Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 25, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton extended their gap over 3rd-placed Fleetwood Town to six points, as they secured a 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow.

Going into the game on the back of four successive wins, Wanderers made that five with another three-point haul courtesy of second-half goals from Mark Beevers and Adam Le Fondre.

Beevers opened the scoring six minutes after the restart, heading home from a Filipe Morais' throw-in, before Le Fondre ended the game as a contest by firing home on 66 minutes, with Morais once again providing the assist.

The major downpoint for Wanderers, however, was seeing the trio of Gary Madine, Andrew Taylor and Ben Alnwick forced off at various points through injury, at the end of a spell which has seen them play five games in the space of 14 days.

Despite going into the game with fitness doubts over several key players, Phil Parkinson made just one change to the side that started at Oxford United on Tuesday night.

Jay Spearing dropped to the bench after failing to recover sufficiently from a calf injury, meaning Derik Osede was recalled in his place, while Le Fondre, Beevers and Darren Pratley all passed late tests to start.

A minute of applause was held prior to kick-off as all inside the stadium paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in London.

Once the action got underway, it wasn't long before Wanderers' fears over injuries began to take their toll. Inside three minutes, a collision between Beevers and Alnwick left the former in need of treatment to his head, moments before Madine was spotted hobbling after challenging in the air.

With six minutes played, the first shooting chance of the afternoon fell the way of the visitors and the in-form David Wheater.

The big defender, with seven goals to his name already this season, went forward to get on the end of a corner from Morais. He connected with a half-volley, but couldn't direct his effort on target as it was deflected over the crossbar.

Pratley was next to try his luck, firing straight at Jayson Leutwiler as shot on the turn from a throw-in, moments before Shrewsbury's first attack saw a cross from Tyler Roberts just evade the outstretched foot of Ryan Yates.

Alnwick was called into action for the first time on the quarter-hour, saving Louis Dodds' looping effort after he had been teed up by Junior Brown.

Yates and Roberts were proving a nuisance for the Bolton defence and they combined again midway through the half, putting Joe Riley clear down the right. His cross picked out an unmarked Brown at the far post, but he couldn't direct his shot on target.

After failing to recover from an earlier knock, Madine was replaced on the half-hour with an apparent groin injury - with Chris Long coming on as his replacement.

Long was involved in the action almost immediately, winning a free-kick from which Adam El-Abd entered the referee's notebook.

Gary Deegan soon followed El-Abd into the book, as a tepid opening 45 minutes came to an end with the sides going in goalless at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second-half, which began with Alnwick getting down well to keep out a goalbound strike from Freddie Ladapo.

Then, with 51 minutes on the clock, Bolton broke the deadlock as Beevers became the first player to score in four consecutive away matches since Michael Ricketts - who did so in five successive games between September and December 2001.

Beevers', his sixth of the campaign, arrived as a result of a long-throw from Morais. With Leutwiler caught in no man's land as he came to punch the throw to safety, Beevers got there first and flicked the ball into the empty net.

Frustration then began to set in for the hosts, as Aristote Nsiala joined both El-Abd and Deegan in the book for a poor challenge on Long.

Alnwick was on hand to deny Roberts from distance shortly before the hour, before Bolton were forced into a second change as Taylor limped off to be replaced by Dean Moxey.

The Shrews continued to press forward for an equalising goal but were once again thwarted by Alnwick midway through the half, as he kept out another strike from Yates, moments before Wanderers broke straight up to the other end of the pitch to double their advantage.

After stealing possession and racing into the Salop penalty area, Morais squared to Le Fondre, who took aim and found the back of Leutwiler's net, putting the visitors into a commanding 2-0 lead.

With Madine and Taylor already forced off the field due to injury, Wanderers completed a hat-trick of enforced changes in the immediate aftermath of that goal, with goalkeeper Mark Howard having to replace Alnwick for the final 21 minutes.

Dodds fired high and wide as Shrewsbury looked to test Howard within moments of his introduction, while Riley cut inside from the right before shooting wide from the next attack.

Shaun Whalley was also looking to find the target, failing miserably as his bending effort flew harmlessly into the stand, moments before Roberts also found the supporters after getting in behind both Beevers and Wheater.

Six minutes of stoppage time came and went without incident, as Bolton saw out the clock at Greenhous Meadow to claim a fifth successive victory - and fourth consecutive away win in league competition for the first time since January 2001.

Wanderers now have a week to rest ahead of their next league game, when they play host to Chesterfield at Macron Stadium next Saturday.

Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Riley, El-Abd, Nsiala, Sadler, Dodds, Yates (Whalley 69), Deegan (Morris 86), Brown, Roberts, Ladapo (Payne 79)
Subs Not Used: Halstead, Grimmer, Leitch-Smith, Rodman
Booked: El-Abd, Deegan, Nsiala

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick (Howard 69), Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, A Taylor (Moxey 64), Osede, Pratley, Morais, Vela, Le Fondre, Madine (Long 30)
Subs Not Used: Spearing, Karacan, Clayton, Henry
Goals: Beevers 51, Le Fondre 66

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 7,532

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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