REPORT: Shrewsbury Town v Wanderers

Dion Charles completed a memorable couple of days as he followed up the birth of his second child with a magnificent late winner to open his Wanderers’ account in stunning style.

Charles missed training on Friday after the birth of daughter Hattie the previous night.

But the January signing was still full of running heading towards the final minute at the Montgomery Waters Meadow when his superb volley ripped into the top corner to earn the Whites’ a huge win.

Charles and his team-mates celebrated with the hordes of travelling fans as Ian Evatt’s men brought a thrilling end to their seven-game losing League One streak on the road.

And it was no more than they deserved with a second successive clean sheet the bed-rock for back-to-back wins sealed by a moment Charles will never forget.

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Unsurprisingly, Wanderers – with new signing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson on the bench –were unchanged from the side that started the victory over Ipswich a week ago which kick-started their revival after four league losses as they looked to interrupt another lengthy sequence.

Shrewsbury were unbeaten at home in the league since the end of September in a seven-game run which had lifted them well clear of the early strugglers.

And that confidence was apparent in the way they moved the ball around in a high-tempo opening.

Elliott Bennett blasted one early effort over the top but Wanderers contained the threat and played some decent stuff of their own in an effort to work an opening.

Kieran Lee and Aaron Morley again looked comfortable together in the middle of the pitch, while Marlon Fossey’s pace and running power continued to offer real promise on the return to the ground where he spent a spell on loan last season.

On the other flank Declan John delivered a couple of dangerous across the Shrewsbury goalmouth, although real chances were at a premium before the break.

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Salop striker Ryan Bowman had one sight of goal but shot straight at James Trafford, while at the other end Charles worked the space for a goalbound effort blocked by home skipper Ethan Ebanks-Blake.

The introduction of Dapo Afolayan in place of the injured Lee at the start of the second half gave Wanderers an extra spark as they attacked the end packed with travelling fans in another impressive show of away support.

But it remained nip-and-tuck with Daniel Udoh working Trafford in the Whites’ goal with a skidding effort turned around the post by the on-loan Manchester City man, who was then glad to see a Barrowman header fly wide as the game entered its final half-hour.

With the game getting stretched openings were starting to come and Charles was only inches away from giving Wanderers the lead with his first goal for the club.

The striker constantly worried the Salop defence with his refusal to accept any sort of lost cause and when he wriggled free again he let fly with a right-foot shot which goalkeeper Marko Marosi just managed to divert wide of the target.

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And then when John delivered again from the left, Charles was a whisker away from connecting in front of goal as Wanderers – with Bodvarsson on his for his debut –looked increasingly like the ones most likely to go on and grab a winner.

Another opening forged by the fighting qualities of Charles saw Afolayan burst forward for a shot saved by Marosi and then a minute to go Charles did deliver the decisive blow with a stunning strike to secure all three points.

Ricardo Almeida Santos kept the ball in the Shrews’ half with a vital interception and when Afolayan picked out Charles, the striker took a touch, allowed the ball to bounce and then thumped a sumptuous volley into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to spark joyous scenes on and off the pitch for all those in white.

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Almeida Santos, Johnston; Williams; Fossey, Lee (Afolayan HT), Morley, John; Charles, Bakayoko (Bodvarsson 65). Substitutes: Dixon, Aimson, Baptiste, Gordon, Thomason, Afolayan.

Booked: Charles

Shrewsbury: Marosi; Pennington, Ebanks-Blake, Nurse; Bennett, Vela, Davis, Leah, Ogbeta (Bloxham 90); Udoh (Janneh 78), Bowman. Substitutes: Burgoyne, Pierre, Fornah, Pyke, Bolxham, Daniels.

Booked: Pennington, Ogbeta

Referee: Charles Breakwater

Attendance: 8,027 (1,651)

Read Time: 4 mins