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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

2-1
20 January 2018 Venue Sixfields Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Northampton Town

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League One clash...

20 January 2018

mkdons.com previews today's Sky Bet League One fixture against Northampton Town at Sixfields.

It was a frustrating afternoon last weekend as Robbie Neilson's side could only take a point from their clash with AFC Wimbledon.

Having overcome Sky Bet Championship opposition the week prior in the Emirates FA Cup, Neilson will be hoping to return to winning ways away at Northampton Town this afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Northampton Town started the season with Justin Edinburgh at the helm, however, after four consecutive defeats at the start of the season he was relieved of his duties and replaced with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Fortunes changed for the Cobblers almost immediately as the former Chelsea striker won his first two games in charge.

Now occupying 21st position in the Sky Bet League One table, Hasselbaink will be looking to change the fortunes of his side come the end of the season as he looks to steer Northampton clear of relegation.

Hasselbaink has moved quickly in January with the likes of Shay Facey, Hilderberto Pereira, Joe Bunney and Jordan Turnbull. The new faces join an experienced squad containing the likes of David Buchanan, Matt Grimes and Ash Taylor. Elsewhere, Northampton also have a few players that'll be familiar to  MK Dons fans including Daniel Powell, Dean Bowditch and Chris Long.

MK Dons played out a goalless draw with AFC Wimbledon at Stadium MK last weekend. Both teams had chances to claim all three points but neither were able to break the deadlock - Conor McGrandles and Robbie Muirhead had the Dons’ best chances while AFC Wimbledon went close through Andy Barcham late on.

A goal in each half for Northampton from John-Joe O'Toole and Chris Long set the Cobblers on the way to victory away at Bradford City. There were some nerves as the game approached its conclusion after Paul Taylor found the back of the net during injury time, however, Hasselbaink's side held on for all three points. 

 

Robbie Neilson: "There’s pressure on everybody because we’ve got to win football matches. Of course, I’m the focal point. We’re going up against a team [on Saturday] who are with us in the league so it’s a hugely important game."

The Dons can now welcome back Osman Sow from suspension and will also be looking to reintroduce Aidan Nesbitt to the squad - the winger has missed a number of games due to an ankle injury.

Ike Ugbo is also available after missing last weekend's draw with AFC Wimbledon while Marcus Tavernier could make his debut.

Brett Huxtable will be the man in the middle this afternoon – the second time he's overseen the Dons this season. 

The Devon-born official last took charge of the men from MK1 during their 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town earlier in the season - that day he issued four yellow cards.

In total this season, Mr Huxtable has issued 89yellow cards and six reds - five of which have come in his last five games.

His assistant referees are Kevin Morris and Paul Yates while the fourth official is Christopher Pollard.

Dons wins: 7
Dons wins at Sixfields: 2
Last Dons win: 5-3, 21 Jan 2017 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 19 Jan, 2016 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Last draw: 0-0, 26 Sep 2017 (Stadium MK) 

Northampton wins: 2
Northampton wins at Sixfields: 2
Last Northampton win: 3-2, 4 Sep 2016 (Sixfields)
Biggest Northampton win: 3-2, 4 Sep 2016 (Sixfields)  

Result
Northampton – 6/4
Draw – 9/4
MK Dons – 9/5

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke – 11/2
Kieran Agard – 11/2
Osman Sow – 6/1
No goalscorer – 17/2
Chris Long – 5/1
John O'Toole – 7/1
Matt Grimes – 10/1

Scorecast
Keiran Agard to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 35/1

Sky Bet tip
MK Dons to win and Both teams to Score – 9/2

*all odds correct at the time of writing

Create a Sky Bet account today and enjoy some fantastic offers – click HERE to register!

Supporters living outside the UK can watch the match LIVE with an iFollow MK Dons Season/Monthly Pass or by purchasing a Match Pass – click HERE for more information!

iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for UK-based fans – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month.

Supporters can also stay in touch with the Dons via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1pm.

There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!

A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle.

***

A limited number of tickets for today's clash with Northampton Town can be bought at Sixfields Stadium ahead of kick-off.

Tickets are priced at £24 adults, £20 seniors/under-21s, £11 under-18s and £2 under-7s.

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Match Reports

Report: Northampton Town 2-1 MK Dons

Dons fall to defeat at Sixfields Stadium…

20 January 2018

MK Dons were beaten 2-1 by Northampton Town on a disappointing afternoon at Sixfields Stadium.

Alex Gilbey was on target for the Dons but goals either side of his strike from John-Joe O’Toole and Chris Long saw Robbie Neilson’s men leave empty-handed.

Robbie Neilson handed Marcus Tavernier his Dons debut as one of four changes to the side which drew 0-0 with AFC Wimbledon. Peter Pawlett, Osman Sow and Ike Ugbo were the other three players included in the starting XI.

Two of the three additions combined well inside the opening minute and their play led to a chance for Alex Gilbey, who saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.

The Dons, however, were unable to take advantage of the set piece and their opponents almost made them pay with a set piece of their own shorty after but Matt Grimes’ left-footed effort was saved by Lee Nicholls, diving down to his left.

On 8 minutes, Pawlett tried his luck with a 25-yard effort which was blocked by a defender before a teasing delivery from Callum Brittain almost fell kindly for an unmarked Sow - goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell did well to intercept the cross.

Neilson’s men were dominating possession but just after the quarter-hour mark they fell behind. Cobblers winger Joe Bunney did well to get to the byline before picking out John-Joe O’Toole, who managed to turn the ball past Lee Nicholls at the near post. 1-0.

The goal came against the run of play but it did little to dampen the Dons’ confidence as just three minutes later they drew level. Osman Sow did brilliantly to shrug off his man and latch onto Pawlett’s through pass. He then delivered an inch-perfect cross into the path of the the on-rushing Gilbey, who fired home his third Dons goal of the season. 1-1.

Northampton responded with a shot from Sam Foley which was deflected into the arms of Nicholls. O’Toole then had a similar chance to the one which broke the deadlock but this attempt at a flick was blocked by Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

At the other end, Sow was presented with a great opportunity to put the Dons in front but O’Donnell somehow managed to get a hand to his headed attempt. The striker had pounced after Ugbo’s effort was parried.

Brittain then produced a diving save out of O’Donnell with a 30-yard strike on the half-hour mark and from the resulting corner, penalty appeals for what appeared to be a handball were ignored by referee Brett Huxtable.

With six minutes remaining in the half, Chris Long - one of three former Dons in the Cobblers’ side - saw a drive blocked by Wootton. Long was handed another chance moments later and this time he made no mistake and found the far corner of the net with a first-time finish from Sam Hoskins’ pass. 2-1.

The Dons failed to threaten O’Donnell’s goal before the half-time whistle but they wasted no time in creating a chance in the second period as Pawlett dragged a left-footed shot just wide of the far post after just two minutes.

Northampton were proving stubborn opponents, though, and with 59 minutes on the clock Chuks Aneke was introduced off the bench in place of Sow.

Soon after his entrance, he watched on as Brittain came close to inadvertently turning Long’s cross into his own net - fortunately, the defender’s clearance went over the bar.

Substitute Hildeberto Pereira then forced Nicholls into a save before Crooks fired just wide of the left post, as the hosts enjoyed a dominant spell.

Neilson’s men were struggling to break down the Northampton defence and with eight minutes remaining their task was almost made even harder but somehow Long managed to miss the target from inside the six-yard box.

Tavernier shot over just before Agard was brought in hope of inspiring a late comeback. Within minutes of his introduction, the striker appeared to be brought down in the area but the referee waved away the Dons’ calls for a penalty.

The visitors were again appealing for penalty shortly afterwards - this time for a handball - but only a corner was awarded. From the delivery, Williams produced a save out of O’Donnell and the Cobblers defence managed to scramble away the loose ball.

In the final minute of regulation time, Aneke shrugged off a challenge to send a shot towards goal - one which was saved by O’Donnell. Long then wasted a good opportunity for the Cobblers, shooting straight at Nicholls when well-placed.

Ugbo came close to pouncing in stoppage time after O’Donnell failed to hold Agard’s driven effort before the Dons were presented with one final chance to earn a share of the spoils after Aneke was brought down on the edge of the area.

The forward, though, reacted to the foul and Mr. Huxtable felt his reaction was worthy of a red card so the substitute made his way down the tunnel.

Tavernier took the free-kick but his strike was saved by O’Donnell. The Dons had time to take the resulting corner but couldn’t fashion a chance before the full-time whistle sounded.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Williams; Cisse (McGrandles 71); Gilbey, Tavernier; Pawlett (Agard 83); Sow (Aneke 59), Ugbo.

Unused subs: Sietsma, Upson, Nesbitt, Muirhead.

Goal: Gilbey (19)

Booked: Agard, Gilbe

Sent off: Aneke

Attendance: 7,231 (1,210 away)

Referee: B Huxtable

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