REPORT: MK Dons 2-1 Shrewsbury: Dons do their business early to secure Shrews win

Kieran Agard celebrates his goal against Shrewsbury,
Kieran Agard celebrates his goal against Shrewsbury,
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Two goals in the opening 10 minutes ensured MK Dons took victory over an in-form Shrewsbury on Saturday, winning 2-1 at Stadium MK.

Kieran Agard kicked things off inside the opening five minutes when he touched home George Baldock's cross. He could have had a second five minutes later when he hit the post, but the resultant corner saw Harvey Barnes fire one across for Paul Downing to poke home Dons' second.

Stephen Humphrys poked home a late one for the visitors, but it made little odds as Dons climbed to 15th in the table.

With Dons coming into the game three without a win, Robbie Neilson made three changes to the side which lost to Fleetwood last time out. Joe Walsh returned to the starting line-up after serving his suspension, fit-again Ben Reeves returned to the side and top-scorer Kieran Agard too was handed a start.

And that change would pay off almost immediately as Dons raced into an early lead. A brilliant ball from Darren Potter allowed George Baldock to break to the byline, and he played a simple ball back across the face for Agard to tap past Jayson Leutwiler after just five minutes.

He thought he'd got his, and Dons' second five minutes later when his pace saw him shrug off Aristote Nsiala and get a shot away, but it hit the base of the post and rolled across the line, but never over it. From the resulting corner though, Dons would get their second as the ball found it's way to Harvey Barnes at the far post to return it into the mixer, and Paul Downing diverted it goal-wards to double the lead.

The home side never looked in trouble in the opening half, allowing Shrewsbury fleeting glimpses of David Martin's goal, only to launch counter attacks with Agard at the heart of the action, but neither side would really trouble either keeper before the break.

The second half continued in a similar manner. Dons were in control throughout, and despite barely testing Leutwiler were excellent value for their lead. In fact, such was the level of confidence, Robbie Neilson made a triple substitution with 22 minutes to go, bringing on Robbie Muirhead, Maecky Ngombo and Nicky Maynard to give the Shrewsbury defence something new to worry about.

And Maynard almost made an immediate impact when he beat the offside trap to latch onto Martin's booming ball forwards. Drawing out Leutwiler though, Maynard headed the dropping ball off target.

Shrewsbury threatened at coming back into the game with 25 minutes to go, but missed a glorious chance to pull one back when substitute Stephen Humphrys blasted wide from close range, while Jack Grimmer brought good save from Martin.

It wouldn't be a comfortable finale for Dons though as Shrewsbury pulled one back as the clock ticked over to 90. No-one picked up on Humphrys' late run into the box, and when the ball came to him, he rattled it past Martin.

But Dons would have the better chances in stoppage time as Maynard twice tested Leutwiler, while Barnes and Ngombo would have efforts blocked in quick succession as Dons saw out the clock.

The result sees them climb to 15th in the table, moving eight points away from the drop zone and moving to within 11 of the play-offs.

Referee: Mark Brown

Attendance: 8,322

MK Dons: Martin, Baldock, Downing, Walsh, Williams, Potter, O'Keefe, Reeves (Muirhead 68), Barnes, Agard (Maynard 68), Aneke (Ngombo 68)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Lewington, Bowditch, Tilney

Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Sadler, Whalley, Brown, Grimmer, Yates, Deegan, Ladapo (Dodds 74), Nsiala, Rodman (Leitch-Smith 74), Payne (Humphrys 63)

Subs not used: Halstead, Smith, Morris, El-abd