AFC Wimbledon 0 v Shrewsbury Town 1
Lacklustre AFC Wimbledon never got out of first gear as they slipped to a 0-1 home defeat against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday (12 August).
Shrewsbury revelled in Wimbledon’s 4-3-3 formation, making the Dons’ midfield chase shadows all afternoon and seemingly at will overloading the Dons full-backs.
And they took the lead after just eight minutes as Alex Rodman got the wrong side of Barry Fuller to head home from close range.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Wimbledon and they went on to produce just two efforts on target all afternoon, their lethargic endeavours proving more than comfortable for Shrewsbury to deal with.
Jimmy Abdou had already produced a timely intervention to deny Louis Dodds when the Shrewsbury man looked poised to score, and soon after the goal George Long was called upon to tip another Dodds effort over the bar.
Dodds was a constant thorn in Wimbledon’s side and in the 36th minute robbed Abdou of the ball to set up Carlton Morris but Long produced a fine point-blank block to keep the deficit respectable.
Tame Wimbledon occasionally produced a half-chance but there was little to get the home fans excited. The boos that greeted the full-time whistle represented frustration not just at another tepid performance but at a sequence of poor performances that stretches back into the tail-end of last season.
Manager Neal Ardley defended his tactics afterwards, telling the club’s iFollow channel: ‘It would not have mattered what system we played today; we did not have energy about us to cause a problem for them.’
Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Robinson, Oshilaja, Kennedy, Francomb, Abdou (Egan 73), Parrett, Appiah (Taylor 45), McDonald, Barcham (Kaja 78). Subs not used: Nightingale, Sibbick, McDonnell, Hartigan.
Booked: Oshilaja 48, Francomb 93.
Shrewsbury: Henderson, Brown, Sadler, Nsiala, Nolan, Bolton, Dodds (Adams 82), Ogogo, Rodman (Ennis 92), Morris (John-Lewis 71), Whalley. Subs not used: Gnahoua, MacGillivray, Jules, Shielis.
Goalscorer: Rodman 8.
Booking: Brown 55, Bolton 61.
By Rob Crane
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August 18, 2017