The Dons finished the season in style with Luke Moore’s double ruining Shrewsbury’s promotion party.
Moore made it 10 goals for the season with a well-taken double and he deservedly bagged the man of the match award for his performance. Terry Brown made seven changes from the side that started at Barnet with the most notable being a Football League debut for 19-year-old midfielder Reece Jones. Huw Johnson, fresh from helping the Dons reserves to cup success on Thursday night, earned his reward with a place on the bench due to an injury to Jack Turner. An experimental Dons side, Fraser Franks was also handed a rare start at right-back, struggled to find any fluidity in the first-half against promoted Shrewsbury. Only a routine stop from Shrewsbury goalkeeper Chris Neal to deny Luke Moore threatened for Wimbledon and the hosts needed Seb Brown to be at his best at the other end. With the away fans at the Cherry Red Records Stadium celebrating their promotion success, they almost had a goal to savour when Terry Gornell broke clean through, but Brown got down well to save. The Dons goalkeeper then had to be alert to save with his legs after Mark Wright had got behind the Wimbledon defence.
There was a real setback for young Jones in the 28th minute when he trudged off injured and was replaced by Billy Knott. Wimbledon’s best spell of the match followed just after the half hour mark though, Rashid Yussuff sparking the improvement with a lovely ball to feed Jack Midson, but his shot was saved at the near post by Neal. There was almost a fairytale goal on his last Wimbledon appearance for skipper Jamie Stuart from the subsequent corner, but he headed just wide from Sammy Moore’s corner. Wimbledon produced another chance when fine approach play from Midson set-up Luke Moore and he produced a powerful volley that Neal did superbly to tip over the crossbar at full stretch. But the hosts came closest three minutes before the break when Midson’s initial effort was saved by Neal, but the striker then chipped over a cross that Luke Moore directed towards goal, but Shane Cansdell-Sherriff got back well to clear off the line.
The hosts were gifted the opener less than two minutes after the break when Shrewsbury goalkeeper Neal dropped a Billy Knott cross and Bryon Harrison was left with the simple task of tapping into an empty net for his second AFC Wimbledon goal. There was better to come from Wimbledon though and this time it was a goal of real quality as Midson’s approach play again caught the eye. Wimbledon’s top scorer may not have hit the target in 10 games, but he has continued to play a key role and he picked out Luke Moore, who delivered a half volleyed finish into the bottom corner that was every bit as impressive. The visitors produced a stirring response though and they were rewarded with a goal back in the 58th minute. It was a scrappy goal as Candsell-Sherriff eventually stabbed home after Seb Brown had saved from Ian Sharps, who had reached a Mark Wright free-kick first.
That setback failed to stop Wimbledon’s forward momentum though and Sammy Moore had a long-range effort saved by Neal. But the creativity of Knott, who received Wimbledon’s Young Player of the Year award before the match, unlocked the door again in the 67th minute. The on-loan Sunderland midfielder picked up the ball in the centre of the park and produced a defence-splitting pass that Luke Moore latched onto and finished emphatically. In an action-packed second-half, the goalmouth incidents continued to come and Seb Brown saved a James Collins header, before Yussuff fired just over from an acute angle. Huw Johnson came on for his league debut with 10 minutes to go in place of Yussuff as Terry Brown decided to give another of his youngsters a taste of first-team action. Wimbledon almost put the icing on the cake near the end when Midson was foiled again by Neal, but three was enough to celebrate a fine finish to the season for the Dons.