TROTTERS’TITLE TILT’S ON TRACK
SECOND-HALF goals from Mark Beevers and Adam Le Fondre kept Bolton’s top-two challenge alive – and boss Phil Parkinson is feeling confident about their promotion prospects.
Victory over the Shrews increased the Trotters’ cushion over third-placed Fleetwood to six points.
And Parkinson insists his side will be in the Championship next year, so long as they remain focused for the run-in.
“I am delighted with the three points, the way we applied ourselves and with our position at the moment,” he said.
“It was a scrappy affair but we were very well organised, knocked the ball about well and were always in control
“We are hitting a vein of form and now back to full strength squad-wise. If we are to get over the line come the end of the season, it will now be about application.
“We have the quality, strength and organisation, so the run-in is all about us showing the right mentality. If we show the right attitude and push ourselves to the limit, we will be OK.”
Bolton have not lost an away game at Shrewsbury since 1983, have won all of the last six meetings between the clubs and never looked in danger of losing this hotly-contested encounter.
Bolton enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in a first half of few chances. The Shrews defence, well marshalled by the recalled Adam El-Abd, coped with Wanderers’ aerial threat, though the home side were relieved to see Darren Pratley head narrowly wide.
In the 51st minute Beevers met a Filipe Morais throw-in on the right, his backward header caught the home defence wrong-footed and found the far corner to give the Trotters a deserved lead.
Bolton continued to prod and probe and were rewarded for their efforts when Morais crossed from the right and Le Fondre slammed the ball home.
Bolton lost keeper Ben Alnwick to injury on 69 minutes but replacement Mark Howard was rarely bothered by a Shrews side which lacked the quality and guile to trouble the meanest defence in the EFL.
The best chance for the home side fell to Tyler Roberts ten minutes from time. The West Brom loanee found himself in space but blasted over.
“I thought we edged it firsthalf,” said Shrews boss Paul Hurst. “But we lacked that bit of quality to hurt what is a very good Bolton defence.
“The first goal was a poor goal to give away. There was no need for Jayson Leutwiler to come, but he did and didn’t gather. We were caught on the wrong foot and from then it was always going to be tough.
“Our destiny is still in our own hands. If we show the commitment we showed in the first-half, we will be all
ON THE UP: Adam Le Fondre celebrates scoring Bolton’s second goal BATTLE: Shrewsbury’s Adam El-Abd and Bolton’s Chris Long