Managers agree: The ref stole the show
SHREWSBURY boss Micky Mellon felt let down by the standard of refereeing, despite seeing his side battle back to a hard-fought-draw at Kingsmeadow.
The Dons led after six minutes when the impressive Lyle Taylor won a corner, before losing his marker to meet a low delivery with a fierce shot past Jayson Leutwiler.
Shrewsbury equalised within 90 seconds of the restart, when Ian Black was given too much space to fire beyond James Shea from 25 yards.
The visitors were reduced to ten men late on when Ivan Toney was shown a second yellow, but they clung on for a well-deserved point.
“In the first half we were poor,” Mellon said. “We weren’t anywhere near what we want to do here.
“In the second half we made a couple of changes and they sparked us. Probably, before we went down to ten men, we find ourselves a wee bit unfortunate not to go and nick that winner.
“But it’s a hard-earned point, it’s always a tough place to come and we will accept a point.
“I don’t want to get in trouble, because I don’t deserve to get in trouble for somebody else’s performance. Some of the decisions – I had even the Wimbledon fans behind me laughing!
“I’m not here as a complaining manager that we’re not happy with the result, I’m just saying let’s get better.
“We don’t need the most influential person on the pitch not to be one of the players.”
Dons boss Neal Ardley commended his side’s work rate, but was ultimately frustrated that they were unable to convert long periods of dominance into victory.
“I was pleased with the effort and the tactical part of our game, as we worked hard on it, but I’m disappointed that we haven’t quite managed to win the game,” Ardley said.
“We’ve got to improve and I keep telling the players that.
“This season I feel we have to do a lot more work on the training field. Teams are better and they’ve got better players and if you don’t get it right tactically they find spaces and they punish you.
“We did go brave, we went with three forwards against the back three, and I thought tactically we got it right.
“I thought the referee struggled.
“You’ve got to be careful what you say, he struggled for both teams.
“I think there were a lot of inconsistencies – unfortunately at this level you get these inconsistencies a lot of the time.”
STAR MAN TOM ELLIOTT Wimbledon