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MK Dons 0 Shrewsbury 1 - Report

Second-half substitute Tom Bayliss' late winner inspired Shrewsbury to a battling victory away at MK Dons.

Tom Bayliss of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1.
Tom Bayliss of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1.

In a game of very few chances, Bayliss' finish in 89th minute was the moment of real quality which was the difference between the two sides as Shrewsbury won their third game in a row.

The hosts, buoyed by their 2-1 win at Forest Green Rovers at the weekend, started the brighter, with Mo Eisa, who scored a brace at the New Lawn, heading wide from Jonathan Leko's cross.

Salop were happy to let MK Dons have the ball, and there were very few efforts on goal in the opening 45 minutes, with the home side having a few strikes from distance but nothing to worry Marko Marosi.

Town got into some good positions at times but were unable to create anything clear-cut in the final third.

Tom Bayliss came on at half-time in place of Rob Street, but it was the hosts who came closest to taking the lead, Tom Flanagan making an important challenge to deny Leko, with the former also going close with a free-kick.

Steve Cotterill introduced Ryan Bowman and Elliott Bennett in the latter stages of the game, as Town looked for a winner.

And right at the death, Bayliss raced onto a ball from Taylor Moore to fire past Jamie Cumming and celebrate with more than 200 travelling fans.

Analysis

Shrewsbury arrived at Stadium MK on the back of two hugely impressive wins where they scored nine goals while sweeping League One strugglers Cambridge United and Burton Albion aside.

Salop won 2-1 in the reverse fixture earlier in the year thanks to strikes from Jordan Shipley and Tom Bayliss.

But the last time Salop won at Stadium MK was back in 2013 when they were 3-2 victors over the Dons.

Christian Saydee and Luke Leahy were looking to continue their brilliant goal-scoring form - Saydee had netted on five occasions in his last six League One games.

And Leahy too had scored four in his last seven league outings, three of those coming from the penalty spot.

Steve Cotterill named an unchanged team and an unchanged squad for the third game running - unsurprisingly given their recent sensational form.

The hosts started the brighter of the two sides, they saw 72 per cent possession in the opening 20 minutes but they lacked the quality to punish Town.

They did have the game's first chance after Jonathon Leko did well on the right side, he crossed for Mo Eisa, but he could not get his header on target, not forcing Marko Marosi into a save.

The Dons continued to push with Eisa going close after picking up a loose ball and shooting from distance, but Marosi got down well to beat his effort away. Shortly after, former West Brom man Leko shot from distance, but his effort went harmlessly over the bar.

Town grew into the game as the half wore on, but they struggled when they got the ball into the final third, despite getting into promising positions on occasion.

The home side were content to play out from the back, and Shrews were looking to hit them on the counter-attack, but it just did not quite happen for them when they won it back.

On the stroke of half-time Shrewsbury could have led, when Chey Dunkley challenged for a ball with the Dons keeper Jamie Cumming, he dropped the ball, but there was nobody there for Town to capitalise with the keeper out of position.

Cotterill went to his bench at the interval with Bayliss coming on in place of Rob Street, with the boss hoping fresh legs would help to give Salop some impetus from the bench.

Early in the period, Town had Tom Flanagan to thank for making a goal-saving challenge in the six-yard box, after Dawson Devoy's deflected cross caused mayhem in the Town box with Leko seeking to get on the end of it.

Leko also saw a dangerous free-kick deflected over for the home side.

Good chances continued to be few and far between, and the Town boss went to his bench again introducing Elliott Bennett in place of Killian Phillips.

Bowman came on in place of Saydee, with the forward unable to add to his recent fantastic record in front of goal, and he got on the end of a Leahy free-kick, but his header was easily claimed by Cumming.

And in the closing stages, second-half substitute Bayliss gave Salop all three points when he raced onto Taylor Moore's ball with the hosts out of position.

Bayliss finished calmly past Cumming to give them a battling win on the road.

Teams

Shrews: Marosi, Dunkley, Pennington, Flanagan, Shipley, Moore, Winchester, Leahy, Phillips (Bennett 72), Saydee (Bowman 79), Street (Bayliss 45).

Subs: Burgoyne, Pyke, Barlow, Bloxham, Bennett, Bayliss, Bowman.

MK Dons: Cumming, Watson, Tucker, McEachran (Maghoma 67), Grigg (Dennis 60), Eisa, Leko (Burns 85), Johnson, Harvie, Devoy (Smith), Jules.

Subs: Ravizzoli, Smith, Grant, Burns, Lawrence, Dennis, Maghoma.

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