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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

2-1
13 April 2019 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Preview: Tranmere Rovers

All you need to know ahead of this afternoon's trip to Prenton Park...

13 April 2019

MK Dons travel to Prenton Park this afterno for another top-of-the-table Sky Bet League Two clash.

Four points separate the third-placed Dons from Tranmere Rovers in fifth and it’s a gap that Paul Tisdale’s men will be looking to increase with a win in Merseyside.

Tisdale’s side go into the match in good form. They have won seven of their last 10 matches and have also triumphed in four of their last five away fixtures.

Another away victory would, at least, see MK Dons maintain their place in the automatic promotion spots but could also see them climb up to second and move four points clear of fourth, if results go their way elsewhere.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

THE OPPOSITION!
MK Dons face a tough afternoon at Prenton Park against a Tranmere Rovers side who have enjoyed an excellent first season back in the EFL.

Micky Mellon’s side find themselves right in the race for a top-three finish, currently sitting four points adrift of the Dons who occupy that final automatic promotion spot.

Although that push for promotion has hit a bump since the turn of the month - Tranmere have lost and drawn their first two matches in April - prior to that, the Merseysiders had won seven straight games, scoring 13 goals and conceding just twice during that run.

Sky Bet League Two Player of the Season James Norwood has led the way up front having found the net 26 times in league matches this term. Rovers also boast a mean defence - one which has conceded just 10 times at home all season.

Not only have Rovers been hard to score against at Prenton Park, they’ve also been hard to beat. They have just three home losses to their name in 2018/19 - and haven’t suffered defeat on their own patch for over two months.

LAST TIME OUT!
MK Dons were beaten 2-0 by league-leaders Lincoln City at Stadium MK for only their second defeat in 10 games.

Lincoln edged in front during the first-half when John Akinde converted from the penalty spot after Ryan Harley had brought down Shay McCartan in the area.

Tisdale’s Dons dominated the match thereafter and went close in stoppage time through Chuks Aneke, who saw a header saved at point-blank range by Matt Gilks.

The Imps, though, scored a late second through Bruno Andrade to seal the points and put them in touching distance of promotion.

Tranmere Rovers were held to a goalless draw by Newport County at Rodney Parade although the point was enough for them to close the gap on the automatic promotion places.

Rovers had the better of the chances in South Wales, with Mark Ellis going closest with a header from a corner which struck the crossbar.

Striker Chris Dagnall also hit the post for Tranmere while Joss Labadie had County’s best opportunity - he managed to find the net in stoppage time but the strike was ruled out for offside.

FIGHTING TALK!
Paul Tisdale: “Tranmere are going to be a tough team to play against. They’ve got a really good team. They’ve got a terrific home record, conceding fewer goals than any other team at home and I believe they’ve only lost three games at home.

“They are a tough nut to crack and [Prenton Park] is a really challenging place to play, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Micky Mellon: “MK Dons are going slightly better than us at the minute as they are higher in the table so we know it will be a tough game but one we are excited about and we will look forward to.

“We have just got keep our attention on us and keep care of what we do every day in training, not look too far ahead and make sure we prepare properly for what should be an exciting afternoon on Saturday.”

TEAM NEWS!
MK Dons look set to be without Alex Gilbey, who has missed the last two matches due to an ankle injury he sustained in the win over Yeovil Town last month.

Boss Paul Tisdale confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the midfielder won’t be fit for today's game and didn’t have a timescale for his return.

Tis didn’t offer any further injury updates or reveal any fresh injury concerns. George Williams, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Baily Cargill, Mathieu Baudry, Mitch Hancox and Robbie Simpson are among those who are currently sidelined.

Tranmere Rovers are without midfielder Luke McCullough and striker Ishmael Miller, who remain on the sidelines.

Otherwise, Mellon has no new injury concerns heading into this afternoon's match.

OFFICIALS!
John Brooks will take charge of today's clash at Prenton Park.

It’s the first time Brooks has refereed MK Dons since October 2017, when he oversaw the 1-1 draw with Walsall at Stadium MK.

This season, the English official has shown 140 yellow cards and five red cards in 36 games.

His assistant referees are Philip Dermott and James Wilson while the fourth official is Amy Fearn.

HEAD TO HEAD!
This will be the 18th meeting between MK Dons and Tranmere Rovers and it’s the Dons who currently hold the advantage in the series with 10 wins to their name. They also have had the better of the Merseysiders at Prenton Park, having won four times in the Wirral.

Tranmere, who have beaten the Dons five times in total, have enjoyed recent success having won two of the last three encounters. Prior to that, though, the Dons had won five straight without conceding a goal.

The aggregate score currently stands at 24-15.

SKY BET ODDS!
Dons win - 13/8
Draw - 12/5
Tranmere win - 6/4

ELSEWHERE IN LEAGUE TWO!
Bury v Colchester United
Cambridge United v Newport County
Crewe Alexandra v Notts County
Exeter City v Port Vale
Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town
Lincoln City v Cheltenham Town
Morecambe v Grimsby Town
Northampton Town v Mansfield Town
Oldham Athletic v Swindon Town
Stevenage v Carlisle United
Yeovil Town v Crawley Town

FOLLOW IT LIVE!
Tickets for today's clash can be bought at Prenton Park. Sales will be cash only on the turnstiles while tickets can also be purchased in store. Tickets are priced at £19 adults, £13 seniors/young adults, £7 under-18s and £4 under-12s.

Can’t make the match? iFollow MK Dons subscribers will have access to live audio commentary of this game - click HERE to sign up for a Monthly Pass for just £4.49 a month.

Supporters can also stay in touch with the action via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 2pm.

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 along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight.

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Match Reports

Report: Tranmere Rovers 2-1 MK Dons

Dons defeated at Prenton Park...

13 April 2019

Kieran Agard scored his 100th career goal but it wasn’t enough as MK Dons were beaten 2-1 by Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

David Perkins opened the scoring for the home side and while the Dons levelled things up just two minutes later courtesy of Agard's glancing header, Rovers went on to win the match in the second half through a Connor Jennings goal.

It’s a result which sees Paul Tisdale’s men drop out of the top three in Sky Bet League Two with four games left to play. The Dons are now one point adrift of third-placed Mansfield Town and a further point behind Bury, in second.

Boss Tisdale made two changes to his starting XI, one of which was enforced. Joe Walsh was unavailable due to injury and was replaced by Ousseynou Cissé. The other change saw Chuks Aneke come in for David Wheeler. There were places amongst the substitutes for both David Kasumu and Dylan Asonganyi.

Tranmere started strong and sent two early balls into the box. One flew over the heads of everyone in the area and the second was claimed by Lee Nicholls.

MK Dons then went up the other end of the pitch and earned a corner through Agard. The corner was delivered in by Conor McGrandles and met by Russell Martin, whose header was blocked.

On seven minutes, Dean Lewington whipped a cross deep into the area. It looked to be finding the head of Aneke but Rovers goalkeeper Scott Davies flew out and claimed ahead of the Dons striker.

It was Tranmere’s Sky Bet League Two Player of the Season who would produce the first shot of the game, 10 minutes in. He raced onto a Perkins through ball but was denied by Nicholls, diving to his right.

Ben Pringle had a sight of goal three minutes later but was quickly closed down and eventually saw his shot blocked by Martin. Norwood then had the ball in the net for the hosts but play was called back for a foul on Lewington.

MK Dons then went close through Aneke, who was just beaten to a Jake Hesketh cross by Liam Ridehalgh. Agard, 20-yards out, sent a curling left-footed shot wide of the target two minutes later.

Midway through the first half, Houghton got himself in the way of a powerful drive from Connor Jennings which looked as if it would have threatened Nicholls had it got through.

Aneke broke forward shortly after, following some good work from McGrandles, and he carried a ball into the Rovers penalty box before blazing wide of the target. At the other end, Nicholls produced an excellent reaction save to keep out Norwood’s low try.

Rovers maintained the pressure thereafter and took the lead on the half-hour mark through Perkins, who drilled a low shot through a crowd and past Nicholls after a corner was cleared only as far as where he was lurking on the edge of the D. 1-0.

Their lead, though, would last less than two minutes as the Dons pulled themselves level with their next attack.

McGrandles and Hesketh created it down the right, with the latter eventually sending a ball into the mix. It landed perfectly on the head of an unmarked Agard, who calmly glanced home his 22nd goal of the campaign and his 100th career strike. 1-1.

As the half wound to a close, Rovers started to put the Dons under pressure. Nicholls was forced off his line to punch away a ball into the area moments before a low drive from Ollie Banks was sent straight down the Dons goalkeeper’s throat.

It was Hesketh, though, who would have the final opportunity of the game. He created space for a shot on the edge of the Tranmere area but sent his fierce strike straight at Davies, who saved.

An early second-half chance fell the way of Norwood on 47 minutes but his effort was saved by Nicholls. Norwood found himself in action soon after but he was denied by a strong tackle from McGrandles.

MK Dons ventured forward for their first real attack of the second half on 55 minutes. Aneke beat his man down the right but Agard wasn’t able to make anything of his striker partner’s low cross.

Four minutes later, Lewington was called into action, getting a crucial header to a deep cross to prevent Jennings from a simple headed finish. Four minutes after that, Tranmere restored their lead - Jennings the goalscorer for the hosts, heading in at the far post from a Pringle cross. 2-1.

Tisdale soon made his first change - David Wheeler on for Ryan Harley. His second followed - Stephen Walker replacing Hesketh.

In between those substitutions, Houghton prevented Norwood doubling the lead with a stunning - and extremely brave - block. The midfielder managed to get his face in the way of the sweetly-struck drive despite lying on the floor.

On 79 minutes, Wheeler got himself into the penalty area but couldn’t link up with Agard, who was tightly marked. Moments later, Wheeler climbed well to flick on a long forward pass but Agard was beaten to the ball by Davies.

Tisdale's side huffed and puffed in the closing stages but weren't able to truly threaten the Rovers defence. On to the next one then - a trip to Notts County on Good Friday, with the Dons' fate still in their hands.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Martin, Houghton, Lewington (c); McGrandles, Cissé, Harley (Wheeler 69); Hesketh (Walker 78); Agard, Aneke.

Unused subs: Moore, Kasumu, Watson, D’Ath, Asonganyi.

Goal: Agard (32)

Booked: Agard, Martin, Lewington, Aneke

Referee: J Brooks


Attendance: 8,357 (347 away)

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