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31 October 2017

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Town boss Nathan Jones was impressed by his side's second half performance in their 2-1 win at AFC Wimbledon as the Hatters progressed to the knock-out stages of the Checkatrade Trophy top of Southern Group F.

Andrew Shinnie opened his account for the Hatters and the scoring on the night as he smashed home from close range after Jack Senior and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu combined well on the left-hand side after 12 minutes.

The hosts immediately responded though as Lyle Taylor slotted home past ex-Dons stopper James Shea, but Shinnie restored the Town's lead as he curled home from just inside the Wimbledon box in expert style with 18 minutes of normal time remaining.

Jones said: "It took a bit of time to get to grips with them, they're very strong in terms of what they do – their top front man, they played up to him.

"So it was a good test for our two young centre halves, we had to change early on to give them a bit of a hand to get to grips with the game. Once we did that I thought it was a real good game.

"Credit to Wimbledon – they wanted to top the group, we wanted to top the group and I thought it was an excellent game.

"It was competitive and I am really, really pleased because I thought the first half was a really even contest, but second half I thought we were excellent, I really did. We had a couple of opportunities as well to score again."

Birmingham City loanee Shinnie made his first start for the Town since he picked up an ankle injury five weeks ago and he certainly left his mark on the game, being unlucky to not net a hat-trick having also hit the post. Jones was pleased to see the attacking midfielder back in action.

"I think he has taken both goals very well," the Welshman continued. "We had some lovely work in the build up to it, but then there's a bit of individual skill to get the goal.

"He has scored both goals left footed and I am pleased for him. Before he got injured he was providing some massive assists for us, but tonight he showed he can score goals as well, that's probably just what he has lacked."

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