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Season Countdown: Taming of the Shrews!

Recalling an exciting match at the start of 2014/15

9 September 2020

With just three days until the new League One season kicks off, we continue our countdown by turning back the clock to the start of 2014/15.

20. Shrewsbury Town

Since the mid-1980s, the Dons can boast just one win over Shrewsbury Town, so here we look back on an opening day draw in 2014 when fans were able to celebrate Neal Ardley’s dogged pursuit of a star striker.

Saturday 9th August 2014: League 2

AFC Wimbledon (1) 2 Tubbs 26, Rigg 74

Shrewsbury Town (1) 2 Collins 9, 84

If a football manager is defined by his signings, Neal Ardley can look back on the summer of 2014 with a measure of pride. After our first three Football League campaigns had all ended in bottom half finishes, Dons fans were hoping for a shot at the play-off places after July saw the arrival of nine new faces, including the capture of Matt Tubbs. The prolific striker hit the target on his debut, as the Dons secured an opening day draw with a Shrewsbury side amongst the play-off favourites after relegation.

Tubbs had scored 15 league and cup goals to take the Dons into the top half of League Two by the time we faced Liverpool in the FA Cup third round in early January. Despite the club offering him better terms for the second half of the campaign, the game against the Merseyside giants proved to be Tubbs’ last in blue and yellow. The AFC Bournemouth loanee departed for Portsmouth and without his goals the Dons were destined to end the season in a disappointing 15th place.    

The pressure football management puts on family life were revealed when Neal Ardley spoke about recruiting the striker recently. “I was on holiday with my family in Greece that summer and I was on the phone constantly,” he recalled. “Matt Tubbs’ agent was driving a really hard bargain and the player was thinking: “Do I really want to go to little old Wimbledon?” I was arguing and talking for days and eventually my seven year old daughter came in and said: “Well daddy, have we got Tubbsy or not?” All the work was worth it when he started scoring goals.”

AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Bennett (Phillips 89), Barrett, Smith, Francomb (Sainte-Luce 90), Bulman, Moore, Rigg, Tubbs, Akinfenwa.

Dons v Shrews (1984 to 2019)

Season

Comp

H

A

1984-85

Div 2

4-1

2-1

1985-86

Div 2

2-1

1-1

1990-91

FAC 4

 

0-1

2011-12

Lge 2

3-1

0-0

2014-15

Lge 2

2-2

0-2

2016-17

Lge 1

1-1

1-2

2017-18

Lge 1

0-1

0-1

2018-19

Lge 1

1-2

0-0

2019-20

Lge1

1-1

 

Total W4 D6 L6

This series is written by Stephen Crabtree, the editor of the Historical Don. To sample a copy contact him at stephecrab@aol.com .

 


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