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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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22 September 2017 Venue The Cherry Red Records Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Preview: AFC Wimbledon

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

22 September 2017

MK Dons make their eagerly-anticipated visit to AFC Wimbledon tonight, looking to make it back-to-back Sky Bet League One victories for the first time this season.

Robbie Neilson’s side beat Rochdale last weekend to climb up to 13th in the table and with the rest of the division not in action until Saturday afternoon, they have an opportunity to move into the top-half by taking maximum points from this evening’s game.

Should they do that, they would also, in turn, register their first victory against AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Despite boasting a strong record over their opponents having won three of the previous five meetings, the men from MK1 were beaten in their one and only visit to South West London.

A win tonight then would not only remove the bitter taste from last season’s disappointment but also provide the Dons with a great platform to build from in Sky Bet League One, heading into a busy schedule of games.

Kick-off tonight is at 7.45pm.

AFC Wimbledon currently sit three places and two points below the Dons in the table.

Neal Ardley’s team, who will be looking to improve on their 15th-placed finish from last season, picked up their first win in four matches last weekend – an impressive victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

The division’s lowest scorers with only five goals to their name, AFC Wimbledon have collected four points from their four home matches, conceding four times and scoring just three in reply.

However, as the cliché goes, form tends to go out of the window in matches such as this and despite their superior league position and points total, the Dons will certainly be expecting a testing evening in the capital.

Ryan Seager’s first league goal of the season earned MK Dons all three points in a dramatic thriller at Stadium MK last weekend.

Opponents Rochdale went ahead on eight minutes through Brad Inman but the Dons replied just five minutes later with a goal from Gboly Ariyibi.

The winger doubled his tally four minutes before half-time with a stunning strike from distance but it wasn’t enough to give his side the advantage at the break, as Dale scored once again through Matt Done.

That set up a tense second-half and with six minutes to go, the Dons secured victory courtesy of Seager, who fired home from just inside the area after latching onto Ousseynou Cisse’s through pass.

AFC Wimbledon beat an in-form Blackburn Rovers side to register an impressive away victory.

The hosts started strong but fell behind to Kwesi Appiah’s 16th-minute goal – the striker reacted quickest after his initial shot was blocked.

Appiah had a chance in the second half to double his tally but David Raya tipped his shot wide to keep the scores at 1-0.

Dominic Samuel then directed a header over the bar for Rovers before Dack went even closer to an equaliser late on with a header which was brilliantly pushed wide by AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper George Long.

Robbie Neilson: “It’s a huge game for us all. We have to make sure we are up for the game and we win our battles but also play our football because we believe that’s what will bring us through in the end.”

“We’re against a difficult opponent at a difficult venue but you want to play at stadiums where the atmosphere is intense. I felt it was a good atmosphere last year and hopefully we can come through it on Friday.”

Neal Ardley: “I know how important it is to everyone at the club. It is a big game. My job is to deal with that in the best way possible and make sure the players do not feel pressure but feel spurred on by it. 

“It will be a very highly-charged game, our fans will make sure of that. We will do our best to put in a performance that gives us the best chance of giving the fans what they want. It will be an emotional night.”

The Dons hope to have Ethan Ebanks-Landell available for selection after he returned to training this week. The defender has been sidelined for almost three weeks with a foot injury.

There is also optimism that Chuks Aneke could, once again, be included in the matchday squad. Aneke, recovering from a hamstring problem, missed Saturday’s win over Rochdale after experiencing muscle tightness following his run-out for the Under-23s last week.

That leaves Joe Walsh (knee) and Peter Pawlett (knee) as the Dons’ only definite absentees.

AFC Wimbledon will welcome back midfielder Jimmy Abdou, who has completed a three-match suspension for the red card he received earlier this month.

Defender Paul Robinson should also be available after making a return from injury in the win over Blackburn last weekend, while Darius Charles and Tom Soares are edging closer, but Will Nightingale and Callum Kennedy are injury concerns.

The experienced Mike Jones is the man in charge of tonight’s game.

Jones primarily officiates in the Premier League and has done so since 2008 when he was promoted to the Select Group of referees.

His last Dons appointment was back in February 2013 for the FA Cup tie with Barnsley. That afternoon he produced four yellow cards and sent off Alan Smith for a serious foul play. He has never before taking charge of AFC Wimbledon.

Tonight’s assistant referees are Mark Scholes and Darren Cann, the latter of which has run the line in a Champions League and World Cup final. The fourth official is James Linington.

Dons wins: 3
Dons wins at the Cherry Red Records Stadium: 0
Last Dons win: 1-0, 10 Dec 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-1, 12 Aug 2014 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 0
Draws at the Cherry Red Records Stadium: N/A
Last draw: N/A

AFC Wimbledon wins: 1
AFC Wimbledon wins at the Cherry Red Records Stadium: 1
Last AFC Wimbledon win: 2-0, 14 Mar 2017 (Cherry Red Records Stadium)
Biggest AFC Wimbledon win: 2-0, 14 Mar 2017 (Cherry Red Records Stadium)

Result
Dons win – 2/1
Draw – 9/4
AFC Wimbledon win – 7/5

First goalscorer
Kieran Agard – 5/1
Osman Sow – 13/2
Ryan Seager – 13/2
Gboly Ariyibi – 15/2
No goalscorer – 8/1
Lyle Taylor – 5/1
Cody McDonald – 11/2
Kwesi Appiah – 13/2
Efil Kaja – 7/1

Scorecast
Ryan Seager to score first and MK Dons to win 2-0 – 55/1

*all odds correct at the time of writing

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

***

Tickets for tonight's clash with AFC Wimbledon are no longer available to buy. Tickets will not be sold at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Can’t make the trip? The Club will be screening a beamback of the fixture at Stadium MK. Tickets are exclusively available to those supporters on the database with a previous ticketing history, priced at £10 adults and £8 under-18s which includes entry, a hot food item and £1 off your first drink.

Supporters can also follow the match live with iFollow MK Dons - click here to subscribe!

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Match Reports

Report: AFC Wimbledon 0-2 MK Dons

The men from MK1 enjoy deserved triumph...

22 September 2017

MK Dons recorded a first victory over AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Friday evening.

A first-half own goal from George Francomb, Gboly Ariyibi's third goal in two games and a penalty save from Lee Nicholls ensured the deserved triumph.

Ousseynou Cisse and Ryan Seager returned in the place of Ed Upson (hip) and Aidan Nesbitt, while Ethan Ebanks-Landell was back on the substitutes’ bench.

The Dons silenced the home fans inside six minutes when Osman Sow raced down the left and his cross was turned into the net by AFC Wimbledon defender Francomb.

Neilson’s men had started strongly and they were comfortably dealing with what AFC Wimbledon had to offer at the other end, which included a couple of important clearances from Scott Wootton and a superb challenge from George Williams.

Sow was leading the line in impressive fashion and the only way he could be stopped on 18 minutes was by a foul from Anthony Hartigan, who was subsequently deservedly shown a yellow card.

There was a competitive edge from both sides as the game approached the midway point of the first half, but there was a greater edge in terms of the scoreline on 27 minutes.

A purposeful run forward from Golbourne created the opportunity and, after the hosts were unable to deal with the left-back’s cross, Ariyibi made no mistake from 12 yards – his fifth goal of the season.

Williams and Wootton combined on 33 minutes to deny substitute Cody McDonald reaching Lyle Taylor’s cross and ensure the score remained at 2-0.

At the other end, Cisse lifted an effort over the top before Sow was just beaten to it by George Francomb after brilliant work down the left by Aaron Tshibola.

The Dons survived a scare on 44 minutes when Deji Oshilaja headed Dean Parrett’s clever free-kick against the crossbar at the back post.

Lee Nicholls’ first save of the evening came on 48 minutes, tipping over Taylor’s effort after Andy Bircham had kept a right-wing cross alive.

Taylor and Bircham both fired off target as AFC Wimbledon enjoyed their best spell with the game now approaching the hour mark.

The hosts were given a lifeline on 64 minutes when referee Mike Jones adjudged Golbourne to have handled in the box but Nicholls was up to the task, brilliantly keeping out Taylor’s penalty.

Neilson’s men countered on 70 minutes but the busy Seager mis-hit his effort from Brittain’s delivery before brilliant play from Ariyibi set up substitute Robbie Muirhead, who was denied by a magnificent save from George Long.

Shortly afterwards, Gilbey saw a fierce shot saved prior to Ariyibi almost getting in but Barry Fuller got back well to head behind for a corner.

In terms of defending their lead, the Dons were remaining extremely resolute throughout the team with every player putting in a committed performance.

Nicholls more than played his part, too, and the No.1 made a stunning stop on 90 minutes to deny McDonald and ensure the three points.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Wootton, Williams, Golbourne; Ariyibi, Gilbey, Cisse, Tshibola (Ebanjs-Landell 87); Seager (Agard 71), Sow (Muirhead 66).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Lewington, McGrandles, Nesbitt.

Goals: Seager (6), Ariyibi (27).

Bookings: Tshibola, Muirhead.

Away attendance: 263 Dons fans.

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