AFC Wimbledon beat League One bound Shrewsbury to end season on a high
18:55 05 May 2012
League Two: AFC Wimbledon 3 Shrewsbury 1
AFC Wimbledon completed their League Two fixtures with an excellent victory over promoted Shrewsbury Town at Kingsmeadow.
After a tepid first half, four goals in the opening 16 minutes of the second period resulted in a relatively comfortable march for the Dons, who end the season in 16th place.
Shrewsbury showed signs of the form that has taken them to automatic promotion, but were going through the end of season motions in spells, and will have to lift themselves ahead of next seasons much tougher challenges in League Two.
It was the visitors who had the brightest of the first half however, and twice Seb Brown was called upon to make himself big and block from the feet of both James Collins and Terry Gornell. Yet arguably the best chance fell at Wimbledon striker Luke Moore’s feet, after a Jack Midson shot had been initially blocked – the Dons top scorer (and joint top in League Two) squaring the ball back for Moore who was denied by a crucial stop on the line by Ian Sharps.
The second half exploded into life in the 47th minute. A harmless looking cross from on-loan Sunderland player Billy Knott was inexplicably dropped by Chris Neal, allowing Dons’ record signing Byron Harrison an easy tap-in.
Seven minutes later, Luke Moore doubled the Dons lead. Midson, who was clearly desperate to get the goal that could win him the League Two Golden Boot, was forced out wide by the defence, but his pull back was slammed in low by Moore via a large deflection.
The goals kept coming, and a chipped Matt Richards free kick towards the back post led to an almighty scramble, centre-back Shane Cansdell-Sherriff eventually tucking the ball in, again via a deflection.
With Shrewsbury pushing for an equaliser, the Dons needed a third goal to settle the game down, and it duly came from Moore. The midfielder tucked the ball under the hapless Neal after excellent running and a well-weighted through ball by Knott.
Once a two-goal lead was established, the Shrewsbury momentum was well repelled throughout the rest of the match, and the only remaining question was whether Midson could finally get what would be his 19th of the season. The answer, sadly, was no – despite being put through one on one in the 92nd minute, Neal blocked the strikers shot well with his body.
The Dons will ultimately be happy that despite some wobbles, their League Two safety was never realistically in doubt, and that the 50 point target was well achieved with a few games spare.
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Franks (Hatton), Johnson, Bush, Stuart, Jones (Knott), S Moore, L Moore, Midson, Yusseff (Johnson), Harrison
Attendance: 3,678 (587 from Shrewsbury)
My man of the match: Byron Harrison