Second-half goals from John Marquis and Aaron Collins gave Joey Barton’s side their second win of the season, inflicting the third defeat in a row - in all competitions - on Town.
Matt Taylor handed Max Mata and Ryan Finnigan their home debuts at the Croud Meadow with Nohan Kenneh missing from the squad following the midfielder’s time with his national team Liberia.
The ‘Weetabix derby’ - as the clash is known - was Town’s first game in 11 days following a league loss to Carlisle and EFL Trophy defeat to Forest Green Rovers.
It took 12 minutes for the first effort of the afternoon as Elliot Bennett saw his effort held by Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Matthew Cox.
Meanwhile, Taylor Perry saw a 22nd-minute shot blocked away for a corner before Daniel Udoh’s header from Mal Benning’s cross was saved well two minutes later.
Benning and Joe Anderson both battled at the back to deny Bristol from advancing forward before some Max Mata brilliance handed Udoh a chance to get forward. The summer-signing and striker’s pass enabled Udoh to run through on goal with twists and turns, but under immense pressure the forward’s shot was denied and seen away.
Taylor Perry’s shot was blocked a minute later as Shrewsbury pressed for the opener late in the first-half. Mal Benning was greeted by applause from the Salop faithful as he scuppered a Rovers attack before Perry’s heavy touch at the other end of play cost him an opportunity to test the goal.
In the second half, the home side had their 52nd-minute cries for a penalty turned down. Daniel Udoh received Perry’s pass into the box before going to ground under challenge from Connor Taylor, however, referee Tom Reeves saw no wrongdoing.
Substitutes Kieran Phillips and Tom Bayliss combined immediately following their introduction in the 67th-minute. Town earned a corner on the right which led to a further penalty appeal waved away with skipper Chey Dunkley who was brought down yellow carded.
John Marquis was the player in question for the possible foul on the Salop skipper and the Rovers man turned home the opener in the 73rd-minute for Joey Barton’s side. Aaron Collins crossed from the right after Jeavni Brown’s pass forward, and Marquis fired home from close-range.
Matt Taylor’s side were unable to find an equaliser and prevent Aaron Collins from doubling the away side’s lead in stoppage time. Connor Taylor headed the ball down towards Town’s goal for Collins to find the net at the back-post.
Salop fans let their feelings known at full-time after Matt Taylor’s side slumped to defeat at the Croud Meadow.