REPORT: MK Dons 1-1 Shrewsbury Town: Whalley's late screamer snatches draw for Shrews
A Shaun Whalley wondergoal five minutes from time saw Shrewsbury snatch victory away from MK Dons on Saturday.
Peter Pawlett's 55th minute strike, converting from a long ball and great pull-back from Chuks Aneke, looked to be enough as Shrewsbury struggled to make inroads despite the lion-share of the ball, but Whalley's sensational strike late in the day saw the visitors snatch an unlikely point.
It means Dons remain 16th in the table, while victory could have seen them in the dizzying heights of the top 10.
Striker Osman Sow returned to the side for the first time since October 17 after suffering a foot injury in the 1-1 draw with Walsall. It meant, for only the second time this season, the Swede was playing in the side with Chuks Aneke - a partnership Robbie Neilson has been keen to get on the field all season.
The relationship didn't get off to the most exciting of starts. The opening half hour was a distinctly tame affair, with neither side really coming close to opening the scoring. Shrewsbury forward Stefan Payne was proving to be the key man for the visitors in his battle with Ethan Ebanks-Landell, but he wasted the best chance of the half when he blasted over from close range after Lee Nicholls parried Alex Rodman's effort into his path.
With Shrewsbury beginning to get a foothold in the game as the half wore on, Dons managed a brief soiree into the visitors' half, with Kieran Agard stinging the palms of Dean Henderson before a fantastic move saw Sow force a vital fingertip save from the keeper to deny him just before the break.
But 10 minutes after the restart they were in front, and it came courtesy of some route one football. A long ball aimed at Aneke was well brought down by the Dons man, and a quick look inside allowed him to pick out Peter Pawlett, who coolly slotted under Henderson's dive to give Dons the lead.
With the lead in their pockets, Dons looked intent to sit back and allow Shrewsbury onto them, while looking to pounce on the counter. Sow's afternoon ended with the introduction of Sam Nombe and he was a livewire for the home side, twice coming close to doubling the lead as Dons looked to comsolidate and put a bow on the result.
But with the win looking in the bag, a moment of brilliance from Shaun Whalley four minutes from the end ensured a share of the spoils for Shrewsbury. Chesting the ball down 30 yards out, he took a touch before lashing it into the top corner.
Referee: Ross Joyce
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Walsh, Ebanks-Landell, Golbourne, Upson, McGrandles, Pawlett, Agard (Ariyibi 87), Aneke, Sow (Nombe 56)
Subs not used: Sietsma, Wootton, Seager, Nesbitt, Thomas-Asante
Shrewsbury: Henderson, Godfrey(Dodds 72), Sadler (John-Lewis 80) Beckles, Whalley, Ogogo, Boltob, Nolan, Nsiala, Rodman, Payne (Morris 90)
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Riley, Morris, Gnahoua