Shrewsbury Town 2 v Wimbledon 1
Wimbledon scored their first away league goal since October but still tasted defeat at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday (18 February), losing 2-1 to a last-minute goal.
The result means that it’s now a morale-sapping run of just seven points out of the last 27 available for Neal Ardley’s men.
Ardley told the club’s DonsPlayer: ‘We are all working hard to resolve this little blip we’re going through and generally the team did the club proud today, but we’re extremely disappointed to come away without anything from it.
‘I’d rather play bang average and win a game, but we’ve played really well and lost.’
The Dons started this match on the front foot against opponents who had won their previous three home fixtures, winning a succession of early corners.
But there was a let-off when Shrewsbury had the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
Shortly before the interval James Shea was forced to save following good approach play by Junior Brown and Alex Rodman, while the keeper also had to be alert to foil Freddie Ladapo.
But it was the Dons who came closest to breaking the first-half deadlock when Tom Soares fired in a 25-yard shot that cannoned off the post, before Tom Elliott also had a goal ruled out.
The Dons continued to press after the beak, with Elliott hitting the bar and home keeper Jayson Leutwiler saving another Soares effort.
On the 65th minute the Dons fell behind when Tyler Roberts fired home a centrally placed free-kick that took a big deflection off the defensive wall to leave Shea flapping in mid-air.
Just minutes later the Dons were back in it. Elliott and Lyle Taylor played successive flick-ons and the ball fell to Barcham on the edge of the box. Barcham’s poorly hit shot somehow sneaked past Leutwiler at his near post to pull the Dons level.
Wimbledon continued to push forward in search of the lead and seemed to be having to settle for a deserved point when they were left rocking by a late sucker punch.
Shaun Whalley’s corner into the central area was met by an unchallenged Aristote Nsiala and the Congolese international’s header from close range was enough to beat Shea all ends up.
Ardley reflected: ‘We’ve lost because we weren’t clinical enough in one box and we didn’t see it through to the end in the other.
‘You often hear me say about both boxes and seeing your jobs through, and that’s where we got punished. But for most parts we were very good.’
The Dons’ attempts to rectify their poor run face a tough challenge when they travel to Gillingham on Tuesday (21 February) before entertaining Walsall next Saturday (25 February).
Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Riley (Smith 34), Sadler, Nsiala, Brown, Whalley, Yates, Deegan, Rodman, Ladapo (Payne 76), Roberts (El-Abd 93). Subs not used: Dodds, Morris, Leitch-Smith, Halstead.
Goalscorers: Roberts 65, Nsiala 90.
Wimbledon: Shea, Francomb, Robinson, Charles, Kelly, Fitzpatrick (Poleon 69), Reeves, Soares, Barcham, Elliott, Taylor (Barnett 82). Subs not used: Bulman, Nightingale, Kaja, McDonnell, Owens.
Goalscorer: Barcham 68.
Booked: Kelly 57, Elliott 92.
By Rob Crane
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February 20, 2017