sport

Mellon delighted by Collins

Micky Mellon insists James Collins' poacher's instinct in Shrewsbury's 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon was exactly what he was looking for.

Collins tapped in his second goal late on as the Shrews fought back to secure a point after debutants Matt Tubbs and Sean Rigg had struck for the hosts.

It was Mellon's first game in charge and he believes Collins, who returned to the club this summer after leaving in 2012, can continue to give his side a cutting edge.

"He's a superb striker and we're delighted to have him. Every time you put the ball into the box his hunger to try and score you a goal is fantastic," said Mellon. "I'm really pleased for James and he's off and running.

"I've got mixed emotions really. I'm delighted that the lads have come back with 10 minutes to go to get a point.

"When you score two goals away from home you usually expect to take a little bit more than that, but this is a real tough place to come. They make no apologies about how direct they were and they use their strengths which is (Adebayo) Akinfenwa and (Matt) Tubbs in behind they will cause teams an awful lot of problems.

"I have to say my two centre halves dealt with them very well."

Shrewsbury broke the deadlock in the ninth minute when a free-kick from captain Liam Lawrence picked out Collins, who headed past James Shea.

But Wimbledon gradually settled and, after Rigg was denied by a goalline clearance, equalised in the 26th minute when Tubbs expertly headed in a cross from Jack Smith.

Neal Ardley's men went on to take the second half as Rigg stabbed home in the 73rd minute after keeper Jayson Leutwiler failed to gather in George Francomb's right-wing cross.

But Shrewsbury kept going and Collins finished from a Nathaniel Knight-Percival cross.

Ardley said: "It's disappointing leading with 10 minutes to go and not win the game but I thought it was a typical first game of the season.

"Teams are working hard and trying to find their feet, trying to get fitter and sharper, and although they were the better team for the first 25 minutes and maybe the last ten they got back on top of the game, I thought for the middle bit we were the better team.

"(Rigg and Tubbs) have been a threat. It was three goals apiece for those two in pre-season so they know where the net is.

"It's something we knew we needed to do better so fingers crossed long may it continue.

"There's things we need to work on, we know that, but I thought it was a full blooded performance against a good team."