A late goal denied Fleetwood Town a deserved point against promotion chasing Shrewsbury Town, as they lost 2-1 at Highbury on Tuesday night.
Shaun Whalley opened the scoring for the visitors with a header at the near post just before half-time, but Town fought back to get an equaliser through Paddy Madden in the second half.
It was a spirited performance by the Cod Army, but that was cancelled out when substitute Nathan Thomas netted ten minutes from time to give Paul Hurst's side the points.
Rosler made a number of changes from their last league match against Scunthorpe United with Gethin Jones, Bobby Grant and Alex Cairns returning to the starting line-up, with Conor McAleny amongst those dropping to the bench.
It was a bright start to the match for Town who put pressure on the visitors in the opening minutes. Jones found some space on the far side and delivered a deep cross into the box and Grant couldn't direct his header on target.
Shrewsbury started to get their foot on the ball and it was their captain Abu Ogogo who had half a chance inside Town's 18-yard-box, but he failed to hit the target. You'd have to say it was a let off for the home side.
A quarter of the way through the half, Madden latched onto a poor header away by Aristote Nsiala. It set up nicely for the Irishman on the volley but Nsiala made amends with a last-ditch block on the effort on target.
Hurst's side came back down the other end moments later and with patient build-up just outside the box. Jon Nolan teed it off nicely to his midfield partner Ogogo, and like his previous effort, it was well wide of Cairns' goal.
Nolan was at it again and after a strong run through the Town defence, it was very unlucky that his shot didn't find the far corner of the net.
Madden and Ashley Hunter linked up well five minutes before the half and with a dangerous balled whipped into the box, the striker couldn't quite wrap his right foot around the ball to test Dean Henderson. A good chance for the Cod Army.
Meanwhile at the other end, Whalley's trickery gave him a yard of space to cross the ball for C Morris, however the only thing missing from the target man was ball hitting the back of the net.
In the three minutes added on Town should have taken the lead. Sowerby's pass somehow found Madden and as the trigger was being pulled, Luke Hendrie flew across the goalmouth to block another shot. There was late drama to come…
Whalley opened the scoring for The Shrews seconds before the referee blew his whistle for half-time. The creative man Nolan curled in a cross at the near post and Whalley got in front of his man and nodded the ball past Cairns.
Uwe Rosler made two changes just before the hour mark and this saw the introduction of McAleny and Hiwula, with Sowerby and Diagouraga making way, the German was going for it.
The reward for the brave changes paid off with Madden getting his third goal for the club. Nathan Pond did well to head the ball back across the goal and with a bit of luck, the ball found its way to Madden and he tucked his shot away with confidence and celebrated with the fans behind the goal.
The momentum was with the team in red and white, and with the goal, the atmosphere completely changed and that spurred Rosler's men on to grab a second.
Pressure on the back four of Shrewsbury continued and with a switch in formation to 4-4-2, this seemed to open the match and give Town something different going forward.
For all the good work Fleetwood did in the second half, the away side still created some chances and it was B. Morris whose finesse shot went marginally wide of the top corner. From the players' expression, he must have thought he bagged a goal
Shrewsbury took the lead with eight minutes to go courtesy of a Thomas toe-poke inside the six-yard box. The substitute turned Lewie Coyle inside out – who replaced Jones at right back – and took an early shot at goal that snuck in at the near post.
There was time for Town to reply for a second time with the fourth official showing four minutes added on, but the Shrews stood firm and saw out the win on the road to see them go top of the league.
Fleetwood: Cairns (GK), O'Connor, Eastham, Pond ©, Dempsey, Grant, Diagouraga (Hiwula 56'), Madden, Jones (Coyle 78'), Hunter, Sowerby (McAleny 56').
Subs not used: Neal (GK), Burns, Oliver, Schwabl.
Shrewsbury: Henderson (GK), Sadler, Beckles, Whalley, Ogogo ©, C. Morris, B. Morris (Godfrey 85'), Hendrie, Nolan, Nsiala, Rodman (Thomas 34').
Subs not used: MacGillivary (GK), Lowe, Bolton, John-Lewie, Payne.
Referee: Ross Joyce