Never-say-die Walsall fought back bravely from the blow of having striker Tommy Wright red-carded in the first half to maintain their lead of League Two in a thrilling derby watched by their biggest home crowd this season.
It proved to be a game of two Wrights involved in the right result for the home side when Mark Wright snatched the Saddlers' priceless winner seven minutes into the second half.
It came following a jinking run by full-back Kris Taylor whose pass was switched out wide by Chris Westwood. Wright's intended cross fizzed through the goalmouth, eluding defenders, strikers and goalkeeper Scott Shearer before hitting the far post and rebounding into the net.
The goal brought a tremendous roar of relief from the Walsall fans and manager Richard Money said: "We must have had 7,000 of our supporters here and they have walked out of the stadium 100 per cent proud of their players.
"People who have missed some of our games now know what the players are about - they are giving everything to get this club back into League One."
Money said he needed to see the incident again when Tommy Wright was sent off for a challenge on Stuart Drummond but he believed it was a harsh decision.
Shortly before that incident, the referee had spoken to Wright for a challenge on Richard Hope with his arm extended.
It was a disappointment for Shrewsbury manager Gary Peters, who kept his players in the dressing-room for an inquest into the result long after the final whistle.
He said: "I have been summing it up with the players because we needed to talk about it. We did gain an advantage when Walsall had a man sent off and we were passing the ball well at times until we got to the last third, where real quality steps in, but we didn't break them down.
"Their goalkeeper (Clayton Ince) did brilliantly for them. He probably ended up as their best player because of the things he prevented by coming early and taking crosses. He was superb at it."
Walsall could have scored in the fourth minute when Taylor's cross reached Tommy Wright at the far post and he headed just over with Shearer beaten.
Dave Edwards hooked the ball towards goal in a Shrewsbury raid in the 17th minute but it was easy for Ince who, six minutes later, climbed high to pull down Sagi Burton's header following a Ben Davies corner.
Another deep cross by Taylor raised hope for the Saddlers but Tommy Wright's downward header was wide.
After Wright departed, for what appeared to be a twofooted lunge after he failed to control the ball, Shrewsbury were comfortably in control only for Andy Cooke to nod a perfect Davies corner above the bar when he should have scored.
But Mark Wright's goal early in the second half gave the Saddlers something to hang on to and they did well to pick up their first win in four games. With so many of their promotion rivals also winning, it was a vital result.
With Davies impressive against the club where his career began, Shrewsbury pushed forward repeatedly but could not find a gap in Walsall's determined defence.
The introduction of Craig Pead as a second-half substitute helped the home side cope with only ten men.
In the last minute of normal time Shearer charged upfield for a Davies corner, got his head to the ball and home defender Scott Dann headed against his own bar in a desperate attempt to clear.