Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 07, 2023 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton moved level on points with 2nd-placed Oxford United after they ran out 2-0 winners at Shrewsbury Town.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes at the Croud Meadow, Wanderers broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when Paris Maghoma's shot somehow got the better of Marko Marosi as it squirmed beyond the goalkeeper and into the net.

Dion Charles wheeled away in celebration as if to claim the goal - one to perhaps look back on as the days progress - but there was no doubt about the second, which arrived in the eighth of nine added minutes for stoppages as Aaron Morley picked out the bottom corner following a lay-off from fellow substitute Dan Nlundulu.

Having made five changes to his team for the weekend victory over Solihull Moors in the Emirates FA Cup, Ian Evatt reverted back to a side showing one change to the team that took to the field at Charlton Athletic in the club's last league outing.

Maghoma, who was on the scoresheet at the weekend, retained his place, with Morley dropping to the substitutes' bench in that only change from the recent win at The Valley.

The opening 45 minutes were largely devoid of goalmouth activity, with both sides mainly restricted to efforts from distance that failed to trouble the goalkeepers in either goal.

Shrewsbury began strong, winning a corner and a free-kick from which they failed to create anything of note, while Victor Adeboyejo was first to let fly for Wanderers as his strike was charged down by a defender.

Tom Bayliss saw a move end in similar circumstances at the other end, shortly before Maghoma saw a teasing cross turned behind by Chey Dunkley as Adeboyejo looked set to pounce in behind.

The first big chance arrived with 24 minutes played and went the way of Bolton as Maghoma lofted in a pass to George Thomason. His cutback picked out an unmarked Adeboyejo, who turned and shot over Marosi's crossbar.

Jordan Shipley fired over for the hosts moments later, before Wanderers were thankful to Ricardo Almeida Santos as he put himself on the line to make two headed clearances in a matter of seconds as the half entered it's final five minutes.

It came as little surprise to see the sides leave the field goalless at the break and although the sides returned unchanged for the start of the second period, it took just four minutes for the first substitution to be made as Will Forrester entered the play in place of Gethin Jones, who had failed to shrug off an apparent ankle injury sustained in the closing stages of the first period.

Forrester was involved almost instantaneously, finding himself on the edge of the Shrewsbury penalty area before curling a shot high and wide of Marosi's goal.

There was then a stoppage in play to allow Santos a momentary break after a wayward clearance from Nathan Baxter had struck the captain square in the face, but he was cleared to continue as Salop began to get a foothold in the game.

Two long-throws from Tom Flanagan ended with the full-back flashing an effort narrowly wide of the post, shortly before Josh Dacres-Cogley saw a strike blocked at the other end following some neat play from Charles.

There was another stoppage just after the hour to allow treatment to be provided to Salop goalkeeper Marosi, who must have still been feeling the effects on 65 minutes as he allowed a speculative attempt from Maghoma to squirm out of his grasp and over the line - with Charles also wheeling away in celebration.

Shrewsbury pushed forward for an immediate equaliser and may have been presented with a golden opportunity had someone, anyone, taken a gamble on Dunkley's header back across goal.

They were fortunate not to fall further behind with 15 minutes still to play, however, as Charles twisted and turned away from the last defender before prodding just wide of Marosi's near post - seconds before the goalkeeper succumbed to injury and was replaced by Harry Burgoyne.

Baxter was then tested for the first time as Tom Bayliss' powerful drive from distance was gathered well by the Wanderers stopper, who rose to his feet to help deal with a succession of corners from the home side.

Nlundulu and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came on in place of Charles and Adeboyejo for the final 10 minutes, and the duo certainly made their presence felt during their brief time on the pitch.

First, Nlundulu thought he had sealed victory as he connected with a low ball from Dacres-Cogley, only for Burgoyne to make a remarkable save.

Then, in the final stages of stoppage time, pressure from Bodvarsson forced a throw-in that was quickly taken by Randell Williams. The Iceland international suddenly found himself back in possession and squared for Nlundulu, whose lay-off was fired into the bottom corner by fellow substitute Morley to wrap up the win.

The three points sees Bolton move level on points with 2nd-placed Oxford, who lost their manager to Bristol City earlier in the day, and they head into a weekend clash with Blackpool trailing leaders Portsmouth by just three points.

Shrewsbury Town: Marosi (Burgoyne 75), Flanagan, Dunkley, Anderson, Winchester, Kenneh (Mata 71), Perry, Sraha, Bayliss (Pierre 88), Udoh, Shipley (Sobowale 71)
Subs Not Used: Thorpe, Benning, Bennett

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Toal, Santos, Jones (Forrester 49), Williams, Thomason, Maghoma (Morley 86), Dacres-Cogley, Sheehan, Adeboyejo (Bodvarsson 80), Charles (Nlundulu 79)
Subs Not Used: Iredale, Mendes Gomes, Jerome
Goals: Maghoma 65, Morley 90+8

Referee: Tom Reeves
Attendance: 5,901

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Portsmouth 19 42
2 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2022/23 Player of the Year?
25.9% Conor Bradley
22.3% James Trafford
20.09% Dion Charles
10.05% Kyle Dempsey
6.82% Aaron Morley
6.45% Ricardo Almeida Santos
3.5% George Johnston
3.32% Eoin Toal
1.01% Kieran Lee
0.55% Gethin Jones