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17 March 2018 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Preview: Bury

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

17 March 2018

MK Dons will be looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time under Dan Micciche when they entertain Bury at Stadium MK this afternoon.

After sitting through an agonising six minutes of injury-time on Tuesday night, it's safe to say there was a huge sigh of relief when the final whistle went eventually blew.

The Dons currently sit 22nd in the Sky Bet League One table, four points adrift of safety but they will view this upcoming run of fixtures as an ideal chance to close that gap. Today's game is the second of three home matches, the first ended in victory - something Micciche will be hoping to replicate this afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

High on expectation at the start of the season after having survived relegation under Lee Clark the previous term, and having then undertaken an extensive squad rebuilding programme last summer, it's been a season of low return for Bury so far this campaign, last Tuesday evening's 1-0 home loss to Peterborough leaving the Shakers bottom of the table heading into this afternoon's game.

They sit nine points adrift of safety with only ten games now remaining to be played. Very active in the free agent market last summer, bringing in the likes of proven scorer Jermaine Beckford, former Scottish international Chris Maguire, experienced midfielder Stephen Dawson and former Don
Jay O'Shea to name but four of the dozen or so who entered the Gigg Lane doors over the summer.

A a run of four straight losses earlier in the season saw the departure of Clark at the end of October, former Dons striker Ryan Lowe stepped as joint-caretaker/manager role for half a dozen games before Chris Lucketti was given the managerial position in late November.

The fortunes didn't change at Bury as Lucketti lost eight, a run that would see him lose his job as the Shakers fell 12 points away from safety. Lowe took control once again until the end of the season with his task to help Bury avoid relegation come the end of the season.

MK Dons secured a vital three points in the bid for Sky Bet League One survival courtesy of a 3-2 success over Rotherham United at Stadium MK.

The Dons fell behind early on but bounced back to lead at the break courtesy of goals from Robbie Muirhead and Peter Pawlett.

Muirhead doubled his and the team's advantage in the second half and despite Jon Taylor's late strike setting up a nervy finish, Dan Micciche's men were able to hold on to seal a much-needed victory - one which moves them to within four points of safety.

Bury were beaten by a late goal in additional time after Jack Marriott pounced on the ball in the final third of the field and remained composed to chip the ball into the back of the net.

The Dons look set to be without Josh Tymon, who has picked up a groin injury. He joins Marcus Tavernier on the sidelines - the on-loan midfielder continues to be assessed by his parent club Middlesbrough.

On a positive note, Ethan Ebanks-Landell returned to training on Thursday after a short injury lay-off while Osman Sow should be available for selection as his withdrawal at half-time on Tuesday was purely precautionary.

Scott Golbourne (hip), Joe Walsh (knee) and Alex Gilbey (knee) are still out of action.

Bury may bring Nathan Cameron back into the fold after the defender was rested for the midweek game with Peterborough.

Zeli Ismail remains a doubt for Bury with a groin injury he picked up in the 2-2 draw with Oldham last weekend.

Gavin Ward will take charge of today's match at Stadium MK.

In 37 games this season, Ward has produced 99 yellow cards and two red.

The Surrey official refereed the Dons’ Checkatrade Trophy defeat against Chelsea Under-21s, while he has officiated Bury once this season, he oversaw their 1-0 defeat to Southend.

Ward's assistant referees on Saturday are Garry Maskell and Nicholas Cooper while the fourth official is John Farries.

Dons wins: 6
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 2
Last Dons win: 2-0, 30 Sep 2017 (Gigg Lane)
Biggest Dons win: 5-1, 2 Feb 2008 (Gigg Lane)

Draws: 3
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 0-0, 14 Feb 2017 (Gigg Lane)

Bury wins: 2
Bury wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Bury win: 3-1, 27 Sep 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Bury win: 3-1, 27 Sep 2016 (Stadium MK)

Result
Dons win: 6/4
Draw: 12/5
Bury win: 9/5

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke: 5/1
Kieran Agard: 11/2
Ike Ugbo: 6/1
Robbie Muirhead: 15/2

Scorecast
Robbie Muirhead to score first and MK Dons to win 2-1 – 45/1

Sky Bet tip
Over 4.5 goals, 15+ match corners and 70+ match booking points – 350/1

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 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 with Bury are priced at just £12 adults and £1 under-18s while a host of activity will be taking place outside Stadium MK prior to the 3pm kick-off

To purchase tickets for Family Dons Day click HERE, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets for this fixture are available to buy right up until kick-off. 

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 2-1 Bury

Aneke at the double as Dons overcome Bury...

17 March 2018

MK Dons moved to within one point of safety as two Chuks Aneke penalties earned Dan Micciche’s side a 2-1 victory at Stadium MK.

Aneke netted from the spot in both halves to hand the Dons their second home win in a week – a week which has breathed new life into the team’s survival fight.

Boss Micciche named the same starting XI that beat Rotherham United earlier in the week. There was one change to the squad, though, as Ethan Ebanks-Landell returned from injury to be among the substitutes.

Visitors Bury started strong and spent the opening five minutes with the ball. It was them who registered the first shot on goal too – a low Harry Bunn effort which was comfortable for Lee Nicholls.

The Dons responded by going straight up the other end and producing a save out of Nicholls’ opposite number, Connor Ripley. Robbie Muirhead played a one-two with Aneke on the edge of the box before seeing a stabbed attempt palmed away by the Bury stopper.

Micciche’s men maintained the pressure and in the 10th minute they were awarded a penalty - Ryan Edwards clearly tripping Peter Pawlett inside the area after the lively midfielder had pounced on Aneke's excellent flick. Aneke stepped up to take the spot kick and he sent Ripley the wrong way from 12-yards to give the Dons an early lead. 1-0.

The Stadium MK crowed urged the Dons on to create more chances and an opportunity opened up for Pawlett on the quarter-hour mark but his 25-yard drive sailed over the crossbar. A neat move involving Pawlett, Aneke and Muirhead then led to an opportunity for the latter but Clarke got to the ball in the nick of time to deny the in-form Scotsman.

Bury were offering a threat when they came forward and in the 20th minute it took some excellent defending from Dean Lewington to deny George Miller a clear sight at goal. Miller then got behind the Dons’ backline but Elliott Ward recovered well to block his shot.

It was the hosts, though, who were seeing most of the ball and with 28 minutes on the clock Muirhead and Pawlett combined well. Muirhead sent a left-footed delivery into the area and a neat flick from Pawlett almost caught Ripley out at his near post.

The Dons’ front four continued to cause problems and they put Bury under pressure again when Sow threaded a pass through for Pawlett, who was just beaten to the ball by an alert Ripley. Muirhead’s cross-turned-shot then forced Ripley into making a save at his near post.

Five minutes before half-time, Sow had a great opportunity to double the lead after pouncing on an error from Nathan Cameron. The striker raced in behind the Bury man but, after bring the ball down and moving into the area, he could only find the side netting with a left-footed shot.

It remained 1-0 through to the break although the Shakers threatened an equaliser immediately from kick-off – fortunately, Miller’s looping header landed on the roof of the net. Danny Mayor then sent a right-footed drive straight at Nicholls from 20 yards before James Hanson produced a save out of the Dons goalkeeper with a far-post header.

Micciche introduced Brandon Thomas-Asante 10 minutes into the second half following a stoppage for a free-kick. From that free-kick, Muirhead watched a stinging left-footer deflect wide of goal. From the resulting corner, Aneke headed wide when well-placed.

The Dons kept their foot on the gas and they were rewarded with another penalty decision on 56 minutes when substitute Thomas-Asante was brought down after beating Edwards - culprit for the first penalty - to a loose ball inside the box. Aneke picked up the ball confidently and found the exact same corner of the net to double both his and the side’s tally. 2-0.

Nicholls was enjoying a reasonably quiet afternoon but he was called into action on 67 minutes to keep out a strike from Miller, who had sneaked in behind the Dons’ defence – the Dons goalkeeper did brilliantly to get his hands to the close-range attempt.

The Shakers were challenging the Dons’ lead and with a quarter of an hour left to play, Miller headed wide from the centre of the box. He made no mistake a minute later, glancing in to the bottom left corner from Hanson’s headed pass to set up another nervy finish at Stadium MK. 2-1.

However, just as they did on Tuesday, Micciche’s side saw out the remainder of the contest to pick up another valuable three points.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Wootton, Ward, Lewington (c); Williams, Brittain, Upson, Muirhead; Sow (Thomas-Asante 55), Aneke (Ebanks-Landell 85), Pawlett (McGrandles 72).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Cisse, Ugbo, Agard.

Goals: Aneke (pen 11, pen 57)

Booked: Aneke, Ebanks-Landell

Attendance: 9,247 (277 away)

Referee: G Ward

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