Oldham Athletic suffered their third defeat in four games after a narrow loss against Shrewsbury Town at New Meadow.
Latics made four changes from the team that drew 1-1 against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, with Anthony Gerrard, Ryan Flynn, Jack Byrne and Craig Davies coming in for Peter Clarke, Queensy Menig, Gevaro Nepomuceno and Aaron Holloway.
Paul Hurst decided that it was time for some fresh legs, so he made three changes in total. Ben Godfrey, who scored his first goal in blue and amber against Southend on Saturday, is replaced by Bryn Morris in the holding midfield position. Stefan Payne is fit again after a knock kept him out of the 18 against Southend and he replaces Carlton Morris upfront. The other change sees Arthur Gnahoua make his home league debut in place of Alex Rodman.
High-flying Shrewsbury Town had the first opportunity of the game on five minutes. Stefan Payne cut in from the left and unleashed a fierce effort which goalkeeper Johny Placide tipped over the crossbar.
It was an equal opening to the half as both sides enjoyed spells of possession.
Latics were the next to go close through midfielder Jack Byrne. After good football on the edge of the box, Byrne struck from 25 yards but his effort was saved by Dean Henderson.
Craig Davies also tested the palms of the goalkeeper a minute later as Latics took the game to their hosts.
Oldham were then dealt a cruel blow as Shrewsbury made the breakthrough on 16 minutes. Abu Ogogo’s initial effort was parried out by Placide but Whalley reacted quickest to score the rebound and make it 1-0 to Shrewsbury.
The hosts went in search of another goal, with Whalley hitting a free kick wide and then Placide keeping out Payne’s header from six yards out.
The Shrews dominated the possession towards the end of the half and Latics were forced to only half chances.
Tope Obadeyi dragged a shot wide from distance on 43 minutes, the best chance Latics had before the referee blew his whistle for half time (1-0).
Oldham almost got back on level terms shortly after the restart when Anthony Gerrard got on the end of a free kick from Byrne, but Henderson was equal to it.
Latics still had to be alert at the other end, as Whalley’s corner was met by Aristote Nsiala but he fired over the crossbar from close range.
Holloway came on for Flynn just after the hour mark, and he almost made an immediate impact when he got on the end of a free kick from Byrne, but he couldn’t direct the header goalwards and Shrewsbury cleared the danger.
Byrne thought he had equalised on 78 minutes as he fired low towards the bottom corner from 25 yards but Henderson somehow managed to tip his effort around the post.
The momentum was with Latics and seconds later, they felt they should have been awarded a penalty.
A long ball forward by Byrne found the onrushing Davies, he was bundled to the floor by the last defender but the referee waved no penalty to the frustration of the Athletic supporters, players and management team.
Despite their best efforts, Latics couldn’t find the net, and Shrewsbury were able to hold on to condemn Oldham to a 1-0 defeat.
Shrewsbury Town (Whalley 16’) 1-0 Oldham Athletic
Attendance: 6,383 (503 visiting supporters)
Line Ups –
Shrewsbury Town – Town: Dean Henderson, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, Abu Ogogo (C), Arthur Gnahoua, James Bolton, Bryn Morris (67′), Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Stefan Payne (85′).
Subs – Craig MacGillivray, Joe Riley, Ben Godfrey (67′), Carlton Morris (85′), Lenell John-Lewis, Ebou Adams, Alex Rodman.
Oldham Athletic – Johnny Placide, Cameron Dummigan, Anthony Gerrard, Dan Gardner, Ryan Flynn ( 61′), Craig Davies, Rob Hunt, Ousmane Fane (85′), Jack Byrne, Tope Obadeyi (77′), Kean Bryan.
Subs – Ben Wilson, Brian Wilson, Aaron Holloway (61′), Queensy Menig (77′), Gevaro Nepomuceno, Paul Green (85′), Mohamed Maouche.