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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

12 February 2019 Venue Rodney Parade Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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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 tonight's Sky Bet League Two clash...

12 February 2019

MK Dons travel to Newport County’s Rodney Parade this evening, hoping to find the answers they need to turn around their Sky Bet League Two form.

Paul Tisdale’s men enter tonight’s match - their first league meeting with the Exiles - having won just two of their last two of their last seven games and on the back of successive defeats.

The form is a complete contrast to the run they were enjoying ahead of the previously scheduled date with Newport back in December - a game which was postponed 20 minutes before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch.

MK Dons will be hoping a second trip to South Wales will spark them back into a similar vein of form and kick-start their promotion push.

A victory this evening would lift Tisdale’s team back up to fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table and close the gap on the automatic promotion places to four points.

They can take confidence from their excellent form in midweek evening fixtures this season - the Dons are unbeaten having have won four and drawn two of their six Tuesdaty night matches.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

In MK Dons’ way tonight are a buoyant Newport County side, who have picked up two impressive wins in their last two outings.

The Exiles beat Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough in the Emirates FA Cup last Tuesday evening to secure a glamour Fifth Round tie at home to reigning Premier League champions. They then spelled any fear of a cup hangover with a 1-0 victory over Sky Bet League Two promotion-hopefuls Mansfield Town last weekend.

Michael Flynn’s side have been strong at Rodney Parade all season, having won nine and drawn two of their 16 league games in South Wales, losing just twice. It hasn’t all been plain-sailing, however, with their tally of 20 goals conceded at home the highest total amongst teams in the top-half of the division.

In fact, County have conceded more than all-but five teams in Sky Bet League Two (48) this season. They do, though, boast two lethal goalscorers in Padraig Amond and Jamile Matt, who have combined for 20 goals this term.

MK Dons fell out of the Sky Bet League Two play-off places last weekend courtesy of a 3-2 defeat to Swindon Town at Stadium MK.

Michael Doughty put the visitors ahead inside the first half but Paul Tisdale’s side responded soon after the re-start through a stunning Jake Hesketh strike.

Swindon, though, scored within a minute of kick-off to restore their lead and then added to that advantage from the penalty spot.

Kieran Agard netted a late second for the Dons but despite huffing and puffing in stoppage time, they were unable to find an equaliser.

Newport County backed up their impressive FA Cup win over Middlesbrough by defeating second-placed Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade.

Robbie Willmott, who netted the Exiles’ opener against Boro, broke the deadlock again with a terrific left-footed strike from the edge of the D.

Mansfield went close to equalising in injury time but Stags captain Krystian Pearce headed wide in injury time. In the end, Newport hung on to secure the points they needed to move up to 13th in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Paul Tisdale: “They’ve had a fantastic FA Cup run - what a wonderful experience for Flynny [Michael Flynn] and his team. Well done to them

“I’ve had one or two cup runs before myself and sometimes it can take your focus off your league form, but on the other hand it can strike a groove and get you into a rhythm of playing. We’ll go into it assuming Newport County are going to have their best game.”

Michael Flynn: “It’s going to be a tough game. [MK Dons] are a club with a big budget but they won’t enjoy coming to Rodney Parade.

“I’ll have to have a look at how the players are but I’m not too bothered about the Man City game, to be honest. It’s a one off, a unique thing, and I’ll put out the team that I think is ready to go and win the game on Tuesday.”

Paul Tisdale didn’t reveal any fresh injury concerns for MK Dons in his post-match press conference on Saturday.


Jordan Moore-Taylor, Robbie Simpson and George Williams all missed out through injury. Williams is sidelined long-term and it remains to be seen whether either Moore-Taylor or Simpson will return this evening.

Michael Flynn has hinted that new signings Ade Azeez and Harry McKirdy might make their debuts tonight, with the Newport County boss saying he “might have to freshen it up”.

Defender Fraser Franks is available too, having recovered from an ankle injury.

Kevin Johnson will take charge of this evening’s affair.

The experienced official hasn’t refereed MK Dons since the opening day of the 2017/18 season when he produced two red cards in the 1-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic at Stadium MK. He has, however, umpired Newport County on two occasions, producing five yellow cards and one red card in the second of those matches.

In total this term, Johnson has booked 30 players and given three players their marching orders - his last red card coming in the aforementioned Newport County appointment.

His assistant referees tonight are Abbas Khan and Andrew Hendley while the fourth official is Scott Jackson.

Tonight is the first league meeting between MK Dons and Newport County although the two sides have met before in the Carabao Cup.

Back in August 2016, the Dons side Newport County 3-2 in a dramatic cup tie that saw Karl Robinson’s side fight back from two goals down to secure victory. Dean Bowditch scored the winner in the 90th minute.

Dons win - 13/10
Draw - 23/10
Newport County win - 15/8

Click HERE for Sky Bet odds!

Tickets for tonight’s match can be bought from MK Dons until midday today as well as Rodney Parade this evening. Tickets are priced at £19 adults, £15 seniors, £13 young adults/students, £7 under-16s and £5 under-12s while under-6s go FREE.

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.

The EFL have confirmed that there will be no live video coverage of tonight’s game to UK and ROI supporters.

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: Newport County 0-1 MK Dons

Aneke the match-winner in South Wales...

12 February 2019

MK Dons picked up a vital three points on the road courtesy of an 87th-minute goal from substitute Chuks Aneke at Rodney Parade.

Aneke tapped home late after fellow sub Jake Hesketh saw an effort saved by Joe Day - a finish which sealed a perfect away performance from Paul Tisdale’s men, who kept a buoyant Newport County side at bay all evening.

The result lifts MK Dons back up to fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table and closes the gap on the automatic promotion places to four points.

Boss Tisdale made five changes from the side that lost 3-2 to Swindon Town at the weekend, including goalkeeper Stuart Moore, who came in for his MK Dons league debut. Also coming into the starting XI were Callum Brittain, Conor McGrandles, Ousseynou Cisse and David Wheeler.

MK Dons were awarded an early free-kick following a foul on Kieran Agard, as he looked to race in on goal. McGrandles delivered the set piece and his teasing delivery was just about dealt with by the County defence.

Tryeeq Bakinson then forced Moore into his first action of the game with a left-footed drive which the MK Dons debutant palmed away. Tisdale’s men countered after dealing with the resulting corner but Alex Gilbey, after latching onto Wheeler’s pass, was dispossessed inside the area.

In the sixth minute, Brittain was forced to head behind from a deep cross sent in from the right flank. He and his fellow defenders dealt with the following corner. The MK Dons defender was then involved in an attack down the right, which resulted in his fierce strike flying over the bar.

Gilbey then produced a diving save out of Day as the Dons continued to put their hosts under pressure - his effort was hit hard and low but the County goalkeeper watched it all the way and kept it out with his right arm.

Newport responded through Fraser Franks, whose low drive was smothered by Moore. Jamille Matt then headed wide from a deep cross although the offside flag was quickly raised by the linesman.

Matt met another cross on the quarter-hour mark but again sent his header wide of the target. Moments later, Moore watched a second header fly wide of his upright, as the home team continued to try and pump balls into the box at any given opportunity.

The Dons then earned themselves a corner from which Cisse had an effort blocked on its way to goal. Wheeler tried to follow up but, again, Newport were able to get the ball away.

Tisdale’s side threatened again on 22 minutes, with Russell Martin delivering a cross over to the far post. Wheeler won his header and Agard looked to pounce but goalkeeper Day came rushing off his line to punch clear.

On 33 minutes, Wheeler then went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock but his first-time effort, from McGrandles’ lay-off, hit the outside of the right post and rolled wide.

County then piled the pressure on, twice denied by some excellent defending from Baily Cargill. Gilbey later threw himself in the way of a Dan Butler drive, as the Dons continued to show grit in their efforts to keep their hosts out.

Walsh was the next to display a moment of brilliance, sliding in to prevent Matt from being able to test Moore deep inside the MK Dons penalty area. From the resulting corner, Mickey Demetriou struck the crossbar with a headed effort.

With five minutes remaining in the half, Wheeler was presented with a great chance to put the Dons ahead but he couldn’t find the target with his shot on the turn. It was a brilliant move from the visitors which led to the chance on the edge of the six-yard box - a chance that Wheeler would, no doubt, want to have back again.

Moments later, County wasted a glorious opportunity of their own as Matt somehow missed the target with a close-range header.

Wheeler, who was involved in plenty during the first half, tried his luck again in the 44th minute but couldn’t keep a 25-yard shot down.

A minute into the second half, Matt was presented with a chance to shoot 25 yards from goal. He swung a right boot at the ball but dragged his attempt well wide of Moore’s goal.

Moore, though, had to do something about Bakinson’s effort shortly after and the debutant came up trumps with a stunning fingertip save to send the long-range drive onto the crossbar. The danger wasn’t over there, however, as the loose ball fell to Matt. Moore gathered his header.

County maintained their early pressure and Franks hit the post from a corner in the 53rd minute. Moore was then forced into another save, keeping out Matt at his near post from a well-worked corner.

The Dons slowly worked their way back into the game and on the hour, Wheeler saw a goal-bound effort tipped wide by Day following some good work by Brittain down the right-hand side.

Newport came forward again on 66 minutes and they again hit the woodwork - Kennedy, this time, finding the crossbar with his header from Robbie Willmott’s cross.

Some brilliant play from Brittain created an opportunity for Agard a minute later but the Dons’ leading goalscorer sent his curling effort over.

The Dons went even closer on 74 minutes as McGrandles latched onto a deep cross from Brittain and headed over from close-range. The midfielder was incensed afterwards, wanting a penalty for a pull on his shirt as he attempted to reach the ball.

Tisdale showed attacking intent with his first two changes, bringing on Hesketh and Aneke in place of Martin and Wheeler. Aneke was involved right away, heading down a McGrandles ball for Agard, who was beaten to it by Day.

On 78 minutes, Gilbey saw an ambitious chip gathered by the County goalkeeper. At the other end, Moore saved from Padraig Amond’s header before smothering a long-range strike from Butler shortly after.

The game was finely poised as it entered the closing stages and with three minutes remaining, the deadlock was broken. Agard delivered a cross from the right which was met by Hesketh. His shot was saved but the loose ball fell straight to Aneke, who tapped home his 15th goal of the season. 0-1.

There was still work to do to see out the game but Tisdale’s men did so with aplomb - Moore barely challenged in stoppage time, meaning he held out for a clean sheet on his league debut for the Dons.

The whistle blew after the four additional minutes past, sending the 140 travelling MK Dons supporters - and the players on pitch - into delight. A confidence-booster in South Wales ahead of another tough trip on Saturday.

Starting XI: Moore; Martin (Hesketh 75), Walsh, Cargill; Brittain, McGrandles, Cisse, Lewington (c); Gilbey; Wheeler (Aneke), Agard.

Unused subs: Nicholls, Baudry, Houghton, Harley, Walker.

Goal: Aneke (87)

Attendance: 2,860 (140 away)

Referee: K Johnson

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Ticket News

Press conference: Conor McGrandles on Rodney Parade victory

After a stellar performance in midfield, Conor McGrandles talks to the media to discuss Tuesday's 1-0 win over Newport County...

12 February 2019

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

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