Richards puts Shrews on the verge
Shrewsbury moved to the brink of automatic promotion after a Matt Richards goal sealed a 1-0 win over Port Vale.
The midfielder fired home a stunning drive 10 minutes into the second half as Shrewsbury extended their unbeaten home run to 31 matches.
The hosts started positively and almost forced an own-goal from visiting defender John McCombe who was relieved to see his header from a probing Nicky Wroe ball drift just wide.
Vale were indebted to a stunning double save from goalkeeper Chris Martin for keeping Shrewsbury at bay on the half-hour mark as he brilliantly repelled stinging drives from Mark Wright and Richards in quick succession.
The visitors came into the game as the half unfolded and Sean Rigg struck the outside of a post from the edge of the box.
But the Shropshire side always looked more likely to break the deadlock with top scorer James Collins unfortunate when he smashed a powerful shot from a tight angle against the bar with Martin beaten.
Richards netted the winner with a 25-yard strike that nestled into the bottom corner.
Shrews keeper Chris Neal saved superbly from Marc Richards, while Graham Turner's men almost doubled their advantage when Wright struck a post after Martin saved well from Terry Gornell.
Shrewsbury 1-0 Port Vale: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.