Shrewsbury Town 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • January 22, 2022 | By Chris Mann
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Dion Charles opened his goalscoring account for Bolton as he volleyed home in the final minute of normal time to give Bolton victory at Shrewsbury Town.

Charles, a reported £320,000 signing from Accrington Stanley on New Year's Day, had failed to score in his first three outings for Wanderers but ended that run in spectacular style, taking a pass from substitute Oladapo Afolayan on the edge of the box before firing high into the top corner.

The result gave the Trotters back-to-back wins for the first time since October, as well as successive clean sheets for the first time since April 2021.

After ending a run of five consecutive defeats in all competitions with victory over Ipswich Town last time out, Ian Evatt named an unchanged side as new signing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson took up a place amongst the substitutes.

It was a fairly tepid affair in the early stages and it took until the quarter-hour for the first real sight of goal to arrive, with Elliott Bennett firing high over the Wanderers crossbar as he found space on the edge of the penalty area.

Bolton's first real venture forward came five minutes later as Declan John crossed from the left-hand side, but the ball was just too far ahead of Amadou Bakayoko and rolled away to safety.

The first shot on target went the way of the hosts with 27 minutes played, with Ryan Bowman turning away from Ricardo Almeida Santos to latch on to a pass from Ethan Ebanks-Landell, only to see his strike gathered by James Trafford in the Trotters goal.

Former Wanderers midfielder Josh Vela struck over for Salop soon after the half-hour, before Charles got on the end of a cross from George Johnston before seeing his goalbound effort blocked at the other end.

Bennett sent a fierce half-volley narrowly wide for Shrewsbury moments before the break, but it perhaps came as little surprise to see the teams go in goalless at the interval.

There was one change in personnel as the players returned for the second period as Kieran Lee made way in midfield, giving Afolayan 45 minutes to take aim at the Shrewsbury defence.

It was the hosts who looked the more likely scorers in the early stages following the restart, though, with Trafford required to push Dan Udoh's strike around the post with 52 minutes played.

Bolton's next attempt saw Gethin Jones head harmlessly over from an Aaron Morley corner, while Bowman headed over from a Bennett cross at the other end with an hour gone.

Afolayan went down inside the Salop box moments later, with referee Charles Breakspear ignoring all appeals for a penalty, moments before Matthew Pennington header over for the hosts as Bennett put yet another dangerous ball into the area.

Marko Marosi was called into action for the first time on 64 minutes as Charles drove a shot goalwards, and he came close again several minutes later as John's cross from the left was just too far ahead of the forward.

Charles continued to look threatening inside the final third and had another effort cleared by Pennington with less than 15 minutes to play, although Shrewsbury almost capitalised on a slip at the other end as Trafford did well to claim after initially spilling a shot from George Nurse.

Morley clipped a free-kick inches over the top and Afolayan forced Marosi into a comfortable save inside the final 10 minutes, but the Town goalkeeper was beaten in the final minute of normal time as Wanderers completed a smash-and-grab.

After Shrewsbury had failed to clear their lines, the Trotters worked the ball to Afolayan on the right-hand side. He cut inside and fed Charles, who took one touch on the edge of the box before arrowing a half-volley into the top corner with Marosi rooted to the spot.

Four minutes of added time were indicated at the end of the regulation 90 but there were to be no further chances as Bolton won a league game on the road for the first time since September.

Next up for Evatt's side is a clash with Sunderland, who visit the University of Bolton Stadium next Saturday.

Shrewsbury Town: Marosi, Pennington, Ebanks-Landell, Nurse, Bennett, Vela, Davis, Leahy, Ogbeta (Bloxham 90), Bowman, Udoh (Janneh 78)
Subs Not Used: Burgoyne, Pierre, Fornah, Pyke, Daniels
Booked: Pennington, Ogbeta

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Johnston, Santos, Jones, John, Morley, Williams, Fossey, Lee (Afolayan 45), Bakayoko (Bodvarsson 66), Charles
Subs Not Used: Dixon, Aimson, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon
Booked: Charles
Goals: Charles 89

Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 8,027

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston