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Report: Shrewsbury Town 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

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Wanderers take another step towards automatic promotion

Oxford United v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

To be honest, I thought we were doomed the moment I saw Paul Merson had backed us to win, but Phil Parkinson seems to have instilled something in these players that will hopefully see us over the line.

Perhaps a questionable choice to swap Derik for Jay Spearing in the only change from Tuesday, confidence was high heading into the game, as Bolton Wanderers looked to secure a fifth consecutive league win.

With the travelling white army thoroughly enjoying the day in the sun, neither side started too sharply, until Ben Alnwick was forced into a smart save after some poor Bolton defending.

There wasn't much to note for the remainder of the first half, as both teams struggled to get a grip of the midfield, with Derik in particular being very wasteful. Filipe Morais tried his best to make something happen down the right, but his crosses failed to meet the head of anyone in white.

Gary Madine limped off with an injury, forcing Parkinson to bring on Chris Long, but our way of playing didn't really change, and the half sort of petered out. After the restart, that man Morais tried his luck from a throw in, and Mark Beevers decided to skip the flick on and just head it straight into the net.

Questionable goalkeeping or not, it was a crucial goal for the whites - and I still don't understand why you would book someone for a passionate celebration.

The next 15 minutes went by in usual fashion - Whites being solid defensively, and occasionally threatening to break through the pace of Long - backed all the way by the travelling supporters.

Then Morais won a 50-50 on the halfway line and drove at the Shrewsbury box. He picked out Le Fondre at the back post, who looked like he had all the time in the world before smashing it into the roof of the net and sending the wanderers fans into raptures.

How much have we been crying out for someone who can do that? It was typical ALF and was a prime example of why wanderers fans were so keen to see him back at the Macron.

The remainder of the game went by without much to peak the interest. Shrewsbury had a go, and a better side might have made more of some half chances, but in all honesty it was comfortable for David Wheater and co.

The dampener was the injuries to Alnwick and Taylor, which we can only hope aren't too serious as they've become crucial figures for us.

All in all, a great day out and a crucial victory for the Wanderers in the promotion run in, earned in typical Parky fashion.