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03 March 2018 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Preview: Bristol Rovers

All you need to know ahead of today’s clash with Bristol Rovers…

3 March 2018

MK Dons play host to Bristol Rovers this afternoon as they look to pick up an elusive win at the staro busy month of March.

The Dons are still looking for their first three points under Dan Micciche, however, they enter today’s clash after two consecutive draws.

They currently occupy the third relegation spot, five points off safety, but with the weather playing havoc with the weekend’s fixture list, it could be a chance to make some ground on their relegation rivals.

Kick-Off is 3.00pm.

Although they've been consistently mid-table throughout this term, Bristol Rovers will be looking to reach the play-offs come the end of the season. They currently sit seven points off the final play-off position currently occupied by Plymouth Argyle, but they do hold a game in hand over the Devon club.

The Pirates are one of Sky Bet League One's in-form teams in 2018 as they've recorded five wins, two draws and just two defeats during their nine games during this calendar year. They required a last-minute equaliser from Ellis Harrison last weekend to claim a point at home to Scunthorpe.

At the helm is Darrell Clarke, a man who was promoted from within to take over management duties from John Ward in 2013. The Gas stuck with Clarke when they were relegated out of the Football League and that proved to be a smart decision. Since then, the 40-year-old has overseen two successive promotions before a 10th-place finish last campaign.

MK Dons recorded their second consecutive draw last weekend as they drew 1-1 with Fleetwood Town. Robbie Muirhead got the Dons off to the perfect start just 20-minutes into the clash as he curled his strike past Ashley Cairns to score his first goal of the season.

Against the run of play, Fleetwood pegged the Dons back through the right foot of Ashley Hunter. The Fleetwood man was unmarked on the edge of the box before finding the far corner of Lee Nicholls' goal in wonderful fashion.

Bristol Rovers were due to play on Tuesday night, however, their clash with Wigan Athletic was postponed to the freezing weather conditions. Their last game, therefore, was last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe.

Ellis Harrison netted in stoppage time to salvage a point after Duane Holmes had given the Iron the lead.

The Dons welcomed back Chuks Aneke to the fold during last weekend's draw with Fleetwood Town, while Ethan Ebanks-Landell was another returning face after he served a two-game suspension.

Micciche will have Ed Upson back in contention this afternoon after he served the past punishment having picked up 10 yellow cards. The Dons boss will also be hoping to welcome back Osman Sow, after a number of weeks in the treatment room.

Peter Pawlett and Marcus Tavernier continue to be monitored by the medical team while Alex Gilbey [knee], Joe Walsh [knee] and Scott Golbourne [hip] remain sidelined long-term.

Antony Coggins will referee today's fixture - he last officiated the Dons back in October during their 4-4 draw with Oldham.

The Oxfordshire born-official has taken charge of 26 matches this season, in total, he has produced 57 yellow cards and three reds.

His assistant referees this afternoon are Christopher Kidd and Joe Clark while the fourth official is Grant Taylor.

Dons wins: 6
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 4
Last Dons wins: 2-1, 02 Feb 2011 (The Memorial Stadium)
Biggest Dons win: 2-0, 19 Aug 2006 (National Hockey Stadium)

Draws: 3
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last Draw: 1-0, 11 Nov 2017 (Stadium MK)

Bristol Rovers wins: 2
Bristol Rovers wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Bristol Rovers win: 2-0, 28 Oct 2017 (The Memorial Stadium)
Biggest Bristol Rovers win: 2-0, 28 Oct 2017 (The Memorial Stadium)

Result
Dons win: 13/10
Draw: 11/5
Fleetwood win: 11/5

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke: 5/1
Kieran Agard: 5/1
Ike Ugbo: 11/2
No goalscorer: 9/1
Ellis Harrison: 9/2
Rory Gaffney: 5/1
Tom Nichols: 13/2

Scorecast
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 33/1

Sky Bet tip
Draw at Half-Time and MK Dons to win at Full-Time – 11/2

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.

***

Tickets for today’s clash are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s* and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons Membership*.

This match has been designated as the Leighton-Linslade Big Day, meaning residents with an LU7 postcode can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of £10 adults and £3 under-18s. Under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership*.

Supporters can upgrade to East Centre for a £5 premium while a seat in clubRed is available for £10 more.

To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 0-1 Bristol Rovers

Ellis Harrison's goal wins it for the visitors...

3 March 2018

MK Dons beat the snow to host their Sky Bet League One clash with Bristol Rovers but they weren’t able to take advantage, falling to a 1-0 defeat at Stadium MK.

Ellis Harrison’s goal on 49 minutes proved the difference on a day when the Dons failed to take up the opportunity to close the gap on the teams above them. They remain 22nd in Sky Bet League One, six points adrift of safety.

Boss Micciche named an unchanged starting XI for the visit of Rovers although did welcome back Ed Upson to the matchday squad - the pair, who had been missing due to suspension and injury respectively, were among the substitutes.

The Dons started well and threatened inside the opening minute. Chuks Aneke moved into the area and crossed for Robbie Muirhead but a defender got there first to turn behind. From the resulting corner, a scramble led to a chance for Callum Brittain however he shot wide.

On six minutes, Muirhead delivered a teasing ball into the box which was well claimed by Sam Slocombe above Aneke and Ike Ugbo.

Rovers then fired their first warning side in the 10th minute through Ellis Harrison, who beat the offside trap but couldn’t bring a through pass under control inside the area. The attack did lead to a shooting opportunity for Liam Sercombe but Lewington got in the way of his strike.

The Dons responded with a 25-yard drive from Muirhead which flew just over the crossbar. The number 16 then went close again with a left-volley which bounced wide of the left upright.

Rovers grew into the contest and midway through the first half, winger Kyle Bennett saw a goal-bound low shot blocked by Wooton’s outstretched leg. A better chance fell to Sercombe moments later but he was denied by a strong save from Lee Nicholls, diving down to his left. Joe Partington then headed wide from a corner.

Late in the half, the Dons had a decent penalty shout turned down as referee Antony Coggins waved away appeals for a foul on Muirhead inside the area. Cisse was booked for his protests.

Nicholls then ensured the teams went into the break level with another brilliant diving save to keep out Sercombe’s attempt.

The visitors started the second half well and early on it took a block from Ward to deny Harrison. Four minutes later, there was nothing the Dons could do to prevent Harrison from breaking the deadlock as the Rovers number 9 found the far corner of the net with an audacious lobbed attempt from the left side of the area. 0-1.

Micciche’s men went close to an immediate equaliser but Wootton headed over from six-yards out after doing well to connect with Muirhead’s corner. From another set-piece delivery, George Williams produced a save out of Slocombe at his near post.

Aneke created an opening for Brittain on 60 minutes but his low ball across the six-yard box went untouched. Later, Tymon sent in a cross which was just above the head of Ugbo.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, Slocombe produced an excellent diving stop to palm away Muirhead’s on-target drive. Micciche then introduced Kieran Agard off the bench, in the hope that one of his leading goalscorers would inspire a comeback.

Winger Aidan Nesbitt was also brought on but other than a cross from Aneke which went untouched through area, neither he nor is teammates could create a final chance to grab an equaliser.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Wootton, Ward, Lewington (c) Tymon (Agard 76); Muirhead, Brittain (Nesbitt 85), Cisse (Upson 57), Ugbo; Aneke.

Unused subs: Sietsma, Jackson, McGrandles, Sow.

Referee: A Coggins

Booked: Cisse, Britain, Aneke

Attendance: 8,240 (1,138 away)

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