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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

1-2
29 March 2018 Venue Priestfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Preview: Gillingham

All you need to know ahead of today’s Sky Bet League One Clash at the Priestfield Stadium…

29 March 2018

MK Dons will be looking to return to winning ways this evening when they make the journey to Kent to face Gillingham.

Micciche's men have lost just one of their previous six Sky Bet League One games and enter tonight's game having picked up seven points from a possible nine in their previous three home games.

The Dons currently sit in 22nd in the Sky Bet League One table, one point adrift from safety. Micciche's side have the chance to make some ground on Thursday evening as they play before the rest of their relegation rivals.

Should the Dons draw with Gillingham they'll draw level with Northampton and Oldham on points, however, they'll remain in the relegation zone due to Oldham's goal difference. If they pick up all three points the Dons will draw level with AFC Wimbledon on 42 points.

Kick-off is 7:45pm.

Gillingham survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last season as a point against Northampton on the final day or the season was enough to see them escape the drop. Adrian Pennock was the man who masterminded their survival, during the summer transfer window Pennock recruited the likes of Tom Eaves, Alex Lacey, Conor Wilkinson and Gabriel Zakuani.

They were needed to fill to void of the 14 departed players, which included Bradley Dack, Josh Wright, Billy Knott and Cody McDonald. Pennock would depart the Gills in late September and was replaced by Steve Lovell in mid-November. It proved to be a shrewd move as Lovell lost just one of his opening 11 games, during that time he put together four consecutive wins. Those four straight wins came in January – a month he was awarded Manager of the Month for.

MK Dons were forced to settle for a point against Blackpool, as they made it seven points from a possible nine from their three-game home stretch.

It was a match there for the taking for Dan Micciche's side, who went close on several occasions through Peter Pawlett, Chuks Aneke and Robbie Muirhead only to be denied by Joe Lumley.

In the end, they left with a point – a result which sees them move back to within a point of safety in Sky Bet League One.

Dominic Poleon's early second-half strike saw Gillingham suffer a 1-0 defeat against Bradford last weekend.

The Dons will once again have Callum Brittain available for selection after his break from Club football with England Under-20s, although he did play 69 minutes on Tuesday night against Portugal. Robbie Muirhead came back to Milton Keynes earlier than expected and was named as a substitute in the draw against Blackpool - the Scot will also be available for this evening's clash.

Scott Golbourne has returned to full training and he'll be hoping to be part of the squad that travels to Kent while Osman Sow will be assessed after suffering an injury against Bury that saw him miss the goalless draw with Blackpool.

Marcus Tavernier and Josh Tymon continue their rehabilitation with their parent clubs while both Joe Walsh and Alex Gilbey are still sidelined.

Gillingham's Josh Parker has been away with Antigua and Barbuda and will be looking to return to the fold, while Callum Reilly will miss the clash with a hamstring strain that saw him forced off during Gillingham's defeat at Valley Parade.

Midfielder Billy Bingham will still be out with a broken ankle, while defender Aaron Morris (knee) also continues his rehabilitation

John Busby will take charge of tonight's match at the Priestfield Stadium. In 38 games this season Mr Busby has issued 95 yellow cards and sent off four players.

This will be the second time he's overseen an MK Dons game this season, having last officiated the Dons during their 1-0 defeat to Plymouth on Boxing Day.

Matthew Lee and Carl Fitch-Jackson are the assistant referees while the fourth official is Michael D'aguilar.

Dons wins: 4
Dons wins at the Priestfield Stadium: 0
Last Dons win: 1-0, 19 Aug 2017 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 4-2, 09 Aug 2014 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Draws at the Priestfield Stadium: 2
Last Draw: 2-2, 27 Mar 2010 (Priestfield Stadium)

Gillingham wins: 6
Gillingham wins at the Priestfield Stadium: 4
Last Gillingham win: 1-0, 17 Dec 2016 (Priestfield Stadium)
Biggest Gillingham win: 3-0, 31 Dec 2005 (Priestfield Stadium)

Result
Dons win: 9/4
Draw: 23/10
Gillingham win: 5/4

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke: 11/2
Kieran Agard: 11/2
Ike Ugbo: 13/2
Robbie Muirhead: 7/1

Scorecast
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 45/1

Sky Bet tip
6+ corners each team and 30+ booking points each team – 40/1

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 6pm.

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.

***

Tickets for tonight's clash with Gillingham can now only be bought at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £18 seniors and £8 students/under-18s.

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Match Reports

Report: Gillingham 1-2 MK Dons

Williams' late goal earns the Dons a vital three points...

29 March 2018

MK Dons moved out of the bottom four courtesy of a dramatic 2-1 victory at Gillingham.

Chuks Aneke opened the scoring with a confident left-footed finish but Navid Nasseri equalised just before the break.

Dan Micciche’s side had a clear penalty appeal turned down in the second half but they weren’t to be deterred and George Williams popped up five minutes from time to win them a vital three points.

The Dons are now up to 20th in Sky Bet League One, two points clear of the bottom four.

Boss Micciche made one change to his starting XI, with the in-form Robbie Muirhead returning in place of Ethan Ebanks-Landell. There was a place on the bench for Scott Golbourne - his first appearance in the match day squad since undergoing hip surgery in January.

Gillingham made a fast start and it took a strong punch from Lee Nicholls to prevent Conor Wilkinson connecting with an early cross from Scott Wagstaff.

The Dons soon made their way up the other end and they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Aneke. Ed Upson took the set-piece but his curling effort was blocked by the wall.

On eight minutes, Robbie Muirhead came close to playing in Peter Pawlett. The Dons’ number 16 skipped away from his man however his through pass was out of Pawlett’s reach.

Aneke then set up Agard, whose right-footed attempt was blocked by a sliding defender. Williams flashed the loose ball wide.

Gillingham returned the pressure, earning a free-kick from which Nasseri sent a low drive well wide of goal. Later, a Wagstaff cross was just about dealt with by Nicholls despite Wilkinson getting a touch to the delivery.

Midway through the first half, Jake Hessenthaler was presented with a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring for the hosts. After latching onto Mark Byrne’s pass inside the area, the Gills midfielder only had Nicholls to beat but he directed his effort wide of the left post.

Micciche’s men fought back and a decent spell of possession deep inside the Gillingham half led to a chance for Upson who, from the edge of the area, was denied by a diving save from Tomas Holy.

With their next attempt at goal, on 33 minutes, they took the lead. Cisse flicked a header on for Agard who, in turn, found Aneke. The forward then drove into the box and beat Holy with a low left-footed shot into the far corner. 0-1.

The Dons kept their foot on the gas but weren’t able to extend their advantage. Then, with their first foray forward since conceding, Gillingham drew level courtesy of a far-post header from Nasseri, who sneaked round the back to connect with Bradley Garmston’s cross. 1-1.

Nasseri’s goal ensured both sides went into the break level.

Gillingham had the first attempt at breaking par at the start of the second period although Garmston’s drive never troubled Nicholls. Aneke came a lot closer six minutes into the half with a right-footed strike which Holy palmed away.

Micciche then made his first change of the evening, introducing Callum Brittain just 48 hours after he had represented England Under-20s in their 3-0 victory over Portugal.

He quickly got involved in the action and on 65 minutes he thought he had earned his side a penalty but, despite appearing to be fouled by a defender, was booked for simulation - much to the bemusement of the Dons players and fans.

The controversial decision seemed to spur Micciche’s side on and Upson soon came close to teeing up Aneke inside the area, only for the ball to run through to Holy.

Both sides were looking a threat on the attack and it took two excellent bits of defending from Elliott Ward and Muirhead to deny the Gills on two separate occasions, the latter clearing off the line from a deep cross.

That was Muirhead’s last involvement as he was replaced by Ebanks-Landell, in a switch which saw Lewington move to left wing-back.

With 15 minutes left to play, Byrne headed over for the Gills before his teammates Nasseri also missed the target with his head.

Micciche then used his final substitution to bring on Brandon Thomas-Asante in place of Agard and the young forward was involved right away, setting up Aneke for a clear run on goal. The Dons’ goalscorer was pulled down on his way through but, again to the surprise of most inside the stadium, Max Ehmer was not dismissed. Aneke curled over from the free-kick.

It looked for all the world like it wasn’t going to be the Dons’ day but on 85 minutes that all changed. Upson did brilliantly to drive forward with the ball before waiting patiently for the run of Williams. He picked him out with a low pass and Williams rewarded that play by getting to the ball first and getting a strong enough touch to send it past Holy and across the line. 1-2.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Wootton, Ward, Lewington (C); Williams, Pawlett (Brittain 53), Upson, Cisse, Muirhead (Ebanks-Landell 74); Aneke, Agard (Thomas-Asante 80).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Golbourne, Reo-Coker, Ugbo.

Goal: Aneke (33), Williams (85)

Booked: Pawlett, Brittain, Lewington, Aneke

Attendance: 5,540 (443 away)

Referee: J Busby

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