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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

2-2
29 December 2018 Venue PTS Academy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Preview: Northampton Town

All you need to know ahead of today's trip to Northampton Town...

29 December 2018

MK Dons travel to face Northampton Town this afternoonas they look to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

Paul Tisdale’s side fell to only their fourth third league defeat of the campaign on Boxing Day, losing 3-1 to Cheltenham Town. Despite the result, they remain second in the Sky Bet League Two table, two points clear in the automatic promotion-places, and four points off leaders Lincoln City.

Today's clash marks the end of the football calendar for MK Dons in 2018, as they make the short journey to Northampton backed by over 1,400 Dons fans.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Northampton Town were relegated from Sky Bet League Two last season in 22nd place and will be looking to regain promotion at the first time of asking. The season didn't start how the Cobblers faithful would've wanted with the club winning just one of their opening 12 Sky Bet League Two games.

During that time, Dean Austin was relieved of his managerial duties with experienced EFL manager Keith Curle taking his place at the PTS Academy Stadium. Curle has managed to turn Northampton into a promotion-chasing side - they've lost just twice under the 55-year-old - including the 1-0 defeat at Stadium MK in October.

The Cobblers are unbeaten in their last four games, while their side contains a couple of ex-MK Dons players with Dean Bowditch and Daniel Powell among the ranks. Elsewhere likes of Junior Morais, Andy Williams, John-Joe O'Toole and Sam Foley, all boast plenty of league experience.

MK Dons suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season as they were beaten 3-1 by Cheltenham Town at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Neil Atangana put the Robins ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour but Chuks Aneke cancelled it out with his 11th goal of the season.

Cheltenham, though, restored their lead in the final minute of the first half through Tyrone Barnett and then, after holding off the Dons throughout the second half, added to their tally late on - Chris Clements the goalscorer of the third goal.

Northampton, meanwhile, recorded their third successive 1-1 draw with Swindon Town on Boxing Day. Andy Williams had given Curle's side an early lead, before Keshi Anderson levelled for Swindon on the 63rd minute forced the sides to share the spoils.

Paul Tisdale: “What happens next for us is that we're in training [on Thursday] and we'll prepare for Saturday's game. [Wednesday's defeat] sets us a challenge. We've just lost two games on the spin and now have two games coming up in the next week which we need to respond in.

Keith Curle: "It's a massive game but there is no fear in the changing room. The mentality of the group has improved since I walked through the door and we will fight for everything."


Paul Tisdale didn’t reveal any fresh injury concerns for MK Dons when he spoke to the media following Wednesday's clash with Cheltenham Town.

The Dons re-introduced Chuks Aneke to the starting XI, while Peter Pawlett also earned minutes from the bench.

Jordan Moore-Taylor, Joe Walsh, Callum Brittain, Mathieu Baudry and Ryan Harley were the only players who missed out due to injury while Sow was not invovled as he continues to ease back into action. It remains to be seen if any will be fit to return for today.

Graham Scott will take charge of this afternoon's clash.

The Oxfordshire official has refereed 11 games so far this season, issuing 26 yellow cards and two red cards.

He last oversaw an MK Dons game during their 2-0 defeat to Hull City back in 2015.

His assistant referees are Sian Massey-Ellis and Daniel Robathan while the fourth official is Nicholas Kinseley.

Dons wins: 8
Dons wins at Sixfields: 2
Last Dons win: 1-0, 20 Oct 2018 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 19 Jan 2016 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Draws at Sixfields: 1
Last draw: 0-0, 26 Sep 2017 (Stadium MK)

Northampton wins: 3
Northampton wins at Sixfields: 3
Last Northampton win: 2-1, 20 January 2018 (Sixfields)
Biggest Northampton win: 3-2, 4 Sep 2016 (Sixfields)

Dons win - 13/10
Draw - 9/4
Northampton win - 2/1

Tickets for this afternoon's clash with Northampton Town have SOLD OUT and there will be no more sales at the PTS Academy Stadium.

iFollow MK Dons subscribers can listen to live commentary of this game – 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.

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Match Reports

Report: Northampton Town 2-2 MK Dons

Dons denied by two late Cobblers goals but remain second in the table...

29 December 2018

Northampton Town scored two goals in the final 12 minutes of tto deny MK Dons a victory in their final game of 2018.

Paul Tisdale’s men looked on course for all three points at the PTS Academy Stadium after goals from Alex Gilbey and Chuks Aneke had them two to the good heading into the final moments.

However, late finishes from Andy Williams and Junior Morais - the latter coming in stoppage time - ensured the spoils were shared.

The point meant MK Dons ended the calendar year second in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Boss Tisdale made two changes to the side which fell to defeat at Cheltenham Town on Boxing Day. He handed Mathieu Baudry his first league start in place of Ousseynou Cisse and re-introduced Rhys Healey to the starting XI, with Lawson D’Ath making way.

There was also a place on the bench for Jordan Moore-Taylor, who had missed the last month of action with an injury.

MK Dons worked their way into the Northampton Town penalty area inside the opening three minutes. After a neat attacking move started by Baudry, Aneke lifted a ball into the box for Kieran Agard but a sweeping Ash Taylor was able to clear.

From the resulting throw-in, a ball fell to Gilbey on the edge of the area but he was closed down before he could get a shot away.

At the other end, Baudry was involved early on his first league start for the Club. First, he made a crucial interception to prevent a Billy Waters through pass from finding a team-mate. Then he got in the way of an effort from Kevin van Veen, which looked to be heading for goal.

The best chance of the opening exchanges came on six minutes when Baily Cargill created space on the edge of the D and flashed a left-footed shot just wide of David Cornell’s right-hand upright.

On the quarter-hour mark, the Dons had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Graham Scott after Gilbey was upended in the area following a driving run down the left.

Two minutes later, though, Scott did point to the spot - this time for a clear pull on Aneke’s shirt as the MK Dons number 10 looked to collect a cross in from the right.

Aneke stepped up to take the spot kick and saw his effort saved but Gilbey reacted quickest to pounce on the rebound and slot home his third goal of the season. 0-1.

Tisdale’s Dons had another shout at a penalty in the 23rd minute but Scott was unmoved after Healey went down under pressure from Shaun Facey.

Northampton then went in search of a response but Waters’ effort was never troubled Nicholls. His quick re-start then led to a chance for Agard, whose low effort beat Cornell but was blocked on its way to goal by a Cobblers defender.

On the half-hour, Aneke, who was causing the Northampton defence all sorts of problems, headed into the side netting from a Williams cross. At the other end, Jordan Turnbull fired an effort well wide from the edge of the D.

Baudry was at it again, defensively, with four minutes remaining in the half, dealing with a loose ball which looked set to be sent goal-wards by a Northampton man. Rhys Healey had an opportunity not long after that, but couldn’t control his volley.

A chance then fell the way of Gilbey, who brought down a Lewington cross on his chest and looked to fire in a shot only to be dispossessed at the crucial moment.

Northampton, though, went closest to scoring before the break - Ash Taylor heading just over from a late Walters free-kick.

MK Dons were put under pressure at the start of the second period and spent the majority of the opening 10 minutes camped inside their own half. They almost conceded in the third of those minutes but a well-placed van Veen blazed over following a scramble inside the penalty area.

The Dons slowly worked their way into the half and Lewington went close just before the hour with a left-footed shot which we put wide, following a low cross from Aneke. The MK Dons striker then had a chance of his own, following a forceful run into the box, but he couldn’t keep his strike down.

Tisdale’s men were almost gifted a second goal in the 61st minute when Agard intercepted a poorly-placed backpass. Agard still had work to do and couldn’t beat Cornell with his shot on the turn.

Moments later, Cornell produced a stunning save to deny McGrandles, who had played a one-two with Aneke on the edge of the area. The Scotsman’s effort was low and on target but the right boot of Cornell kept it from finding the net.

MK Dons were intent on getting a second goal rather than settling for a 1-0 win and they found that extension to their lead with 69 minutes on the clock.

It was a well-worked goal from Tisdale’s men - a move that involved Williams, McGrandles, Agard and finally Aneke, who collected the pass from his strike partner Agard deep inside the box, rolled his man and sent a low shot underneath Cornell. 0-2.

MK Dons still had work to do and within three minutes of extending their advantage, Williams was forced to block a goal-bound strike from former Don Daniel Powell. Moments later, fellow substitute Morais saw a deflected attempt saved by Nicholls.

With 12 minutes to go, Northampton pulled a goal back courtesy of Andy Williams, who powered a header into the near post direct from a corner. 1-2.

Crooks almost drew them leve a minute after the re-start but Nicholls was able to watch the midfielder's long-range attempt fly over the crossbar.

Tisdale brought on Moore-Taylor with eight minutes left to play while he also introduced D’Ath in place of McGrandles, who had run his socks off fore the Dons on the right-hand side all afternoon.

With 30 seconds remaining in regulation time, Turnbull sent a curling shot over the bar from the edge of the area. Healey then went close to winning it for the Dons but his shot was saved by Cornell.

The Cobblers goalkeeper released the ball immediately and his long ball forward was met by Morais, who did well to a lob over the on-rushing Nicholls to grab a late equaliser for the home side. 2-2.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Baudry, Cargill; McGrandles (D’Ath 88), Gilbey, Houghton, Lewington (c); Healey, Aneke (Simpson 74), Agard (Moore-Taylor 82).

Unused subs: Moore, Watson, Pawlett, Hancox.

Goals: Gilbey (18), Aneke (69)

Booked: McGrandles, Lewington, Williams

Referee: G Scott

Attendance: 6,963 (1,449 away)

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