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23 February 2019 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Newport County

All you need to know ahead of this afternoon's Sky Bet League Two clash at Stadium MK...

23 February 2019

MK Dons face Newport County at Stadium MK this aftern, looking to build on two important impressive victories and secure a third straight Sky Bet League Two success.

Paul Tisdale’s men collected six points from their visits to Newport (1-0) and Carlisle United (3-2) last week and moved up to fourth in the league table, closing the gap on the automatic promotion places to just two points in the process.

Another win over the Exiles today could see them climb into the automatic promotion places should Mansfield Town fail to beat Forest Green Rovers at the One Call Stadium.

At the very least, though, it would provide them with real momentum heading into the month of March.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

The opposition
Newport County will be in a confident mood having also enjoyed two strong performances in their last two matches.

Michael Flynn’s team bounced back from their 1-0 defeat to MK Dons by putting in a spirited display against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the Fifth Round of the Emirates FA Cup. Although they lost the tie, County were well in the contest right up until stoppage time.

The Exiles followed up their meeting with Pep Guardiola’s men by thrashing a resurgent Notts County outfit 4-1 at Meadow Lane in midweek - a result which ended a run of seven straight away league defeats.

Strikers Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt were both on target in that win over Notts County, with the latter scoring twice. The pair have combined for a whopping 23 league goals this term, contributing to more than half of Newport’s total tally.

Last time out
MK Dons made it back-to-back away victories for the first time since October, following up their 1-0 win over Newport County by beating Carlisle United 3-2 at Brunton Park.

In an action-packed contest, it was the Dons who broke the deadlock through Conor McGrandles’ first Club goal. Carlisle, though, responded just three minutes later, with Stefan Scougall netting from the penalty spot after being brought down by Baily Cargill.

Boss Paul Tisdale brought on Chuks Aneke at the break and the striker provided the assist for the Dons’ second goal, which was brilliantly converted by Jake Hesketh from the edge of the area. Kieran Agard then doubled the advantage, finishing off an excellent attacking move with a tidy finish.

Carlisle striker Hallam Hope set up a nervy finish with a far post effort in the 90th minute but the Dons were able to see out stoppage time to send the points back down the country to Milton Keynes.

An excellent away display from Newport County saw them thrash bottom-of-the-table Notts County at Meadow Lane in midweek.

Defender Fraser Franks put Newport ahead, firing home a loose ball after Notts failed to clear their lines.

The home side soon equalised through Kane Hemmings but Newport were back in front five minutes later as Jamile Matt headed in from close range.

Matt scored a third before half-time with an acrobatic finish inside six-yards, with fellow frontman Padraig Amond putting the finishing touches on a dominant display with a header two minutes into the second half.

Fighting talk
Paul Tisdale: “We cannot underestimate Newport. They got a really good result in the week, so I don't want to take anything for granted.

“They play a particular way, they're hard to beat, and they play some really good attacking football at times.”

Michael Flynn: “[Tuesday] was an important win, but we’ve got to back it up now. We need back-to-back wins and we need to go on a bit of a run.

“We’ve won a game away from home, but we’ve got three out of the next four away from home. Let’s hope it’s like London buses – you wait ages for one and then two or three come along at once.”

Team news
MK Dons remain without the services of George Williams and Jordan Moore-Taylor, Paul Tisdale confirmed.

The manager, though, hopes to have the remainder of his squad available for selection this afternoon.

County midfielder Joss Labadie has emerged as a doubt after picking up an injury in the 4-1 win at Notts County in midweek.

Striker Jamille Matt should be okay to play despite losing a tooth in that game at Meadow Lane.

Sebastian Stockbridge will take charge of today's affair, refereeing the Dons for the second time this season having overseen the 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town back in November.

The Tyne official has ran the rule over 27 matches this campaign, producing a total of 83 yellow cards but only making one sending off - that red card was shown way back in August.

His assistant referees are Kevin Morris and George Byrne while the fourth official is Garry Maskell.

Head to head
This will be only the third meeting between MK Dons and Newport County, with the former looking to maintain their 100% record over the Exiles.

The Dons have won the two previous clashes, including last week’s 1-0 win at Rodney Parade. The first encounter saw a Karl Robinson led side win 3-2 in a thrilling Carabao Cup tie.

Today will be Newport’s first ever visit to Stadium MK.

Sky Bet odds
Dons win - 4/5
Draw - 11/4
Newport win - 16/5

Click HERE for more Sky Bet odds, with up to 118 more odds available for this fixture.

Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two
Bury v Oldham Athletic
Cheltenham Town v Port Vale
Colchester United v Carlisle United
Crawley Town v Macclesfield Town
Crewe Alexandra v Exeter City
Mansfield Town v Forest Green Rovers
Morecambe v Lincoln City
Stevenage v Northampton Town
Swindon Town v Grimsby Town
Tranmere Rovers v Notts County
Yeovil Town v Cambridge United

Follow it live
Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons members. To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

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’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 6pm.

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 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: MK Dons 2-0 Newport County

MK Dons winners at Stadium MK...

23 February 2019

Two second-half goals saw MK Dons beat Newport County at Stadium MK and secure their third straight Sky Bet League Two victory.

The Dons, who saw a first-half penalty from Kieran Agard saved, edged in front just before the hour-mark courtesy of an Ousseynou Cisse header - his second goal of the campaign.

Paul Tisdale's men then doubled their lead through Chuks Aneke in the final minute of regulation time to seal a victory which keeps them within two points of the automatic promotion places in Sky Bet League Two.

Boss Tisdale was forced into making two changes to his starting XI with both Baily Cargill and Russell Martin unavailable due to injury. Mathieu Baudry and David Wheeler came into the side as a result - the former making his first start since New Year’s Day in a Dons back four.

The Dons made a composed start and were almost gifted a chance at goal in the fifth minute when a slip allowed Agard to pounce on Wheeler’s pass. A covering defender, though, managed to get back and clear for County.

Hesketh later produced a save out of Joe Day following a cutback from Alex Gilbey. The midfielder scuffed his first effort but was then teed up by Agard before sending a low drive into the arms of the Newport goalkeeper.

Two minutes later, a ball in from Dean Lewington led to a chance for Agard. Wheeler set him up with a chested pass but the MK Dons number 14 dragged his left-footed shot wide of the right upright.

Tisdale’s men were then, temporarily, forced to play with 10 men as Baudry was forced off for treatment on a gashed forehead.

It didn’t seem to affect them, however, as they worked their way up the field once more and saw a decent penalty appeal waved away by Sebastian Stockbridge. Dan Butler’s foot was well above head height as it connected with Conor McGrandles but the referee didn’t view the incident as a foul.

They were, though, awarded a spot kick on 25 minutes for another foul on McGrandles inside the area - this one from Dan Butler. Agard stepped up to take the penalty but wasn’t able to converted - denied by a terrific diving save from Day.

Newport started to offer a threat as the game moved past the hour mark, sending numerous teasing crosses into the penalty area. Baudry, Callum Brittain and Stuart Moore dealt with those.

MK Dons responded through Brittain, who showed good feet down the right before delivering a low ball from which Gilbey curled wide. Hesketh then threaded a ball through for Wheeler to chase but he was just beaten to it by Day.

With four minutes remaining in the half, Wheeler connected with McGrandles’ clipped delivery but saw his header saved. That was the final chance of a positive first 45 from Tisdale’s side, who were unlucky not to head into the break with an advantage.

They went about changing that early in the half but Hesketh’s attempt was blocked on its way to goal. Newport, too, had a quick chance at opening the scoring but Padraig Amond’s deflected try was gathered by Moore.

County threatened again on 49 minutes from a Robbie Willmott cross which Jamille Matt wasn’t able to divert goalwards.

Baudry, who bravely fought on despite that gash to his forehead, was forced with another ailment in the 50th minute, replaced by Jordan Houghton, who slotted in at centre back alongside Walsh. While Dons adjusted, Tyreeq Bakinson fired high and wide from the edge of the D.

The Dons then went close to scoring through Hesketh, who won the ball on the left-hand touchline and delivered a low cross which was intercepted right in front of McGrandles, who would have had the goal at his mercy.

Moments later, McGrandles went even closer to meeting a cross from Gilbey which led to a corner from which Agard had a header brilliantly turned around the post by Day. A second corner followed and from that set-piece, they took the lead.

The corner, taken by McGrandles, was played short and eventually worked its way back to the Scotsman, whose whipped cross was met at the far post by Cisse, who powered a header low into the net to make it 1-0.

Tisdale used the stoppage to introduce Chuks Aneke in place of Wheeler and the frontman almost provided the Dons with an instant second but, from his pass, Hesketh wasn’t able to convert from close range.

They were almost made to rue that missed opportunity in the 64th minute but Amond blazed wide when well placed, moments after Moore had instinctively kept out Ben Kennedy at his near post.

Tisdale when watched on as his side again went close to scoring a second. Agard teed up Aneke in the area but the Dons’ number 10 saw his half-volley blocked bravely.

Newport responded with an attack in the 71st minute but both Matt and substitute Adebayo Azeez failed to produce a header needed to convert from close range. Walsh did connect with a header at the other end of the pitch but his effort was saved.

Day also kept out a header from Aneke, moments before watching a curling strike Hesketh skid just wide of his right-hand upright.

With 12 minutes to play, Walsh put himself in the way of Azeez’s strike on goal. Tisdale then made his final change of the afternoon, replacing Hesketh with Ryan Harley.

The Dons were holding on as the game entered the closing stages and their hearts were in mouths on 88 minutes when Mark O'Brien flicked a header towards the top corner. Moore, though, leaped across his goal to make a stunning - and crucial - save.

Walsh was then forced to put behind a threatening ball with but Stadium MK was soon breathing easy, as Tisdale’s men put the game to bed in the final minute of regulation time.

Aneke was the scorer of the second and final goal, collecting a flick on from Agard before driving into the area, manouvering his way into space and firing home his 16th goal of the campaign. Job done. 2-0.

Starting XI: Moore; Brittain, Baudry (Houghton 50), Walsh, Lewington (c); Cisse; Gilbey, McGrandles; Hesketh (Harley 84); Agard, Wheeler (Aneke 57).

Unused subs: Nicholls,Watson, Simpson, Walker.

Goals: Cisse (57), Aneke (90)

Booked: Gilbey

Referee: S Stockbridge

Attendance: 6,984 (340 away)

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