IT was a second trip to Shrewsbury in almost as many weeks, past Percy Thrower’s Garden Centre on a balmy August evening to see the Wanderers start on the road to Wembley, writes Alan Houghton.

This time I went on the coach which arrived in good time for a couple of pints of the excellent Shropshire Lad and what my big brother Harold assures me, the best pie he’s had in ages, albeit a tad expensive as the £3 pie has arrived.

The first challenge was finding my seat as Shrewsbury number the seats in each block the same, so there were at least 3 L0027 seats to choose from! Dougie made lots of changes with Lonergan, Mears, Ream, Hall, Odelusi, Ngog and Davies coming in. There must have been a lot of tired bodies after the Burnley match!

The match started as expected with Shrewsbury doing most of the pressing but Bolton hitting them on the counter with good efforts from Odelusi, Ngog, Davies before Hall scored with a superb solo effort with a left foot shot rocketing past their goalie after 25 minutes. Up to this point, the best entertainment had been a Bolton fan playing keepy-up with his head when one of the Shrewsbury efforts ended up in the Bolton crowd.

The lead didn’t last long as Shrewsbury’s gardener, Aaron Wildig, found himself in acres of space to slot the ball home. The fact that he was yards offside helped him find that space. This spurred Shrewsbury on and Lonergan had to come to the rescue with a couple of good saves while Ngog has another effort tipped over for a corner. Just before half-time, Hall put a great cross in for Odelusi to meet perfectly and put us back in the lead.

Bolton came out in the second half and got much more of a grip on the game, limiting Shrewsbury to long range efforts. Ream seemed to get on the end of everything. It was no surprise after 52 minutes, when Ngog found Odelusi in the box and he fired in an unstoppable shot to make the match safe.

After an hour Dougie got Moritz out for the lads and he showed one or two nice touches. Andrew came on for the last 10 minutes to steady the ship and Baptiste replaced the quiet Pratley, who had been playing in a deeper, more defensive role. Encouragingly Pratley got another good reception as he left the field.

Overall, it was a solid professional performance in a potentially banana-skin match. There was another superb performance from Hall and the emergence of my man of the match, young Odelusi has to be a bonus.