MELLON HAS EYES ON THE PRIZE
SHREWSBURY boss Micky Mellon says his table toppers won’t take their eye off the ball despite opening up a six-point gap above the play-off chasers in the race for automatic promotion.
Goals either side of the interval from Liam Lawrence and Scott Vernon secured a comfortable victory for the Shrews as the Shropshire side completed their 20th cleansheet of the season.
But while Mellon said his players will enjoy the result he has no plans to start looking over his shoulder at the side’s below as he goes all out to be first past the post.
“It was as great result for us – fantastic,” Mellon said. “It's always great to win at home and we also kept another cleansheet which is very pleasing too.
“The players put in a lot of hard work but having six points more than the teams in fourth spot doesn’t make any difference because there are plenty of twists and turns left.
“Wimbledon tried to frustrate us and they made it difficult for us, but we got the two goals and controlled things from there.
“When your holding the prize then teams will throw everything at you but we defended well and we’ll enjoy the victory.”
Tyrone Barnett whipped a third-minute volley over the crossbar as Shrewsbury mounted their first attack.
Shots from Shrews midfielders Vernon and Jordan Clark faired likewise while another Barnett effort went wide of the post as the hosts failed to find their shooting boots.
Dons keeper James Shea departed the field on a stretcher following a lengthy delay after he landed awkwardly inside his goalmouth on 15 minutes.
David Connolly then blazed over from Wimbledon’s first corner on the half hour.
But Lawrence rifled the ball in at the other end to put Shrewsbury ahead during eight minutes of first-half injury-time. Vernon then doubled the advantage four minutes after the break when he rose at the near post to head home Lawrence’s corner.
And a stunning James Collins strike rattled the Wimbledon crossbar from just outside the box three minutes later as Shrewsbury sought a third goal.
Adebayo Azeez forced a smart stop from Shrews stopper Jason Leutwiler when he tried to cut the deficit from close range.
Dons manager Neal Ardley said: “We didn't pass the ball well enough early on but we grew into the game.
“Our final pass wasn’t good enough though really and our decision making could also have been better.
“Shrewsbury scored just before the break and we wanted to have a real go at them in the second-half but then we conceded again from a set-piece within a few minutes which was hard to take.
“We played some good stuff at times but Shrewsbury are on top of the league because they take their chances.
“We had a good go but unfortunately the key moments went against us.”
LEAP: Scott Vernon jumps to score the second goal for Shrewsbury STAR MAN LIAM