BY SAM SMITH
A James Hanson goal was not enough for AFC Wimbledon as they lost 2-1 at home to Shrewsbury Town.
The Dons dominated the majority of the game and will be bemused as to how they failed to take anything from the game – with Luke Waterfall scoring twice from set-pieces.
Neal Ardley’s started the brighter and were close to taking the lead when Tom Soares surged forward on a counter-attack and found Mitch Pinnock whose driven shot whistled just over the crossbar.
Pinnock was involved in the hosts’ next excellent chance when his inviting free-kick required merely a glance from either James Hanson or Joe Pigott – but neither connected to turn home.
Wimbledon have been accused of lacking confidence in recent weeks but the first half produced no evidence of this. Soares and Terell Thomas each somehow failed to even hit the targeted with respective close-range chances.
But the Dons did eventually take the lead 10 minutes from half-time. Pinnock’s in-swinging was powered home by Hanson from inside the six-yard box.
Shrewsbury had not threatened Wimbledon goalkeeper Joe McDonnell at all in the first half and but managed to equalise on 57 minutes against the run of play. A corner was headed back across goal for Waterfall to rifle home from 12 yards. The Dons could feel slightly hard done by as Toby Sibbick appeared to have been fouled in the build-up to the awarding of the set-piece.
Wimbledon responded well to the setback and continued to be the better side. They almost retook the lead when Pinnock’s free-kick struck the post and substitute Jake Jervis was beaten to the rebound by some excellent defending.
Jervis and Pinnock then both fired wide as the Dons further increased their pressure as the game entered its final 15 minutes.
But, as has been the case for most of the season, Wimbledon were the architects of their own downfall. As the clock ticked past 90 minutes, Waterfall rose to meet a free-kick to head in via the post to condemn the hosts to their seventh-successive defeat.