MK Dons avoided a second straight defeat after pulling back a two-goal deficit following the worst possible start to both halves. Shaun Whalley fired home a left-footed scorcher from outside the box inside the first minute of the match to boost Shrewsbury’s chances of only a second league victory this season. Ultimately, they will only take one point back to New Meadow as they threw away their second two-goal lead in three matches.
The Dons made, what can only be described as, a disgraceful start as they conceded after just 28 seconds against this struggling Shrewsbury side. Shaun Whalley was the beneficiary of more shocking defending as MK Dons somehow managed to outdo their previous early conceding record.
What followed was, categorically, the worst half of football under Russell Martin. This was exemplified by Sam Ricketts’ side having the ball in the net twice, only for the men defending the Cowshed to be saved by offside flags from Darren Drysdale’s assistant.
To really summarise the dreadfulness of MK Dons’ first-half showing, Lasse Sørensen, who might have been sent off for a blatant push on Dave Edwards just outside the penalty area with just Andrew Fisher behind the ball, was withdrawn in the 32nd minute for David Kasumu. Tactical substitutions are seldom made during the first half of football matches in general but such was the shamefulness of the performance, that Martin felt that a personnel change was required.
The only positive that the men in white could take heading back into the tunnel was that they were only 1-0 down.
Half-time: MK Dons 0-1 Shrewsbury Town
Whatever Russell Martin might have said at half-time would have gone straight out of the window in the 49th minute as neat play down the right from The Shrews saw Whalley pick out Marc Pugh to slide in Shrewsbury’s second, which was nothing less than the side from Shropshire deserved.
However, one thing that definitely happened during the interval was Martin swapping out Stephen Walker for Carlton Morris. It only took nine minutes for the MK Dons number nine to make his mark. Regan Poole drilled a half-volley into Deyan Iliev who spilt into the path of the grateful Morris to reduce the arrears.
Unbelievably, Martin’s men then found themselves level 16 minutes later with an extremely odd goal coming out of absolutely nothing. David Kasumu picked the ball up in the centre-circle and picked out an incredible through-ball for the veteran, Cameron Jerome. When it seemed as though the Shrewsbury defender was going to nick the ball away, Jerome almost nonchalantly poked the ball past Iliev to equalise.
Suddenly, it was the home team in the ascendency. Half-chances fell to Carlton Morris and Scott Fraser but the resurgent Dons could not press home their advantage. The comeback paves over the cracks of an abject first 50 minutes but no one would have expected MK Dons to come out with anything at all after that first half. With that, the men from MK1 remain 17th, just a point above the drop zone.
Full-time: MK Dons 2-2 Shrewsbury Town
Man of the Match: Shaun Whalley