Shrewsbury Town steal all three points in stoppage time as Leon Clarke nets his first goal for the club.
It appeared to be heading for a stalemate – but veteran striker Leon Clarke arrived on the scene in the 91st minute to seal Shrewsbury’s first victory of the 2020/21 campaign.
AFC Wimbledon will be mightily disappointed to end up with nothing as they were the better side for the majority of the contest.
It was Town’s first league game in a fortnight as last weekend’s scheduled fixture against Doncaster Rovers was called off owing to international call-ups.
Sam Ricketts made four changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Gillingham. He handed league debuts to Dejan Iliev and Jan Zamburek, whilst Ro Shaun-Williams and Jason Cummings returned to the eleven. Australian defender Matt Millar was not in the squad – neither were Marlon Fossey and Donald Love.
Jason Cummings has a point to prove with the former Nottingham Forest man struggling for a run of league games. He impressed early on – stretching the Dons backline as the visitors started brightly.
But with 15 minutes on the clock, it was Glyn Hodges’ side that had the first chance of note. Birmingham City loanee Steve Seddon’s delivery was met by Joe Pigott; but his header was claimed by Macedonian Dejan Iliev.
Shrewsbury were beginning to feel the pressure and both Aaron Pierre and Ethan Ebanks-Landell were in the book early on for cynical challenges.
Town were almost the architects of their own downfall as Jan Zamburek was robbed in possession. The ball eventually found Ryan Longman who glided into the box; but the Brighton loanee dragged his effort wide.
Sam Ricketts’ side seemed intent on gifting AFC Wimbledon the opener. This time Ethan Ebanks-Landell stalled on the ball – and Steve McLaughlin’s strike was eventually blocked.
Then Ryan Longman crossed for Steve Seddon who was lurking at the back stick. Dejan Iliev was forced into a fine stop to deny the winger.
Shrewsbury finally got a foothold. Ryan Barnett’s expert delivery was seized upon by Jason Cummings and the Scot’s sharp turn resulted in a deflected strike.
The second period began in the same vain with AFC Wimbledon in the ascendency. Joe Piggott’s drive was goal bound but it wiped out his teammate instead.
At the other end, Jason Cummings looked odds on to break the deadlock, but he couldn’t quite sort his feet out.
Yet AFC Wimbledon continued to create the better opportunities. Dejan Iliev flew across his goal to claw away Pigott’s long range shot.
From the resulting corner, centre half Terell Thomas saw his looping header just about evade the target – thanks to a sea of bodies in the area.
Glyn Hodges probably knew what was going to happen next. For all their dominance they couldn’t convert, and Town stole the win in the 91st minute.
Josh Vela’s corner was helped on by a Dons defender and Leon Clarke found space to prod the ball beyond Connal Trueman.
Sam Ricketts will be delighted with the maiden win of the season; although he may be slightly annoyed with the performance.
Town are at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, whilst AFC Wimbledon visit Hull City.
Team Line Ups
1. Trueman, 2. O’Neill, 6. Thomas, 3. Csoka, 19. McLaughlin, 4. Woodyard, 16. Oksanen, 11. Chislett, 42. Seddon, 29. Longman (84), 39. Pigott,
Subs: 7. Alexander, 10. Roscrow (84), 12. Rudoni, 13. Tzanev, 18. Guinness-Walker, 30. Kalambayi, 33. Reilly
Subs Not Used:
7. Alexander, 12. Rudoni, 13. Tzanev, 18. Guinness-Walker, 30. Kalambayi, 33. Reilly
33. Iliev, 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 3. Golbourne, 13. Zamburek (63), 8. Norburn, 10. Vela, 19. Barnett (84), 11. Clarke, 35. Cummings (76)
Subs: 1. Burgoyne, 16. Walker (63), 20. Tracey, 22. Daniels, 23. Udoh (76), 25. High (84), 30. Caton
Subs Not Used: 1. Burgoyne, 20. Tracey, 22. Daniels, 30. Caton
Other League One Results:
Bristol Rovers 1 – 1 Burton
Charlton 1 – 0 Wigan
Crewe 1 – 1 Blackpool
Fleetwood 0 – 0 Lincoln
Ipswich 2 – 0 Accrington
MK Dons 2 – 0 Gillingham
Peterborough 2 – 0 Oxford
Plymouth 2 – 1 Northampton
Portsmouth 0 – 1 Doncaster
Rochdale 0 – 3 Hull
Swindon 0 – 2 Sunderland