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Town 0 MK Dons 1

6 August 2016

Town unlucky as Powell gives MK Dons a narrow victory

Town: (4-2-3-1) Jayson Leutwiler, Joe Riley, Ryan McGivern, Shaun Whalley (Andy Mangan 76), Louis Dodds, Jim O’Brien, Junior Brown, Antoni Sarcevic (Abu Ogogo 67), Gary Deegan, AJ Leitch-Smith (Ethan Jones 82), Adam El-Abd

Subs not used: Mark Halstead, Mat Sadler, Olly Lancashire, Dom Smith, 

MK Dons: (4-2-3-1) Dave Martin, George Baldock, Dean Lewington, Joe Walsh, Ed Upson, Samir Carruthers (Georgio Rasulo 52), Darren Potter, George C Williams (Brandon Thomas Asante 76), Daniel Powell, Paul Downing, Nicky Maynard (George B Williams 94)

Subs not used: Scott Wooton, Lee Nicholls, Ben Tilney, Abongo Thimanga,

Ref: Brendan Malone
Assistants: Ronald Ganfield and Danny Gratton
Fourth Official: James Wilson

Attendance: 5452 (601 from MK Dons)

Micky Mellon starts with eight of his summer recruits as Town look to get off to a winning start in the first game of the season against MK Dons. Ian Black was suspended meaning there was a place on the Town bench for young forward Ethan Jones.

It was the away side who looked the more dangerous in the early stages as their pacey frontline caused problems for the Town back four. Jayson Leutwiler had one hairy moment when he was caught in possession by Daniel Powell, but MK Dons couldn't make the most of it as Dean Lewington's shot went over the open goal.

After a frantic opening 10 minutes, Town could then have easily have taken the lead just a minute later when AJ Leitch-Smith ran onto a Louis Dodds ball over the top, but he took one touch too many when one on one with Dave Martin and Joe Walsh got back to make a last ditch tackle.

Town continued to pass the ball around well, with Leitch-Smith and Dodds combining effectively upfront. The latter was unlucky when his half volley was well saved by Martin in the Dons goal.

Town could have had a penalty on the half hour mark as good link up play between Whalley, Deegan and Sarcevic on the Town right saw Whalley go through on goal, he was brought down in the box, but Referee Malone waved away the appeals. 

Shrewsbury continued to have the best of the chances and went close again just before half time when some neat work by Antoni Sarcevic allowed Jim O'Brien space on the edge of the MK Dons box, but his shot from 25 yards went inches wide, with Martin struggling to get across.

Half Time: 0-0

MK Dons started the second half quickly and nearly took the lead just two minutes after the break. Junior Brown brought down George Baldock just outside the area and Ed Upson's free kick was headed against the bar by Darren Potter from just eight yards out.

Town then had a free kick of their own a minute later, when Upson brought down the rampaging Leitch-Smith, but O'Brien could only find the grateful arms of Martin from 25 yards.

A defensive mix up nearly cost Shrewsbury dear a few minutes later, as Adam El-Abd's back pass put Jayson Leutwiler under pressure. The Swiss 'keeper's clearance was charged down by Nicky Maynard, but thankfully the rebound fell straight into the arms of the Town number 1.

Town made their first change with on 67 minutes as Abu Ogogo replaced the tiring Antoni Sarcevic in the Shrewsbury engine room.

But, just 5 minutes later MK Dons took the lead when Ogogo lost the ball in his own box and Daniel Powell fired home past the diving Leutwiler. It was cruel on Shrewsbury, who had looked the more dangerous for long periods.

The goal inspired Town to make their second change of the afternoon with Andy Mangan replacing Shaun Whalley as they went with two upfront for the final quarter of an hour. Ethan Jones then replaced AJ Leitch-Smith as Town looked to secure an equaliser.

Town pushed for an equaliser late on with Ethan Jones forcing a corner after some good work down the left flank. But, the resulting corner was straight into the hands of Martin and that was as close Town came in final 10 minutes.

Full Time: 0-1

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