in the back three.
Up front, Rob Street and Christian Saydee continued their partnership with Tom Bayliss in the number 10 role.
Aiden O’Brien also returned to the match day squad following a spell on the side-lines through injury.
Cambridge United lined up in a 4-2-3-1 system with former Shrews player Smith leading the line.
In what was a stop-start opening 20 minutes, neither side had a clear-cut chance to pull ahead.
But Salop then came close to opening the scoring when Saydee played a delightful ball out to Jordan Shipley, who controlled it just inside the box.
The versatile left wing-back then hit a powerful shot that looked destined for the top corner. But keeper Will Mannion flung himself across goal to brilliantly tip the ball away.
In what was proving a keenly-contested game – the ball was spending a lot of time in midfield.
But Shrewsbury threatened again just past the half-hour mark when they countered quickly and won a corner.
Bayliss whipped in a dangerous cross which then sat up perfectly inside the six-yard box. But no Town player was on hand to turn it home.
Steve Cotterill’s side threatened again just before the break when Shipley got control of the ball and sent a low-driven cross.
That was met by Pyke, who hooked the ball toward goal, but his effort sailed just over the bar.
It was the home side who created the first chance following the re-start.
James Brophy sent a floating cross which Harvey Knibbs met but headed wide.
On the hour mark Town had another opportunity to take the lead with Pyke playing a smart ball which allowed Street to hit the byline.
The on-loan striker then sent a low-driven cross aiming for Bayliss however, a Cambridge defender got ahead of the Town number 20.
After dominating a large portion of the game, Shrewsbury finally found the breakthrough with an outstanding team goal in the 66th minute.
Following some majestic build-up play, Pyke did brilliantly to send in a cross from the byline which Street was able to reach.
The young striker then played a first-time pass to Saydee, who found the bottom corner with a brilliant, powerful finish.
Within two minutes, the home side were level through Tracey, who cut in from the left-hand side. The Cambridge substitute then sent a magnificent curling ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The U’s got a second in the 77th minute through Smith, who was played through on goal and fired home underneath the on-rushing Marko Marosi.
In the final 10 minutes, Bayliss cut the ball back to Street, whose shot from just inside the box was blocked by The U’s defence.
After coming on as a substitute in the 89th minute, Ryan Bowman was sent off within the first couple of minutes after competing for a ball in the air.
Even though Shrewsbury kept applying the pressure in search of an equaliser, the away side couldn’t quite find the finishing touch and subsequently saw Cambridge secure a 2-1 victory.
Marosi (GK), Leahy (C), Pennington, Moore, Winchester, Street (Bowman, 88), Bayliss, Dunkley, Saydee, Shipley, Pyke (Bloxham, 84)
Burgoyne (GK), O’Brien, Barlow, Bailey
Cambridge United XI:
Mannion (GK), Williams, Digby (C), Jones (Taylor, 14), Brophy, Smith, Dunk (Tracey, 56), Lankester (Ironside, 56), Okedina, Knibbs (Simper, 78), Worman
Holden (GK), Janneh, McConnell
Yellow: Street, Pennington, Tracey, Okedina, Williams