Shrewsbury Town motor beyond Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium as goals from Curtis Main and Harry Chapman seal the three points.
Former Aberdeen and Middlesbrough striker Curtis Main claimed the decisive touch to give the visitors a 7th minute lead. Harry Chapman netted his sixth in 13 games to double the advantage after the break.
A quick reply from ex-Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Sean Clare threatened to undo Town’s hard work – but Steve Cotterill’s side navigated through the rest of the contest to secure the win.
There were five changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Hull City last weekend. Matija Sarkic begins international duty with Montenegro and Harry Burgoyne was given the nod. Ollie Norburn began a two-match ban for an accumulation of yellow cards, whilst Brad Walker was out with a suspected groin problem. Shaun Whalley and Dan Udoh dropped to the bench – the aforementioned Harry Chapman and Curtis Main were back into the eleven – Sean Goss also returned. Youngsters Bevan and Caton were called up to the squad.
Former Leeds and Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has reinvigorated Burton since his return, helping to accrue 28 points out of a possible 42. But it was the away side that took an early advantage in this one. Nathanael Ogbeta’s cross deflected off Ryan Edwards and looped into the danger area – Curtis Main got the slightest of touches and Ben Garrett was helpless in the Brewers’ net.
Burton were boosted by the return of the rock-solid Michael Bostwick who had missed the previous three games with an unspecified injury. The former Peterborough utility man opted to let fly from distance, but Burgoyne was not called into action. It was a comfortable opening period for Town who looked in control. Josh Vela may feel he should have worked Garrett after skewing wide following a Chapman free-kick.
Town’s defensive attributes, a key feature of Cotterill’s tenure, were on display once more with the likes of Kane Hemmings struggling to make an impact. Bostwick did power a header wide prior to the break.
Shrewsbury continued to keep their opponents at bay in the second period and doubled their lead in the 56th minute. Ogbeta once again showed his credentials down the left-hand side – picking out Harry Chapman with consummate ease. The Blackburn loanee continued his rich vein of form with a well-connected volley that beat Garrett all ends up.
Burton gave themselves a fighting chance of rescuing a point on the hour mark. Michael Bostwick was involved again as he sent Sean Clare through. The midfielder remained composed to fire a rising effort beyond Harry Burgoyne.
The visitors were on the hunt for a third – but Sean Goss’ strike cleared Ben Garrett’s crossbar. In the final action of the match, a long throw-in found its way to Joe Powell, but he sliced his effort wide of the target.
The win sees Town move a place above Burton into 17th place. They welcome Portsmouth on Saturday, whilst Burton’s next game is against Accrington on Good Friday.
Team Line Ups
24. Garratt, 2. Brayford, 17. Carter, 5. Bostwick, 37. Hamer, 38. Mancienne, 28. Clare (83), 10. Akins (83), 4. Edwards, 11. Smith (68), 9. Hemmings
8. Powell (83), 12. Fox, 16. Earl, 18. Broom (68), 20. Hawkins, 21. O’Toole, 33. Fondop-Talom (83)
Subs Not Used: 12. Fox, 16. Earl, 20. Hawkins, 21. O’Toole
1. Burgoyne, 29. Pennington, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 5. Williams, 22. Daniels (66), 28. Davis, 6. Goss, 10. Vela, 14. Ogbeta, 32. Chapman (74), 20. Main
Subs: 4. Edwards (74), 7. Whalley, 9. Pyke, 12. Sears (66), 23. Udoh, 30. Caton, 41. Bevan
Subs Not Used: 7. Whalley, 9. Pyke, 23. Udoh, 30. Caton, 41. Bevan
Other League One Results
Blackpool 3 – 1 Peterborough
Bristol Rovers 0 – 1 Swindon
Northampton 1 – 0 Oxford