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18 August 2018 Venue Alexandra Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Crewe Alexandra

All you need to know ahead of today’s Sky Bet League Two clash…

18 August 2018

MK Dons will be looking to make it four straight wins to start the 2018/19 season when they travel to Crewe Alexandra this afternoon in their third Sky Bet League Two game of the season.

Paul Tisdale’s men have started the new campaign in strong fashion, following up a 2-1 opening-day triumph over Oldham Athletic by beating Bury 1-0 at Stadium MK last weekend before overcoming Charlton Athletic 3-0 in Round One of the Carabao Cup.

The focus now shifts back to league football, with Crewe Alexandra today's opposition. It will be the first time the two sides have met at the Alexandra Stadium since 2015.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Crewe started their season in emphatic fashion as they overcame Morecambe 6-0 on the opening day of the season. Both Alex Nicholls and James Jones scored braces for David Artell’s side, with Charlie Kirk and Chris Porter also on the scoresheet that afternoon.

The Alex were unable to make it two wins from two the following weekend as Newport County’s Padraig Amond scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Crewe last Saturday. Crewe manager Artell has been at the helm since 2017 and guided the Club to a 17th place finish last season.

MK Dons’ matches with Crewe Alexandra are usually entertaining ones. In seven of the nine previous meetings between the two clubs, two or more goals have been scored and with both teams in scoring form at the start of this season, the arrow is certainly pointing towards another exciting encounter this afternoon.

MK Dons maintained their 100 percent start to the 2018/19 season by comfortably beating Sky Bet League One side Charlton Athletic in Round One of the Carabao Cup.

Dylan Asonganyi scored his first senior goal early in the first half and that was followed by Ryan Watson’s first goal in an MK Dons shirt.

Paul Tisdale’s men then added to their lead in the second half courtesy of an own goal, securing their third consecutive victory and their ninth successive Carabao Cup Round One win. 

Crewe Alexandra suffered penalty heartache as their Carabao Cup against Fleetwood Town was decided by spot kicks following a 1-1 draw. James Jones and Perry Ng missed their penalties for Crewe.

Although Crewe keeper David Richards made a fine stop himself to deny Harrison Biggins, the Fleetwood substitute Ashley Hunter kept his composure to roll the winning penalty past the Richards Alexandra goalkeeper to put Fleetwood in the hat for the Round Two. 

Crewe had taken the lead in the first half thanks to a Ryan Wintle goal but Joey Barton’s side hit back early in the second half through substitute Jason Holt.

Paul Tisdale: “Just looking at their [Crewe] performances so far, you can't help but to sit up and pay attention to their 6-0 win over Morecambe.

"They have a bit of thrust about them, they have a dynamic front line, they still have a core football value and it will be a tough challenge."

David Artell: "MK Dons have started the season well under Paul [Tisdale] and we know they are the favourites to win the league.

“It should be a very good game and although it will be tough, it is the ones we should relish the most. It will be a good challenge for us."

MK Dons came through Tuesday’s clash with Charlton unscathed and have no fresh injury concerns heading to Alexandra Stadium.

In his pre-match press conference, Paul Tisdale confirmed that Conor McGrandles [eye] and Peter Pawlett [ankle] will both miss Saturdays’ clash with Crewe as they will be unavailable for an extended period of time.

Elsewhere, Osman Sow [knee], Brandon Thomas-Asante [ankle] and Sam Nombe [ankle] will also miss Saturday’s game but Tisdale is hopeful they'll return before the end of the month.

Artell told crewealex.net that Shaun Miller has made a successful return to training after missing the opening three games of the season with a knee injury, while Chris Porter and George Ray will be hopeful of recovering from their respective injuries having missed the last two fixtures.

Robert Lewis will run the rule over today’s clash as he takes charge of his third match of the season. 

The vastly experienced referee has so far issued eight yellow cards this season, while he is yet to brandish a red.

Coincidently, Lewis’ last MK Dons match was the Club’s 1-0 win over Crewe back in 2013 – that day he booked three players. 

His assistant referees this afternoon are Christopher Ward and Mark Cunliffe while the fourth official is Matthew Smith.

MK Dons wins: 4
MK Dons wins at Alexandra Stadium: 1
Last MK Dons win: 5-0, 31st Jan 2015 (Alexandra Stadium)
Biggest MK Dons win: 6-1, 20th Sep 2014 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Draws at Alexandra Stadium: 1
Last Draw: 2-2, 24th Mar 2009 (Stadium MK)

Crewe wins: 3
Crewe wins at Alexandra Stadium: 3
Last Crewe win: 2-0, 21st Jan 2014 (Alexandra Stadium)
Biggest Crewe win: 2-0, 21st Jan 2014 (Alexandra Stadium)

Full-time result
MK Dons win: 11/8
Draw: 12/5
Crewe win: 19/10

First Goalscorer
Kieran Agard: 9/2
Dylan Asonganyi: 6/1
Robbie Simpson: 13/2
Jordan Bowery: 5/1
Alex Nicholls: 11/2
Ryan Wintle: 18/1

Sky Bet Tip
MK Dons to win and BTTS: 9/2

Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors, £10.50 under-17s and £6.50 under-11s.

Tickets can now only be bought from the away ticket office at the Alexandra Stadium, which opens at 12pm.

Supporters currently outside the UK and Ireland can watch the match LIVE with an iFollow MK Dons International Pass or by purchasing an International Match Pass – click HERE for more information!

iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for UK and Ireland-based fans – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for 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 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 along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight. 

***

Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two…

Friday 17th August
Notts County 0-4 Yeovil Town

Saturday 18th August
Grimsby Town v Lincoln City
Bury v Forest Green Rovers
Cheltenham Town v Carlisle United
Exeter City v Newport County
Mansfield Town v Colchester United
Northampton Town v Cambridge United
Oldham Athletic v Macclesfield Town
Port Vale v Crawley Town
Stevenage v Morecambe
Swindon Town v Tranmere Rovers

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Match Reports

Report: Crewe Alexandra 0-0 MK Dons

Paul Tisdale's men pick up a point on the road...

18 August 2018

MK Dons were held to a goalless draw at the Alexandra Stadium - a result which maintains their unbeaten start to the 2018/19 season.

Kieran Agard hit the woodwork with MK Dons’ best chance while they also had two penalty appeals turned down in the first half.

Paul Tisdale’s men were forced to see out the final seven minutes of the game with 10 men following a red card to substitute Mathieu Baudry. They did that successfully and headed back to Milton Keynes with a hard-earned point.

Paul Tisdale made just one change to the side which beat Bury last weekend, with the match-winner from that game, Ousseynou Cisse, coming in to replace Dylan Asonangyi. The 17-year-old striker was on the bench alongside Mathieu Baudry, Lawson D’Ath and Stuart Moore, who were all in the matchday squad for the first time this season.

Lee Nicholls was forced into an early save by Harry Pickering, who turned in the area and sent a right-footed shot towards the far post which the MK Dons goalkeeper palmed wide on the dive. Crewe kept the pressure on from the corner but Tisdale’s side eventually got it away.

They then responded with an attack down the right. Callum Brittain surged forwards down the right and laid it to Gilbey, who delivered a cross to the far post where Kieran Agard was lurking. He attempted a left-footed volley but couldn’t make a connection.

It was an end-to-end start and the next chance fell to Crewe’s James Jones, whose effort was deflected wide off Jordan Houghton. MK Dons then saw Ryan Watson, in similar range to where he scored his goal in midweek, have a drive blocked by a defender following some more good attacking work from Brittain.

On 11 minutes, it took a block from George Williams to prevent a low close-range shot from troubling Nicholls. Williams then watched on from the back as Alex Nicholls denied Agard in the box after the striker had latched onto Jordan Moore-Taylor’s superb through pass.

There was a stoppage in play a quarter of an hour in following a clash of heads involving Cisse and Nicky Hunt but it did little to stem the tempo of the match.

Williams was at it again defensively on 23 minutes, this time getting in the way of Callum Ainley’s try at goal. At the other end soon after, MK Dons had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Robert Lewis - Agard the man going down in the area following a tackle from Perry Ng.

Dave Richards was forced into a save shortly before the half-hour mark. Brittain picked out Watson with a cross from the right but the MK Dons number 7’s first-time hit was comfortably gathered.

Agard then saw a fierce drive from distance skim the crossbar as MK Dons began to turn up the heat on their hosts.

Crewe countered and worked their way into the area on 35 minutes only for Ainley’s attempt to be blocked by Moore-Taylor.

Late in the first half, Cisse went close to connecting with a cross from Brittain inside the six-yard box. MK Dons then went agonisingly close to taking the lead when Agard met a cross from Cisse but the striker’s close-range headed effort bounced off the post and away.

Tisdale’s men also had a second penalty shout turned down when Cisse, after controlling a long pass forward on his chest, was brought down in the area as he went to pull the trigger - referee Robert Lewis pointing out that he believed the defender got the ball.

The score remained goalless through to the break so both teams re-emerged with hopes of snatching a second-half win.

It didn’t start in the same end-to-end fashion as the first but both sides had spells of dominance inside the opening 10 minutes. Brittain made his way deep into the Crewe area at one stage but was dispossessed by Ainley.

The first shot on goal in the second half didn’t arrive until the 56th minute when Watson sent a speculative left-footed strike over the crossbar from the corner of the 18-yard box. Gilbey soon followed up with an effort of his own from distance - this one was deflected over the bar for a corner, which came to nothing for MK Dons.

Watson went a step closer to finding the net on 67 minutes with a fierce volley from the edge of the area which produced a strong diving save from Richards in the Crewe goal.

Tisdale then opted to make his first substitution, replacing Cisse with Asonganyi in attempt to inspire his side to take the lead.

Asonganyi had an immediate impact, flicking a ball through for Brittain to chase onto inside the area. Brittain’s cross didn’t come to anything but he got the ball back moments later. He then saw a low drive blocked before Asonganyi fired wide on the follow-up.

Crewe’s Paul Green blazed over with a quarter of an hour remaining as Crewe, who had been quiet during the second half, offered MK Dons a reminder of their threat. Williams and Nicholls then both denied Crewe substitute Chris Porter in speculator fashion - the latter making an excellent save at his near post.

Tisdale made his final two substitutions with eight minutes remaining, handing both Baudry and D’Ath their MK Dons debuts. The two combined moments after coming on and the latter delivered a cross which was well dealt with by Richards.

Crewe ramped up the pressure in the closing stages, sending numerous balls directly into the area. The MK Dons defence dealt with those deliveries and when they were breached on 88 minutes, they were saved by the offside flag.

Their efforts to come away with their unbeaten record in tact were made harder in the 89th minute when substitute Baudry, six minutes into his debut, was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Pickering.

They did, though, go close to finding the net a minute later through Watson but his curling shot fell wide of the right post.

MK Dons battled through the final five minutes of stoppage time to secure their reward - a point which makes it seven from a possible nine to begin the 2018/19 campaign.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain (Baudry 82), Williams, Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Lewington (c); Houghton; Gilbey (D’Ath 82), Watson; Cisse (Asonganyi 68); Agard.

Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Cargill, Simpson.

Booked: Cisse

Sent off: Baudry (89)

Attendance: 3,505 (455 away)

Referee: R Lewis

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