Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill was relieved to see Jay Emmanuel-Thomas end his lean spell in front of goal.

And the former Arsenal trainee did it in style, setting the Robins on their way to a vital 3-2 victory at fellow League One strugglers Shrewsbury.

Emmanuel-Thomas had gone 12 games without scoring until blasting City in front at Greenhous Meadow with an unstoppable strike.

Cotterill now hopes his 19-goal top scorer can kick on and weigh in with more goals to lift the Robins to safety.

"It's a big relief for him," said Cotterill. "He's gone a few games without a goal and after scoring as many goals as he did so early on in the season everybody thinks all of a sudden he's going to get 30 goals.

"There aren't many people who get to 30 goals but hopefully he's had his lean spell and now he can score a few between now and the end of the season."

Cotterill was delighted to see City emerge with maximum points after a contest in which fortunes for both sides ebbed and flowed.

Tamika Mkandawire cancelled out the City opener with a fine strike from 30 yards just before the break but then scored an unfortunate own goal to restore the visitors' lead early in the second half.

Paul Parry headed Shrewsbury level for a second time before Joe Bryan nodded in a 63rd-minute winner for Cotterill's men to lift them three points clear of the bottom four.

"It was always going to be a tough game, we knew that," said Cotterill. "It was fantastic to get the three goals. We were delighted with that.

"We were probably always going to concede because we were always looking to score. I'm sure it was entertaining if there were any neutrals here."

Shrewsbury, now second-bottom of the table and four points adrift of safety, have not won any of their last nine home games - losing seven of them.

Mike Jackson, the Shrews boss, felt his team deserved something from the game but admitted his side had not defended well.

"It's disappointing," said Jackson. "You look at the goals we've given away and they're poor.

"The first one's come from a throw in, then we've had a mistake and an own goal, and then a set play.

"You always try and take things out of games and attacking-wise we were better. We showed some fight coming back from a couple of goals down.

"We were in the ascendency and I thought there was only one team who were going to go on and win it at 2-2."

Jackson insists there is still time for Shrewsbury to achieve survival.

"You look at the league and we're four points from safety," he added. "It's in our own hands so there's plenty of points to play for."