Dons blog: Time to draw breath
And lo, the League season came to pass and the Dons are in League Two once more.
We already knew this, but what’s not known is who will be the Dons on the pitch and how our present home will look with seats on two sides.
Shrewsbury arrived already promoted, bringing some beach balls but not the 171 smurfs amassed by Hartlepool on their way to Charlton. Over 500 away fans squeezed under the East Terrace roof as a relatively nerve-free match played out.
Shrewsbury worked good chances to get one on one with Seb Brown, but he stood firm and made good stops. Jack Midson and Luke Moore caused some moments at the other end, Jamie Stuart tried with a diving header but they couldn’t force the breakthrough.
Reece Jones finally got a start, which then ended early with an injury around the half-hour and half time arrived still deadlocked at 0-0.
When the cheerleaders had finished their half time routine, it didn’t take long before the goals arrived.
Billy Knott, just awarded Young Player of the Year, retrieved a deep cross and sent it low into the six yard box. Answers on a postcard (oh, retro) as to what Shrews’ keeper Chris Neal was doing palming it through his legs for Byron Harrison to prod it in from a foot out but they all count.
Up went relieved celebrations from the diminished complement of Dons fans, due to the diminished Kingston Road end, today occupied only by fencing, rubble and heavy plant of the digging variety.
Not long passed before Jack Midson dinked a cross in from the right, giving Luke Moore a chance to bring it down and steer it inside the left post for the second. 2-0 up against a leading side, shame there weren’t more days like this.
The happy voices of the Dons’ fans were stifled somewhat after a free-kick on the right pinged around the six-yard box, Seb Brown flung himself to keep it out, it was stabbed back goalwards and Brett Johnson blocked it, back goalwards again, Seb went after it again but couldn’t keep it out this time.
The Shrewsbury goal wasn’t celebrated that greatly by their travelling contingent but it took the shine off the afternoon.
The shine was restored in the next few minutes as Billy Knott moved into Shrewsbury territory and slid a slide-rule pass for Luke Moore to steer past Neal, rebuilding the two goal cushion, cementing the result and polishing some shine back on proceedings.
Another Johnson then came on, this being Huw for his league debut. He joined in as the Dons stretched Shrewsbury more toward the finish, as they marked time to end their season and the Dons profited from their relaxed pace.
Another three points, making it 54 in total and seeing a final place in the League Two at number 16.
Sammy Moore took a clutch of player of the year awards and Jack Midson snagged Players’ player.
So came Black Tuesday, and the news that a large number of players were moving on. We wish them all success in their future endeavours and thank them for their parts in a remarkable tale of ordinary folk and an extraordinary football club. Sammy Moore then signed on for another stint, maybe he likes the place?