TIRED DONS SET FOR A STRUGGLE
NEAL Ardley is concerned AFC Wimbledon will struggle this season after they were beaten at home for the second time in a week.
Alex Rodman scored the only goal of the game as Shrewsbury left London with all three points and left Ardley questioning his side just a week into the new season.
The Dons played 120 minutes in their midweek Carabao Cup defeat by Brentford and while Ardley was not prepared to blame that, he admits his players complained of fatigue.
Ardley said: “I don’t want to use Tuesday as an excuse, but the players said they felt tired. It’s just one game but if I was a fan I’d go away thinking we are going to struggle this year.”
The Shrews went ahead after just five minutes when Alex Rodman headed the ball into the bottom-right corner past keeper George Long.
The visitors kept up a punishing attack, with Whalley playing a central role in driving the ball through the midfield and keeping the AFC Wimbledon defence on the back foot.
Paul Hurst’s team dominated possession early on, with Rodman and Shaun Whalley firing a barrage of shots at Long, but the Sheffield United loanee coped with the challenge. “I’m delighted with three points away from home and they’re well deserved,” said Hurst.
“The goal was a moment of quality from Shaun with the cross and it got us off to a good start.
“I don’t know if I’m getting a bit protective, but we’re two games into the league season and people seem to be questioning whether we’re going to score goals and I don’t really understand that.
“There are 44 games to go, it’s a long season and it’s early days, but we’ve got our feet on the ground.
“We played good football and got forward, the second half was a bit disappointing but I have to give Wimbledon credit for changing tack and making it a bit more difficult.”
The Dons certainly put up a stronger fight in the second half, and looked to be in with a chance of equalising from a Dean Parrett free-kick, but the cross was too high for the Wimbledon forward line.
In the end, Ardley’s team struggled to keep up with the pace after their midweek cup defeat.
“We were nowhere near anything today, the boys looked flat, tired and apprehensive and we became very disjointed very quickly,” said Ardley.
“The best team won on the day and we were poor at everything, we didn’t have any zip, I thought we were second best for most of it.
“The bottom line is that if we are second to balls and our movement isn’t good, it doesn’t matter what system we are trying to play, we’re going to lose games of football. “But it is very rare to have most of your team turn up and play poorly and
that happened today.”
AFC WIMBLEDON: (4-4-2): Long 9, Fuller 6, Kennedy 6, Robinson 7, Oshilaja 5, Parrett 6, Francomb 6, Abdou 5 (Egan 72 6), Appiah 4 (Taylor 46 6), McDonald 6, Barcham 5 (Kaja 77 6) Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Sibbick, Hartigan SHREWSBURY: (4-3-3): Henderson 7, Sadler 6, Whalley 9, Ogogo 8, Morris 7 (John-Lewis 70 6), Dodds 8 (Adams 81 6), Brown 4, Bolton 7, Nolan 4, Nsiala 6, Rodman 8 (Ennis 90 N/A) Subs not used: MacGillivray, Gnahoua, Jules, Shielis
BEATEN: Don’s Dean Parrett WHY SO GLUM? Shrewsbury’s Alex Rodman has just scored the winning goal believe it or not!