Payne goal gives Town the win
Town: Craig MacGillivray, Mat Sadler (C), Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley (Nathan Thomas 78), Carlton Morris, Bryn Morris, Luke Hendrie, Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman, Stefan Payne (Max Lowe 89)
Subs: Shaun Rowley, Max Lowe, Nathan Thomas, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis, Sam Jones, Abo Eisa
Subs: Joe McDonnell, Paul Robinson, Dean Parrett, Tom Soares, Egli Kaja, Callum Kennedy, Joe Pigott
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Assistants: Ravel Cheosiaua and Alan Clayton
Fourth Official: Lisa Rashid
Attendance: 6456 (356)
Shrewsbury Town made it seven games unbeaten as they beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0. The first-half was a non-event, but Town took the lead just nine minutes after the break as Stefan Payne turned the ball home from eight yards after a good cross from Luke Hendrie. Town looked comfortable holding onto their lead until the final five minutes when Bryn Morris was sent-off for a second-yellow card, but they still managed to see the game out and pick up an important three points.
There's a very different feel to the Shrewsbury Town line-up this afternoon with a few regular players missing for a variety of reasons. Dean Henderson is on international duty so Craig MacGillivray is in goal. In midfield, Ben Godfrey is still missing through injury whilst Abu Ogogo starts his four game suspension, so Bryn Morris and Jon Nolan line-up together in central midfield. It means that there’s a change of formation to a 4-4-2 with Stefan Payne coming into the side alongside Carlton Morris upfront.
It was the away side who seemed to settle quicker and they were able to get their passing game going in the opening minutes. A neat move on the left hand side between the likes of Jon Meades, Harry Forrester and Andy Barcham saw the latter win a corner, but thankfully for Town the delivery was easily dealt with.
Town’s first real opportunity of the afternoon came just before the 15 minute mark. Some good hold-up work from Carlton Morris saw him release Alex Rodman on the left. Rodman tried to cross but it was blocked by the hand of Barry Fuller meaning that Town had a free-kick in a decent position on the left. Shaun Whalley whipped in a low delivery, which was met by Omar Beckles but he couldn’t direct the volley on target.
On the whole the game was being played at quite a sedate pace with neither side creating anything clear cut. In Jon Meades, Wimbledon had a man who was capable of taking a long throw and he almost used this to good effect midway through the first-half when his throw was only headed away as far as Andy Barcham on the edge of the box, but Barcham’s first time shot didn’t have any power and was easily collected by Craig MacGillivray.
A few minutes later we saw the best move of the game so far when Wimbledon built-up nicely down the left. Liam Trotter was at the heart of it as he played a neat one-two with Lyle Taylor before unleashing a half-volley that was well saved by the feet of Craig MacGillivray.
Town’s best chance of the first-half came when Alex Rodman unleashed a powerful strike from 25 yards, which was palmed away by George Long, but it fell to Stefan Payne on the follow up and Town’s top scorer shot wide of an open goal as he appeared to be pushed off the ball.
Just a couple of minutes before half-time there was real concern for Jon Nolan as he went down under pressure from Lyle Taylor. Nolan was down for at least a minute but thankfully he got back to his feet was able to carry on.
The first-half had been a drab affair but their appeared to be a hint more urgency at the start of the second. Carlton Morris was almost presented with a chance when Stefan Payne flicked on Luke Hendrie’s cross, but although Morris beat Dons ‘keeper George Long to the ball, the away side had plenty of men back and were able to get a block in.
Within the opening six minutes of the second-period Town had created as many decent opportunities as they had in the first. Once again it fell to Carlton Morris as Alex Rodman put in a decent cross, which was met by an unmarked Morris but his header from eight yards went well wide.
Stefan Payne then had a free header of his own after a good ball in from Luke Hendrie on the right, but although Payne could hit the target, his effort lacked power and was easily held by Long.
Town looked a completely different side at the start of the second-half and nine minutes in they took the lead. Luke Hendrie once again put in a decent ball into the box, which was nodded down by Carlton Morris and Stefan Payne was on-hand to turn the ball home with his left-foot from eight yards for his 13th of the season.
In the minutes that followed the opening goal Town were shown two yellow cards, both for breaking up potential Wimbledon counter attacks. The first was shown to Bryn Morris with the second received by Omar Beckles.
Both sides struggled to create many chances in the 15 minutes that followed the goal but Town then had a five minute spell where they caused all sorts of problems down the left hand side. Wimbledon’s Captain and Right-Back, Barry Fuller, was clearly struggling injury and Alex Rodman got through on three separate occasions, but they couldn’t make the most of it with the final ball.
Town then had a couple of good opportunities. The first fell to Bryn Morris who did well to dispossess George Francomb on the left, but this shot from a tight angle was pushed away by Long. Stefan Payne then had a chance to double his tally for the day after being slipped in by Omar Beckles, but Deji Oshilaja did well to get across and make an important block.
With just under 15 minutes to go Paul Hurst turned to his bench for the first-time of the afternoon. Nathan Thomas was the man to come on as he replaced Shaun Whalley on the right-hand-side.
Town looked relatively comfortable for their one goal lead, but Craig MacGillivray had to remain alert and he did just that when Lyle Taylor tried to turn Egli Kaja’s cross towards goal, but MacGillivray did well to hold it low to his left.
Town’s life was made harder five minutes from Town as they were reduced to 10-men. It appeared to be an innocuous challenge from Bryn Morris as he looked to break up a Wimbledon counter attack, but he had already received an earlier yellow for a similar incident and this time Darren Drysdale produced a second booking and a red card.
With Town now down to 10-men, Stefan Payne was sacrificed for Max Lowe as Paul Hurst looked to sure things up at the back.
As the game ticked into stoppage time the visitors were provided with a great opportunity to level when Toto Nsiala committed a foul right on the edge of the box. Lyle Taylor stood up to take the free-kick but he fired well over the bar.
Lenell John-Lewis was then brought on with the aim of running the clock down and Town managed to do just that to take home all three points.
Full Time: 1-0