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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

1-3
09 March 2019 Venue Moss Rose Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Preview: Macclesfield Town

All you need know ahead of today's Sky Bet League Two clash...

9 March 2019

MK Dons are back on the road this afternoon as they travel to Macclesfield Town in search of their fifth straight Sky Bet League Two

Paul Tisdale’s men have moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places courtesy of victories over Newport County (twice), Carlisle United and Crawley Town within the last four weeks.

The Dons, enjoying their best winning run since 2015, have worked themselves in a position to pounce on any slip-ups from the top three, and will be hoping that today provides the opportunity to make their move back into the promotion spots.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

THE OPPOSITION!
Macclesfield Town head into this fixture winless in their last six games but boasting a strong home record.

The Silkmen, currently four points adrift of safety in Sky Bet League Two, have lost just one of their last nine matches at the Moss Rose. They have picked up points in the majority of their home games and have scored 18 times.

Striker Scott Wilson is their lead talisman, with the 26-year-old on 10 goals for the season, with nine of those coming in his last 14 appearances.

Harry Smith and Koby Arthur are also attacking threats while goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara, on loan from Manchester United, has been named in the provisional Republic of Ireland squad for his form at the other end of the pitch.

LAST TIME OUT!
Kieran Agard's first-half goal and a third clean sheet in four games earned MK Dons a fourth straight Sky Bet League Two win last Saturday.

Agard's decisive goal came in the closing stages of the first half, as he raced onto a long ball forward from goalkeeper Stuart Moore and netted his 17th of the campaign.

Sol Campbell and his Macclesfield Town side travelled to Bury last weekend, where they were beaten 3-0 by the promotion-chasing Shakers.

Nicky Maynard opened the scoring before late goals from Jay O'Shea and Scott Wharton secured all three points for Bury.

FIGHTING TALK!
Paul Tisdale: “The cliché of football is that it's all about the next game, it's a cliché but it's true. Regardless of how we've played in the last four, there are three points available on Saturday. We feel a lot better for ourselves, but the trap is getting complacent."

Sol Campbell: "We have got two home games, they are hard games for sure, but the main thing for me is character. I have been in this position before and you have got to really want it. Hopefully we can do that, and I expect that to happen. Fighting for every single inch on the pitch."

TEAM NEWS!
Paul Tisdale is expecting to field a similar squad to last weekend but didn't rule out the possibility of having any of his injured players back available.

He will, though, still be without the services of long-term absentee George Williams.

OFFICIALS!
Charles Breakspear will take charge of today's affair. It'll be the first third he's overseen an MK Dons game this season.

He most recently run the rule over a Dons game on New Year's Day - MK Dons' 6-0 win over Cambridge United.

Mr Breakspear has officiated 35 matches this campaign, producing a total of 112 yellow cards and showing 12 reds.

His assistant referees are Declan Ford and Mark Griffiths while the fourth official is Paul Graham.

HEAD TO HEAD!
This will be the seventh meeting between MK Dons and Macclesfield Town, with the Dons winning four of the previous encounters, and Town coming out on top in the other two.

The last meeting between the two sides took place back in November and it was Paul Tisdale's side who ran out 2-0 victors at Stadium MK.

MK Dons last visit to the Moss Rose came back in August 2007. That afternoon saw a six-goal thriller, during which Paul Ince's Dons side surrendered a one-goal lead before fighting back from 3-1 down to salvage a 3-3 draw.

SKY BET ODDS!
Dons win - 10/11
Draw - 5/2
Macclesfield Town win - 11/4

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

ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE TWO!
Northampton Town v Exeter City
Cambridge United v Oldham Atletic
Carlisle United v Swindon Town
Cheltenham Town v Notts County
Colchester United v Newport County
Crawley Town v Grimsby Town
Morecambe v Forest Green Rovers 
Port Vale v Mansfield Town 
Stevenage v Bury

FOLLOW IT LIVE!
Tickets for today's game can be bought at the Moss Rose ahead of kick-off. Tickets are available in both standing and seated areas, with prices starting from £15 adults, £12 seniors/under-25s, £6 under-18s and £3 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 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: Macclesfield Town 1-3 MK Dons

MK Dons make it five in a row...

9 March 2019

MK Dons moved into the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places courtesy of their fifth straight victory.

Paul Tisdale’s men fell behind at Moss Rose but struck back just before half-time through David Wheeler, who scored his first goal for the Club.

In the second half, Callum Brittain fired home his first of the campaign to put the Dons ahead and then Kieran Agard put the seal on a fine afternoon’s work with a looping header.

Boss Tisdale made just one change to his starting XI with Wheeler, fresh from his hat-trick for the Under-23s on Tuesday, replacing Jake Hesketh, who dropped to the bench. 

His side produced the first shot of the game, two minutes in. Following a run down the right from Wheeler, the Dons worked it into Alex Gilbey, who created space for an effort which flashed wide of the goal. 

Gilbey was involved again a minute later but he wasn’t able to tee up Chuks Aneke from Russell Martin’s ball into the area.

Macclesfield responded on seven minutes with Liandro Martis firing a shot towards goal. It took a deflection and Stuart Moore was able to gather. Martis tried his luck from a later corner but again saw his effort blocked. Zak Jules then headed wide from the resulting corner.

On 12 minutes, a ball in from Wheeler caused some chaos in the Silkmen penalty area. Eventually Gilbey was able to get a shot away but a Macclesfield defender got in the way. Soon after, the MK Dons number 8 teed up Wheeler, whose strike was also blocked. 

It was looking likely Dons would be the team to break the deadlock but it was, in fact, the hosts who struck first. A free-kick sent into the area wasn’t dealt with and Silkmen defender Nathan Cameron was on hand to fire in the loose ball from inside the six-yard box. 1-0.

Tisdale’s men went in search of an instant response. In the 22nd minute, Aneke flicked a ball on for Agard, whose tame half-volley was saved by Kieran O’Hara. Dons were then almost gifted an equaliser but O’Hara was able to deny Aneke, after he and Agard had pounced on a defensive error. 

The Dons' task at drawing level was almost made harder with nine minutes to play in the half when a cross-turned-shot from James Pearson landed on the crossbar before the defence were able to clear away. 

Moore then produced an excellent save at his near post to keep out Elliott Durrell while, at the other end, a diving header from Durrell prevented Conor McGrandles connecting with Wheeler’s cross.

That led to a corner which was played in quickly from the left by McGrandles. Wheeler raced onto his ball and beat two men in the air to glance home from the near post and draw his side level on the stroke of half-time. 1-1. 

Tisdale’s Dons returned from the interval with Jordan Houghton in place of Ousseynou Cisse. His first involvement, from the middle of a back three, was to intercept a through pass on the edge of his penalty area.

He then watched on as Agard went agonisingly close to putting the Dons ahead. The striker latched onto Aneke’s through pass but dragged his left-footed shot wide of the post. Agard thought he was in again two minutes later but O’Hara managed to grab Wheeler’s headed pass. 

From a Lewington free-kick on 53 minutes, Gilbey sent a low ball across the face of goal which was smothered by O’Hara as the Dons continued to threaten the Silkmen backline in search of a second goal. They found it a minute later.

Lewington’s cross made it through to McGrandles, whose ball back in was punched away by O’Hara. The loose ball fell to Brittain, 25-yards out, and he fired home a low drive to put the Dons ahead. 1-2. 

Their lead was almost extended on the hour mark but Agard was denied from close-range by O’Hara, following a scramble in the six-yard area. 

On 64 minutes, the Dons survived a scare which came from a deep corner sent in from the right. They then went close to doubling their lead through Wheeler, but his fierce strike was kept out by a diving O’Hara. 

Wheeler went even closer on 69 minutes but his low attempt was saved by O’Hara’s feet at his near post before the on-loan QPR man saw a header tipped away from the resulting corner.  

Martin threatened a third in the 73rd minute but couldn’t get his head to McGrandles’ chipped cross. Macclesfield substitute Harry Smith then blazed over with a quarter of an hour to play as the hosts provided a reminder of their attacking threat.

The Silkmen went close again in the 78th minute through a Reece Cole free-kick which flew a yard or two over Moore’s goal. They were made to rue that miss by Tisdale’s team as Agard extend their lead to two. 

Subsitute Jake Hesketh had the initial shot for the Dons which O’Hara did well to keep out. The ball, though, looped up into the air and Agard leaped high to meet it, before sending a header into the net for his 18th goal of the campaign. 1-3.

Rather than rest on their advantage, the Dons went in search of a fourth goal. They almost found it on 82 minutes but Gilbey, following a strong run down the left, was denied by O’Hara at the near post.

They weren't, though, able to extend their lead. Not that it mattered too much to Tisdale and his side, who march on to Tuesday's trip to Morecambe.

Starting XI: Moore; Brittain, Martin, Walsh, Lewington (c); Gilbey, Cisse (Houghton 46), McGrandles; Wheeler, Aneke (Hesketh 73), Agard.

Unused subs: Nicholls, Watson, Harley, Simpson, Walker. 

Goals: Wheeler (44), Brittain (53), Agard (79)

Booked: Aneke 

Referee: C Breakspear

Attendance: 2,017 (289 away)

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